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Can you beat my 3 simple rules of conduct?

Posted on: August 17, 2009

brown bunnie
Image by Nancee_art via Flickr

Quite recently, we got a TESCO’s, a little one.  We have a Co-op tucked away in a side court.  But we don’t have a Boots or WH Smith.

This is a little town and we don’t have a Timpson’s either.  I had never heard of them until I heard one its owners talking on Radio 4.  They are an odd jobbing kind of firm that do your shoes, your keys, and so on, and have branches right across the UK.

Well what is this to do with you?

They say they have two rules in their code of conduct

1.  Look the part

2.  Don’t steal our money

What are your rules?

I have three rules of conduct

1.    Look after yourself

2.   Look after us

3.   Always be ready for a customer who walks through the door

Can you make them any simpler or clearer?

PS  The swan is a general symbol in south-east England.  The hare is a symbol of our town.  There are plenty around but they are made a part of the town by Newton, the author of the hymn, Amazing Grace, which was written in our church.

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3 Responses to "Can you beat my 3 simple rules of conduct?"

Some of my thoughts re Timpsons.

They have been around for as long as I remember and as far as I know are still a family company. Recently I was disappointed with the service my local shoe repairer gave but I needed my shoes fixed so tried the local branch of Timpsons as a “last resort”. The guys who were serving had a friendly chat with everyone, told me what they would do with my shoes , when they could be ready, charged a reasonable price and delivered what they promised. I passed another branch in one of the city centre malls where the guys there were chatting with shoppers passing by as well as managing a long line of customers.

So I think there must be many more rules than the 2 you mentioned – and from my experience the employees must be happy to engage with those rules. I believe that as an employer they are often in the top companies to work for too.

My rules of conduct – always ask questions – and crucially – listen to the answers.

So your two rules are 1. Ask questions 2. Listen to the answers.

This would be my test of your rules – if your employee follows those rules, will your respond in the same way (even if your momentary response is irritation)? Would you simply say, oh I don’t like the result, so let me ask some questions and hear what you have to say?

PS From what the guy said on the radio, as I say I have never set eyes on one of the Timpson shops, the local staff are given complete latitude in customer care (and discounts). The staff think up their customer interaction themselves.

Ok – hypothetically now of course but harking back to the days when I had employees and was one myself, understanding – the issue, client needs etc was often overlooked in the hurry to do something. I was determined that for my own business I would strive for as full an understanding of an issue, situation, client needs etc as I could. For that I need to listen, ask questions, listen to the answers and then make suggestions ( if that is what I am being asked to do). If I had employees I would want to encourage them to do the same thing so that we operate with as much clarity as possible.

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