Intergalactic Planetary.

The Best – For me, it worked out that there was one “great” customer per year. Generally speaking, this customer wasn’t a push over, nor were they quiet about what they wanted. They made sure that any ducks that they were in charge of were perfectly neat and not only asked if they didn’t understand something but were happy to listen.

I like to refer to these customers as ‘My Donald O’Connor Customers’. For those who don’t know who Donald O’Connor was, he stared alongside Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in the film, Singin’ in the Rain. Donald smoked like a chimney but would perform huge, mind-blowing dance routines flawlessly, almost killing himself in the process and yet always had a huge smile on his face.

Donald Oconnor Customer Hindsight Blog
Mr Donald O’Connor

The reason for the name is that no matter how hard or complicated a job was these customers would rise to the challenge. When they knew what they had to do, it was done. No matter how long an ordeal we had to face, they had something encouraging to say and at the end, they made it well known that it was worth the effort.

The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best The Best

My first Donald was/is called, Angela. I first met her just after midnight on a Tuesday morning. I pushed open the already ajar front door to find, Angela and her husband Ron, stood statue like with arms and fingers spread, in the grand hallway of their mansion-esc Georgian home, both staring into the yonder as if they were posing for a Beasty Boys album cover, but instead of Kangal and Adidas, they were in a bathrobe and slippers. It was a bit weird if I’m completely honest. As I entered, I tried to explain who I was but was met with a sharp shhhh!

Angela My Best Customer

I just stood there, in the hallway, with two crack pots, staring into the wallpaper, wandering what the bloody hell was going on….


There it is!

See I told you!

Five minutes later…. Bip!

Now I knew what was going on. No idea what it was or where it was coming from, the noise was extremely muffled.

……. Hours later!

2:45am, sat in Angela and Ron’s kitchen eating a fruit cake that I can still taste 15 years later and a cheese with home-made chutney that is simply unsurpassed. It turned out that when they had the decorators in and the carpets relayed, they also had some plumbing work which meant that some of the floorboards had to come up. The decorators must have removed the smoke detectors so that they could properly paint and it’d fallen in the hole. All these years later and I consider them both to be in my top 5 of best people I have ever met and in the top 1% of customers.

It is this sort of thing that makes for a rich career. The main focus is to earn money obviously, as a business without money has no future. However, without these kinds of interactions, these sorts of experiences and the people who make our days so warm, what we do becomes nothing more than a job. 

All of the sacrifices that you have made, the times you have put the business over your own wants and the times that you have had to say no to the experiences that you have waited years to do because the importance of your future is, at that moment, much more important, all of this is made more palatable by the richness that good people can bring to our business.

Now, as I must, I need to roll this back to Hindsight Rated and explain the flip side to the negative review and the less than great customer.

I feel that a good customer, a great customer should be able to reap some benefit from doing their part and often going beyond.

A well rated customer within the Hindsight Rated Community would benefit from preferential treatment. This comes from the business knowing that they are dealing with someone of high regard, and so the approach can be easier, less guarded and confident. 

The stranger is less strange.

Just yesterday, I spoke to a friend, Thomas, who runs a wonderful furniture repair business called Old Peg, about a call that he had made the week before. He was referred by a good friend to a gentleman who needs a very old freestanding kitchen to be freshened up.

After a quick call and a booking to go to the home, the next day, after an hour and a half drive, Thomas arrived at the property, with its long gravel drive and grand features. Immediately, a gentleman stormed over to, Thomas and his companion and demanded to see a vaccine paper, and then insisted on them both wearing a mask.

Thomas at this point was okay with it as, of course, the COVID pandemic is understandably wearisome, and we all need to do our part. The problem came when the man decided that the mask that Thomas was wearing couldn’t be trusted and then threw a blue paper mask from the doorway onto the ground and then slammed the door only inches from their faces.

Door Slam
Can you hear it??

Thomas was about to leave, when he called his friend to ask what they had set him up for. The friend had worked for this customer for years without the slightest issue and insisted that he was a wonderful person.

Thomas went back to the door and knocked. It turned out that the mans wife and sister had both passed within the same week and he was dreadfully upset and apologised for his behaviour. The reason he had agreed to the booking that week is because his wife, before she had passed had made him promise to take care of the home and bring back the lustre that once was.

Without that referral partner. Without that glimpse inside that customers character, both Thomas and the customer would have lost out.

Thomas thinks that the job will be at least a two-year project and the customer is already digging out the original building plans, helping to source the in some cases rare woods and locating special tooling types.

The Hindsight Rated Community offers the same glimpse into the history and behaviours of a referral partner but at the push of a button.

Hindsight Rated can help you find your own, Donald O’Connor.  

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