Why 'The Apprentice' is setting a bad example...

09/06/2009 - 00:00
Sir Alan Sugar is one of this country's greatest business achievers and his TV show 'The Apprentice' showcases Britain's young entrepreneurial talent. But is the 'scary' boardroom master teaching these bright young things the wrong values?

Simon Livingston, operations director of mystery shopping firm, Service Measure gives us his view: "Business advisers have voiced concern over some of the advice being passed on by our entrepreneurial role models and, as the candidates on this year's 'The Apprentice' demonstrated, the elite business minds of the future desperately need proper guidance. Winning candidate, Yasmina Siadatan, was praised for her performance as team leader on the final task before being rewarded with a six-figure salary and the opportunity to receive tutelage under Sir Alan Sugar, who has himself amassed a business fortune worth over £500 million and is considered a close personal friend of current Prime Minister Gordon Brown. However, whilst the soon-to-be Lord does dispense some sage advice, BBC's The Apprentice is largely instilling the wrong business ideals to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Early in the competition, in the now infamous canapé task, Yasmina was commended by Sir Alan for her cost-cutting measures and therefore won the day. Her customers however, said they would not use her again, as she failed to properly cater for their requirements. Anticipating consumer needs and customer retention are paramount if your business is going to survive beyond year one, and stand out above its competition. In all but two tasks in the current television series, the winning team was been decided by return of biggest profit and, rather than wrongly educating his candidates and training them only to win a 100m sprint, Sir Alan should be pointing out that the businesses that successfully differentiate themselves through great customer service stand the greatest chance of winning a marathon. By the final episode, no lesson had been learned and the status quo remained - anybody buying a 'shockolate' from Yasmina in last Sunday's final episode, would avoid doing so a second time. The thought of providing customer service training elicits anxiety in many business owners as it costs money in the short term. Yet, when a business owner only has their eye on the numbers for the current financial quarter, pushing for quick profit rather than investing in the future of their business, it is like putting a child to work at five years old, rather than investing in their schooling. It may offer an objective judging system for a TV programme, but endorsing quick profit, at the expense of good customer service, is a dangerous precedence to set. Customer Service training does pay-off for businesses in the long term, through customer retention and the positive word of mouth spread by its customers. However, that is too far along the road for many businesses, and many business owners are failing to see that now is the time to invest in customer service."

Copyright 2019 Public Sector Catering
Dewberry Redpoint Limited is a company Registered in England and Wales No : 03129594 Registered Office:
Riverbridge House, Anchor Boulevard, Crossways Business Park, Dartford, DA2 6SL VAT registered, number 305 8752 95.

Design & Development by Eton Digital