Will a Clean Cab Get You Better Customers?

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Will a Clean Cab Get You Better Customers?

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Clean, shiny cab.

Cleanliness has been said to be important to customers–especially in cabs.

I was driving along the street this morning and saw a sparkling, clean green cab. It had recently been washed and waxed.

Inside was a cab driver, clean shaven with a nice haircut and a short sleeved, ironed shirt.

I thought: I would ride with him. My experience with cabs has been less than perfect. Opening the cab door can be frightening; everything is dirty, lots of fingerprints on the windows and a scruffy person driving.

I don’t know about you, but I”m often afraid to open a cab door.

Years ago when I was consulting for The Lowe’s Companies, one of the vice presidents asked me what I thought the salespeople should be doing when they’re not working. I didn’t think long; I thought it was a simple question.

“Calling previous customers, “I said. To my dismay, he said, “We prefer they clean the shelves;  you know women don’t like dirt!” Maybe he was on the right track.

I was consulting with a store owner who had a little dog who wasn’t potty trained. Actually, I would say the owner didn’t really care. The store was  high end, but anytime you rounded a carpet rack you might find a surprise. It appalled me, but it didn’t seem to be a problem for the owner. She didn’t see this as a detriment to selling her customers.She said customers understood.

I doubt if customers said anything, they just walked out.

So is cleanliness important to a customer? We know it is; especially to women with children.

Do you mind if the store needs a little paint, and the garbage emptied? I’m bothered when I can smell yesterday’s lunch in the garbage.

A colleague of mine, Jackie Ryan, owner of   Minding Your Business,” specializes in mystery shopping. Taking a detour from the traditional approach of catching a business doing everything wrong, Jackie looks at it from another angle.

“Our approach is to leverage an organization’s strengths by drawing on the culture of the business. This takes into account best practices and  key employees. Our goal is to develop user-friendly, and actionable feedback along with measurement tools,”  says Jackie.

I like using key employees as the benchmark for the business. Someone is already doing it right so why not use them as the standard?

You might want to check your windows and doors and see if they’re acceptable. Or better yet, have your employees do it.

Actually I think hiring a mystery shopping professional like Jackie is the best idea. One  who will look at your business with a critical but loving eye..

Lisbeth helps businesses build loyal customers through customer service and sales training. She can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. Check for her upcoming entrepreneur boot camp in September.


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By |2017-03-03T12:07:00+00:00July 24th, 2013|Blog, Reaching the Consumer|2 Comments

About the Author:

Lisbeth Calandrino is an award winning trainer, entrepreneur, and blogger and has spent over twenty years developing custom tailored marketing and customer service programs for businesses. Her recently published book, Red Hot Customer Service, 35 Sizzling Ways to Heat up Your Business and Ignite Your Sales defines the steps necessary to build a competitive advantage and turn great companies into unforgettable or red hot companies. Lisbeth admits that much of her knowledge came from her Italian grandfather who despite very little formal education and a limited English vocabulary, managed to became both successful and wealthy. Lisbeth has wonderful stories about Grandpa DiBiagio’s and her time spent learning how to managing Grandpa’s fruit stand. Because of Lisbeth’s experience as a business owner, having been the managing partner and owner of 7 furniture and carpet stores for 14 years, she is able to bring her extensive business knowledge and experience to all of her clients. Lisbeth’s awards include executive of the year award from the International Executive Association, Albany chapter (a business networking group) and first place honors in an international marketing contest for alternative medicine. A two time cancer survivor, she has spoken extensively about her experiences of cancer, offering words of comfort and inspiration. As an activist, Lisbeth has initiated and contributed to many charitable causes. She has worked with at-risk youth, spoken out against injustice and advocated to and helped to build resources for women. As a presenter, Lisbeth Calandrino is highly motivational, information-rich, and very entertaining. Her acute business sense, contagious enthusiasm, positive energy and fun sense of humor make her a dynamic presenter. Lisbeth is a member of New York, Historic Albany Foundation, educational director of Business Referrals Networking Group and member of the board of directors of the Animal Protective Foundation of Scotia, New York.


  1. mack July 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I see the state of the store, both inside and out as a major priority. The way I would look at it is this is my “house”. If I do not take the time and consideration with my house, how do customers think I will treat their home?

  2. Lisbeth Calandrino July 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I would agree with you; it is almost the first impression the customer has of your business. I would say the first is the internet. Thanks for your comment.

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