Thoughts + Articles

What Do a Horse and an Apple Have in Common?

How to keep your customers happy.

How is the customer service at your business? Are your associates well- trained and do they work as a team?  Are they knowledgeable and eager to share the information on their products? 

For the past several decades, I’ve been a musician playing the violin and viola throughout the world. If you are not familiar with the anatomy of the bow, there are a series of horse hairs that are strung on either end of the bow, and when they glide across the strings, a beautiful sound (hopefully!) is produced. 

The hair on the bow is horse hair from the long mane of a horse. It does not hurt the horse. It’s like having a haircut.

After playing many rehearsals and concerts the bow needs to be rehaired so it will continue to pull out beautiful sounds on the violin or viola.

The other day, I tried a new music shop to have my viola bow rehaired. 

I told a young woman behind the counter what a fantastic shop it was and how impressed I was. She grabbed a laminated sheet of paper with 3 price levels on it for rehairing bows.

Before I could ask a question, a man approached, picked up my bow, looked it over, then held it up to the wall to see if the bow was warped or straight. He whispered to the young woman standard rehair violin bow.

He never said hello, introduced himself, and never smiled. He just walked away.

The young woman said it would be several days. 

“Will you pay for it now?” she asked.

“No, I’ll pay when I pick it up”. 

My expectations were deflated, as I thought I had found a place to entrust my extensive instrument collection to. 

If the gentleman in there was the owner or manager, it’s apparent why the level of service was lackluster. Great people do not work for pretty good people. 

If you are a leader, manager, or a person of influence; you understand that more is caught than taught. If I was treated right, I would have trusted them with my best bows and paid the extra money. But they blew it. 

What are you doing at your business to ensure that you are creating a customer experience that you can’t wait to tell your friends, neighbors, and relatives all about?


A few years ago, I went with my husband to the Apple Store to pick up my Mac computer that we had ordered online from Apple. The computer was very heavy and it was a long walk from the Apple Store to where we parked.

The Apple Associate, Joe, with a smile, brought out a cart, and put our heavy new Mac on the cart.  He enthusiastically walked with us several blocks to the parking lot

and congratulated us on our new Mac. We thanked him for helping us on our walk to our car. 

He gently laid the new Mac in our trunk with the care that a new mother shows when securing her baby in the car seat. He said it was his responsibility to get it safely in our car! This associate went above and beyond what we expected of him. Most people who have had the pleasure of visiting an Apple Store understand that the exceptional is expected

How is the customer service at your business? Are your associates knowledgeable, and eager to help their customers? Do your associates work together as a team?

Great service isn’t exclusive to the retail or hospitality industry. 

I recently went to a new doctor, (Dr. Dimwiddy). The doctor was wearing a mask. He was sitting 6 feet away from me.

He said, “Hold out your hands.” 

“Now take your socks off and let me see your feet.”

 Dr. Dimwiddy: “You have bad arthritis!” 

 “Your neck and shoulder too.”

Patient: “I’m thinking to myself, I always thought my feet and hands were beautiful, agile, and coordinated.”  I feel the fear rising!

Patient: “I’m in shock! “What can I do to improve this?”

Dr. Dimwiddy: “Close your!” 

Doctor, “You’re deaf too!”

I left in a state of shock and began to feel pain in places I had never had any!

Doctors are in the people business. In a new relationship it is important to build trust. You cannot do that by insulting the patient or client! In all relationships, say and plant positive thoughts in the other person’s mind. This way they will live up to these thoughts.

Do not put a negative label on people and put them on the shelf.

Contrast this experience from a month ago to the one I just had.

For 10 days I had terrible pains in my ears and a stiff neck. It got so bad my husband insisted we go to an Urgent Care. The receptionist smiled and gave me the proper forms to fill out. Then after a while a nurse wearing a mask came to bring me into an examination room.

She was very polite, asked questions, and took my vitals. Then the doctor came in wearing a mask, smiling, asked me questions, listened to my heart, looked in my ears, and asked me to take off my mask. He then looked down my throat and told me what was happening in non-threatening terms and what medicine he would have me take to heal. Each person on his team was calm and nonthreatening. This was a home run experience.

Whether you are going in for a checkup or you are ill the doctor and team should work together to help you, not frighten you to death!

Contrast this with Dr. Dimwiddy.

Which of the two doctor’s offices would you rather visit?

It’s all about having a good experience!

Be just like Apple and the Urgent Care medical office and make sure your employees are knowledgeable, well trained, and show they care and want to help their customers so your business will flourish during good and bad times.

Madeline Frank, Ph.D., is an Best Selling Author, speaker, business owner, teacher, concert artist, and parent. She helps businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Business”. Her observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your business successful. Her latest book “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget” is available everywhere books are sold. If you need a speaker or virtual speaker contact Madeline at:  

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 14th, 2022 at 10:20 pm and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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