(Time to read this Blog is about 2 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking:

  1. My Quote of the week:

“In business, everything that happens between intent and delivery is ‘process’.  Process ain’t sexy…but I don’t want to fly on an airline that doesn’t have it.  It’s process that stops those planes from falling out of the sky.  Which of your processes need improving?  Make a list and get to work.” 

…Donald Cooper.

  1. Quick Biz Tip:   Are you ‘striving’ or ‘committing’?  One company website I studied recently, proudly stated, “We strive to be ethical”.  WOW. Being ‘ethical’ is like being pregnant.  You is, or you ain’t.

People don’t care what you ‘strive’ to do.  They want to know what you ‘commit’ to do.  In your business do you ‘strive’…or do you commit?  Do you have ‘goals, targets, aims and objectives’…or do you have ‘commitments’?   When we change our language, we change our culture.

How could you improve your business by creating clarity about the amazing customer value and experience that you commit to deliver, the extraordinary future that you commit to create, the healthy bottom line you commit to generate…and how you commit to behave along the way?  Create a culture of ‘commitment’. It changes everything!

  1. Deforestation Fact: Toilet paper and kitchen roll are responsible for almost 20 per cent of global deforestation.  Seattle-based Cloud Paper is working to save forests and money with their toilet paper made from fast-growing bamboo.  Bamboo also absorbs more carbon and releases more oxygen than trees, so it’s an efficient carbon sink.


Now, to this week’s important topic:

Good companies respond…great companies anticipate!

Many companies measure their service excellence by how well they respond to their customers. How we respond matters. 

One day, early on in my life as a fashion retailer, I was the only employee and there was only one customer in the store.  She was in a change room and her two-year-old son was running around like a madman.  Suddenly, I smelled a full diaper…and so did his mother.  She came running out of the change room, looked at the poop running down her son’s leg, threw up her hands and  said, “I don’t have any diapers with me; I’ll have to take him home.”  

  • “Take him home.” I said, “You can’t even pick him up.” 
  • “But what will I do?” she asked.
  • “Have you ever worked in a store before?”  I enquired?
  • “Yes, years ago.”
  • “Well, you’re working in one again.”  I informed her.  “You’re in charge…I’ll be right back with diapers.”

I jumped in my car, drove down to the corner drug store, bought three sizes of diapers, wipes and cream and was back in the store in 8 minutes.  While I was gone three customers came in and my new stand-in sales lady was doing just fine.  She changed her son’s diaper, continued shopping and, over the next few weeks must have told 100 women about the crazy store owner who left her in charge and ran out to buy diapers. 

We were immediately mobbed by young mothers who came in to shop and to ask if we really had free diapers.  From that day on we had change tables, diapers, wipes and cream in our customer washroom.  Why?  Because, if it happened once, it will happen again; and we were ready.  Good companies respond…great companies anticipate.  We sold clothing, but we became ‘famous’ for diapers. 

The ‘small stuff’ does make all the difference.  Have you mastered the art of doing a lot of simple things ‘wonderfully’?  How can you take small, everyday tasks like answering the phone, serving customers, quoting on jobs, order entry, shipping, customer follow-up, or just simple acts of kindness, and proactively turn those into extraordinary acts that surprise and delight customers… and frustrate your competitors? 


That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 


Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

3 Responses to Good companies respond…great companies anticipate!
  1. Comment *Ha ha great story, Donald! Well done as always!

  2. Hey Don, Love that story! great real life example of taking customer service to the next level. Blair
    PS – did you hear Loblaws/Shopper’s Drug Mart is buying LifeMark? 845 Million for 300+ clinics. Hope they run their clinics better then how they run their drugstores.

  3. Comment *Love thr diaper story. Enjoy every email


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