Happy St Patrick’s Day!
Cead Mille Failte is an expression of Irish hospitality. Ireland is called the land of one hundred thousand welcomes. How customer centric can a welcome get!
And while the Paddy’s day parade of past years has been bigger in New York than in Dublin, it is a land that knows how to cater to meet the expectations of its customers. (On a serious note, tourism in Ireland has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. So, I wish all those working in Irish tourism brighter futures.)
I’m fifth generation Canadian, ethnically a mix of Irish and English. The Celtic Tiger and a background in technology brought me to Ireland in the 00s. I lived there from 1998-2008. Most people don’t know that Ireland was the first offshore development hub in the ‘90s. And today remains the European headquarters of a lot of Big Tech companies. But I digress.
Or do I. Growing a tech industry in Ireland brought changes. For the first time in centuries, a generation remained rather than emigrated. More people had mobile phones than land lines. And with your first undergraduate degree tuition paid, education is accessible. I found my teams over there to be talented and keen to deliver. Customer focused on solving problems and creating solutions. Though I still had to tell my European customers that the project had to pause on March 17th!
These days more tourists buy tweed and Aran Sweaters than locals. Which brings us back to that customer centric culture. The Ireland of “The Quiet Man” is still served up to the visitors that want it. And they do!
I remember a fun ad that the local mobile operator ran in the 00s. Set in an old-fashioned pub, at the start everyone was on laptops and mobile phones. Then someone yelled – the Americans are coming. All the tech disappeared, and the fiddles came out.
Still, you find the same great Irish hospitality at a smart Dublin restaurant serving pastas as you do at a Céilí serving Guinness.
It brings up my insight questions for today. Are you aware of what your customers expect of you? Are you willing to serve them regardless of what might be happening in your company internally? It can be hard to not be outward focused when inward change is happening. How might you pivot while keeping your foot firmly grounded in a customer centric culture?
“May peace and plenty be the first to lift the latch to your door, and happiness be your guest today and evermore.” —Irish blessing