This month’s guest blogger for Peterborough-based marketing communications company Metrix Marketing ( says that if we are getting bad service we may only have ourselves to blame.

Nick Siragher, managing director of Shopper Anonymous Cambs & Beds, is inventor of the New York Test to measure how ‘nice’ a town or city is. Writing on the Metrix Marketing blog he says that we can all help to improve customer service.

Nick says: “The New York Test is very easy to apply. Ask ten people at random for directions. If more than about six are generally helpful (when they can be) and are warm, polite and courteous to you, your location passes the New York Test. It’s judged to be a nicer location than New York. Anything between six and three is probably a fail. Score one or two and you’re probably in NYC itself.

“I’ve noticed that locations failing the New York Test also sadly score low on genuinely good customer service.

“So a correlation exists where nice people in nice towns enjoy great service.

“There is something we can learn from this. Be nice. It’s infectious. If I’m nice to you and you’re nice to him she’ll be nice to them and the world will be a nicer place.

“We can’t ‘blame’ customer service personnel entirely for not being permanently nice if we don’t do our bit.”

Nick’s article goes on to make some serious points, based on mystery shopping reports that his company has produced, about how poor customer service is letting down both businesses and their customers.

Mike Holland, director of Metrix Marketing, said: “Good marketing communications may drive customers to your store or other place of business but if you don’t treat them right when they get there, you may as well have not bothered.

“But Nick’s article raises an interesting question – would Peterborough, or wherever you happen to live, pass the New York Test?”