The importance of the customer "presentation"

Posted: September 25, 2005 in General

Cara made an appointment at noon today to have Karty cremated. This place was in Western Connecticut (in Gaylordsville), which tends to be a pretty “middle of nowhere” kind of place. Going straight from Manchester it would have taken us about two hours, although we had to stop in Bristol to pick up the cat first, so it took a bit longer.

This isn’t the first time Cara’s had a pet cremated. Up in Mass is a business that has the presentation right, everything is in place, and there isn’t anything that would make you doubt the quality or morality of the “product”. Of course that is exactly the opposite of this place. We took a turn off the road and drove up the driveway past a building that had scrap and junk stuffed under the structure. There wasn’t any kind of a clear indication where we were supposed to go, so we walked to the closest building (which happened to have an open door).

We walked past a shipping palette and a stack of cardboard that had been sitting for a while and into the building. The inside at one point had been finished off as a waiting room, but everything had a coat of dust and cobwebs. None of the lights worked, and the place hadn’t seen any kind of a broom, mop or anything cleaning related in quite a while (years not weeks).

A long haired scruffy looking individual came out from a back room. He mentioned that his office girl had been out a couple days and he was running a bit behind. He then proceeded to show us the viewing room where we could say our goodbyes to Karty. With that he left.

Although we were a little uneasy we said our goodbyes to Karty and stepped back into the waiting room. We hung out for a couple minutes waiting for our host to return (which didn’t happen), before we headed outside to wander. We walked up the hill where the cemetary was (for others who preferred to bury their animals). Things were unkempt as we noticed a continued general disrepair, including a lawn mower sitting in the middle of the cemetery (in what seemed like grass that hadn’t been mowed in a while).

After our tour we walked back to the building hoping to find the owner, but he was nowhere to be found. We waited a bit longer in the waiting room when Cara notices a pile of what looks suspiciously like ash on the floor. This of course is the proverbial last straw.

After a short discussion Cara decides that this just doesn’t feel right. Having heard too many horror stories, we quickly get Karty, hop back in the car and drive off.

Presentation is important. When you walk into someone’s place of business you expect certain things. Things should “feel” right. It does depend on your business (we’re probably willing to accept a little dust and dirt at the auto mechanic, but not so much at your doctor’s office).

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