03 April 2008

A delicate matter

This is a beauty. We have all walked into a lift to be greeted by the waft of someone else’s body odour. Very disturbing to say the least. A recent study showed that if there was one thing that most people would like tradesmen to improve it was their personal hygiene – don’t come to my place and stink it up.

There is a great story that I came across a few years ago. There had been a number of complaints about the level of hygiene of taxi drivers in this particular city. A national men’s fragrance company decided to do a promotion where they gave every driver a bottle of after shave and deodorant to be kept in the taxis and to be used throughout the day (sparingly to avoid overcompensation). The promotion was a huge success and everyone was happy. Both companies got great national press coverage and the customers could once again get into taxis without holding their noses.

Personal hygiene is a key consideration when it comes to customer service. Of course if you are a telemarketer it is of less importance but stop and have a think about the person sitting next to you sharing your telemarketing booth.

If you work with food personal hygiene is huge. It can be hard to discuss a personal subject like this and I would suggest that you make your expectations very clear when employing staff. Put it in writing and make sure that the new employee is very aware of how they need to be groomed.
An area that is often harder to break through, is when the actual business owner has a personal hygiene problem. There have been a quite a few times when I have had to sit down a business owner and suggest that the best way that they could increase the number of customers coming to their business is to start using deodorant. Some people take it well – others don’t.

Once again it is all about respect. By taking the time to show that you care about your personal hygiene you are showing the customers that you take your job seriously. By association you are taking them seriously.

2 thoughts on “A delicate matter”

  1. Andrew when I first met Paul – he stank!!!!!!! We started our life together on a purely professional level and it took me months to gather the gumption to ask him to use deodorant prior to coming to meetings. Unbeknown to me, Cam had that day raised the same issue with him. Mortified, the poor man has never returned to the brand of deodorant that he was actually using at that time. How he couldn’t smell himself I will never know.

    Once he sorted his personal hygiene, we started dating and now we are very happily married (I buy the deodorant!!!)

  2. Wow Megan – poor Paul – I hope he doesn’t read my blog. It is really tough to do what you did – but it ended up being worth it hey? How about those poor people with really bad breath – it is extremely tough to have that conversation with them, but surely it is better to know and be able to do something about it. My partner is brutally honest with me – she doesn’t muck around with things like this. I got an electric razor from Deb for Christmas and it uses a special cream, and you can only use the one kind. We have dubbed it “man whore” and it is cheap and nasty. She told me in very subtle terms, to have the shave first and then scrub that smelly crap off in the shower. And thank goodness she did. Appreciate your comments Megan. Take care – AG

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