Mardi Milligan, MBA • Trainer / Facilitator • Speaker • Singer / Songwriter
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Tip of the Month




  Got Coffee Stains? 

   By Mardi Milligan, MBA © 2006

When new customers walk into your business, what are the first things they see?  Clean entryway?  Sparkling windows?  A thriving office plant?  Clean carpet?  A smile?

Or do they see a dirty entryway, smudgy fingerprints, brown leaves on a dying plant, black spots on the carpet or the worst thing ever--nobody smiles?  This is just a reminder that first impressions do count, and they count big time!


Take a Look Around

Tomorrow when you walk into your business, pretend you are a new customer coming to your place of business for the first time.  Take a fresh look with new eyes.   

  1. Does your business have a welcoming ambiance?
  2. Has the entryway been swept and clean of litter and leaves?
  3. Are floors between aisles clean and products neatly organized?
  4. Are the public restrooms clean:  counters, sinks and toilets?  Are soap containers and toilet paper full? 
  5. Are employees offering eye contact and smiles to walk-ins?
  6. Do you hear a cheerful “thanks for coming in” at the end of sales transactions?

Little Things Mean a Lot

Sometimes we get so comfortable in our daily routines that we get used to little coffee stains here and there.  It could be as simple as plucking off the dead leaves of a plant.  Wipe off the front entry way window.  Pick up that paper towel and put it in the trash.  Look directly at your customers when they walk in, give them a smile and see how many people you can get to smile back!


Fine Tuning Tip:   Billions of dollars are spent every year on marketing and advertising.  Don’t impair your advertising dollars with those nagging coffee stains that give your customers the impression you don’t care enough to give them your best.   Take a little extra time to let your business shine!


Solo-preneur, Mardi Milligan, of Fine Tuning Solutions, is the creator of the customer service training:  Attitude 101:  Fine Tuning Your Team to Build Service Excellence.

If you liked this article, you’ll enjoy Mardi's step-by-step, three-hour trainings, designed to be the most complete and enjoyable guide to: accelerate excellent customer service, improve your company's attitude and image, improve employee relations and customer retention and MAKE YOU MONEY!  Browse its table of contents and read attendee reviews now at


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