If it’s broken, fix it!

let's stop walking past life's problems, let's stop and fix them!As a motivational speaker for hospitality clients, I often add value by offering secret shopping as a way to help increase their customer scores.  I go in as a customer, experience everything a customer would experience, only I am looking for ways to improve the customer experience…and I take pictures.  On one of my recent secret shopping excursions, I had great service.  I was greeted warmly and sincerely, check.  I was offered special items not on the menu, check. I was served with efficiency, quickness, and always with a smile, check check check.  Then I went into the ladies room.  It was clean, but I noticed something that stood out for me – a small yet important detail.  The toilet paper roll was broken! I know, it's not that big of a deal.  But, I began to wonder – how long had it been broken? When an employee changed the roll, how long had they been putting the new role in it's temporary home?  How many customers went in and actually paid attention to this? I'm not sure of any of these answers, but here's what I thought.  If you take care of details, customers notice.  And, if you don't take care of them, customers begin to wonder what other details are left undone. 

So, when it comes to the old saying 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it', fine.  But I'd like to add – 'if it's broken, fix it!' before you get a secret shopper coming in and taking pictures of it!

From your grateful that at least they had toilet paper motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman


Marilyn Sherman, CSP is a Front-Row Leadership Expert helping people get out of the balcony and get a front-row seat in life. For over 20 years she has inspired audiences with topics on Visioning, Goal Achievement and having a No More Excuses attitude! Check out her fun, dynamic style at http://www.MarilynSherman.com

Marilyn Sherman, Owner UpFront Presentations - Helping people get a Front-Row seat in their life!
9030 W. Sahara Ave #444
Las Vegas, NV 89117

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  1. So true! One of my favorite things about my sweetheart is his speed to repair anything. Especially after being married to Manana Management for 18 years. Recently I was in a lovely restaurant, but when I walked into the bathroom it appeared that someone had TP'd the floor. Very poor impression, and all that was required was someone bending down and picking it up. So I did.

    While waiting an hour for a prescription yesterday at Costco (don't ask me how at this age I managed to get ecezema for the first time — on my eyelid), I went across the street to the Tahari store. As soon as I walked in and started to browse the retail gal asked if I would like a bottle of water. WOW! Stamp me impressed. After all those Costco samples I was thirsty, so said yes. And hopefully my fellow bloggers will dig my new dress I'll wear at NSA! No, the water didn't make me buy a dress, but her approach, helpfulness and gift was a big influence on my relaxing and truly looking at everything. Marilyn, your advice is truth!

  2. So – you are not only a motivational speaker – but you are a secret shopper too! I LOVE that! I always wanted to be one!  And you are so right. It's those little things that people see and that make them wonder what else is broken or unattended to. I have this one little restaurant that I LOVE to go to frequently. In the ladies room, there is always this little tiny vase with perky fresh flowers in it. Always. And the flowers always match the wallpaper. They make me happy.  And I'll keep going back to any place that makes me happy. And feeds me fabulous food…


  3. So true, Marilyn.  This makes me remember advice given by Michio Kushi, the founder of Macrobiotics, when asked what his advice would be for the success of a newly opened health food store business.  His immediate response was, "Cleanliness."  Even though the customers might not consciously notice this they absolutely do on a subconscious level while walking through the store.  I'm assuming he would agree with you about immediately fixing the toilet paper roll!

  4. So true Marilyn!!!! Bathrooms are a GREAT place to see how you're doing at your customer experience. I know it's hard for them to keep up with the bathrooms, and people can be pigs when it comes to a bathroom they don't have to clean. But it doesn't change the truth that you will be judged by every aspect of the customer experience! Awesome post.

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