Hi Fellow Business Growth Athlete,
I was having coffee this morning after swim training and my mate tells me the following tale of Twittism that riled me, stirred me up, got me to write this rant..
‘I was at xxxxx café down by the beach the other morning at about 5 to 7 looking for a coffee and breakfast and a catch up with friends.
(It’s one of our favourite places with a great view and in the past service has been pretty good. Either there is a new manager or they sound like they’re getting lazy… Taking their location as a guaranteed customer magnet instead of the overall friendly vibe I remember from last summer..)
My mate’s story continues…
‘I was 5 minutes or so early..
No other customers were there but there were two staff just hanging around.
So I go to the counter to put in my order..
One staff member says ‘we don’t open until 7…’
I go sit down and read the paper waiting for them to ‘open..’
The staff hang around doing nothing and talking to each other for another 10 minutes, by which time another 10 customers have arrived and now I’m in a queue.. he says..
I finally get coffee and breakfast at about 25 past 7..
As he said to me:
‘What is going through these people’s minds?’
‘Who trains them (or doesn’t train them..)?’
It’s the difference between doing a job to get an hourly wage and wanting to give the customer a great experience so they come back again and again..
What is the problem with saying ‘we’re not open yet but I will take your order and you can be first in line..?’
Isn’t there a Customer Service Golden Rule out there somewhere??
‘Treat others the way you would like to be treated…’
‘Put yourself in the other person’s shoes???’
‘Think about problems and situations from the point of view of the Customer…’
This is the Hospitality Industry..
It is about being Hospitable…
(Hospitable – see definition…)
CUSTOMER SERVICE IS NOT DOING THE BARE MINIMUM
It’s not about ‘doing the bare minimum…’
‘Serving the Punters..’
See that part — ‘friendly and welcoming to visitors or guest…’
Did that staff member a the Beach Cafe even know what that meant???
ITS NOT THEIR FAULT..
The Management had not selected, inducted, trained or coached them in ‘HOW TO BE HOSPITABLE 101..’
They assumed the staff members Mother or Father or School Teacher had already taught them that..
These people are not Punters…
As Ghandi is reported to have said… ‘The customer is not dependent on us, we are dependent on him..’
I since did a search and found that quote was probably not Ghandi but…
(Read the following)
“There are many versions of this passage, and it has been evolving for decades. The earliest instance known to QI appeared in 1941 in “Printers’ Ink: A Journal for Advertisers”. The magazine published an interview with Kenneth B. Elliott who was the Vice President in Charge of Sales for The Studebaker Corporation, an automobile company. Elliott ended the interview by stating the following set of five principles which he may have formulated. Alternatively, he may have been repeating pre-existing principles [KEPI]:
‘It is, of course, not possible to state with any practical exactitude what the customer is. But there are several common denominators to be found when we consider the customer in terms of what he is not. These things, I think, are fundamental to intelligent customer relationship and, it may be added, most of them apply pretty well to the vast majority of prospects as well.
1. The customer is not dependent upon us—we are dependent upon him.
2. The customer is not an interruption of our work—he is the purpose of it.
3. The customer is not a rank outsider to our business—he is a part of it.
4. The customer is not a statistic—he is a flesh-and-blood human being completely equipped with biases, prejudices, emotions, pulse, blood chemistry and possibly a deficiency of certain vitamins.
5. The customer is not someone to argue with or match wits against—he is a person who brings us his wants. If we have sufficient imagination we will endeavor to handle them profitably to him and to ourselves.’
6 QUICK TIPS
Either way, to all Managers and business owners, train your people to:
- Have a customer service, GREAT customer service attitude
- Aim to WOW your customers – every customer – not just your friends or regulars
- Give customers attention within 30 seconds of entering your premises
- Get to know the customers and have a laugh or personal contact with them
- Find out what they want, what they like; then remember it (or write it down) so you can recall it when you see them again
- Ban the use of words like ‘punters’ ‘pax’ ‘accounts’ and use words like ‘guests’ ‘friends’ ‘partners’. Words shape thoughts and thoughts shape habits. People behave differently to friends than they do ‘punters’.
PS: My friend is what ‘The Tipping Point’ author Malcolm Gladwell calls a ‘Connector’.
He knows a lot (and I mean ‘a lot’) of people around town. He refers people to a lot of businesses. And when he speaks, his wide network of friends and business contacts listen.
EVERY CUSTOMER IS A CONNECTOR
Best train your people to have the mindset that ‘every customer is a Connector….’ and ‘we’d rather have more raving fans than raving fanatics..’
Connectors make change happen through people. They galvanize people. They’re natural hubs. That’s just the way they’re oriented to the world. These are people who, every time you ask a question, start flipping a Rolodex in the back of their mind, saying, “Who do I know who knows this? Who do I know who has done this? Who do I know that I need to connect you with?”? They love connecting you with people, because they’re all about the people.
You might be a connector if:
- You are constantly referring people to the right expert or service to solve their problem.
- You love networking and talking with people, just for the sake of doing it.
- When you’re talking to people, they say, “Wow – you know everyone!”
- The stories you tell always focus on the people, not the ideas or the sizzle.
– See more at: http://www.productiveflourishing.com/maven-connector-or-salesperson-whats-your-archetype/#sthash.9MUBkpyB.dpuf
Take from this what you may..
Whether it was Ghandi or not, the fact remains,
‘Customers are not dependent on us.
We are dependent on them…’
This needs to be burned in, hard wired in, fused into the DNA of every business..
That can only happen with good management, good training and good reward and reinforcement…
Hope this helps you continue to Be Your Best..
End of Rant.