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What can you learn from a beach toilet?

2 Mins

They’re not normally the types of facilities you would willing use, but they’re your only choice. Very often that’s how we view some professional services, such as when we move house or get divorced or need our year-end accounts prepared and audited – a necessary evil that we need to do.

Imagine the pleasant shock I had when visiting the toilets at Blackpool Sands beach in South Devon. They were light and airy, clean, free from graffiti, even had fresh flowers, and wait for it… Classic FM was being piped into them so you could listen while you waited for one of the seven toilets to be free.

These were toilets more suited to a posh department store rather than a beach in South Devon.

What the owners of this privately-managed beach have managed to do is think of all the needs that their clients may have. 

Yes, the details had all been thought out – there was even gluten- and dairy-free ice cream available at the well stocked beach cafe and shop. 

Although the beach was actually shingle rather than it’s inaccurately-named “sands”, I’ll definitely go back. (To compensate for the lack of sand, the beach’s owners had installed several large “sand pits” along the beach – yes, seriously!)

Now, think about the client service that you’re offering. 

Like the beach toilets, and dairy-free ice cream, can you truly differentiate yourself from your competitors by the service you offer – even if in the mind of your customers your service is a necessary evil that they need to use?

When did you last put yourself in your client’s shoes? What are the little details – like sand pits installed on a shingle beach – which would get your clients staying and becoming proactive advocates for your services and products?

Heather Townsend is the author of The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking. and the founder of The Efficiency Coach. Follow her Partnership Potential and Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks.

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