You might think that question is a bit like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. Without customers to buy your products and services, you don’t have a business; you have a hobby. Yet, without exceptional employees to service those customers, you won’t likely have customers… at least not repeat customers or referrals for new customers.
Last weekend, my husband and I went to a restaurant we have enjoyed before, to celebrate our upcoming anniversary. We had expectations before we even entered the restaurant of how we wanted to be treated for our special night out, based on our past visits. As we entered the restaurant, there were 3 employees standing at the check in counter. Two of the 3 were leaning on the counter and while we were technically greeted, not one offered a warm smile to show us they were glad we were there.
As we put in our name for a table, we were told there would be at least a 20 minute wait and their tone was relatively curt sounding. Maybe they were just trying to be efficient, but their abruptness didn’t help create the atmosphere for a relaxing night out. There was no invitation to find a seat in their lounge and listen to the music playing while we waited. We were just left to stand there and figure things out on our own. If we had not been there before to know the service of the wait staff was quite good, what do you think our desire would be to stick around to wait for a table?
Fortunately, our night turned out to be spectacular just as I hoped it would, and that had everything to do with the excellent wait staff who were warm, friendly and very attentive to make sure our night was special. Unfortunately, there was a big gap between host staff and servers in the delivery of making every customer feel cherished. It was not the consistent experience I’m sure the owners were hoping for.
My story was from the customer view, but it made me wonder how often we might treat our employees in a similar manner? How often do we just report status updates or give direction to our employees without first offering a warm smile of appreciation simply to say I’m so glad you are part of my team! Do your employees consistently feel as if they are your cherished customers?
You see, it’s your employees who create either a positive or negative impression of your business with every customer who chooses to do business with you. Can you say with absolute confidence that all of your employees are creating the experience you intend for your customers to have each and every time? If you can’t, then I would like to share.
3 tips to help your employees first feel as if they are your cherished customers:
1. Show your employees how they fit into helping you achieve your vision. Be specific on how their role makes a significant impact in how you connect with and serve your community.
2. Tell your employees how much they mean to you-often. Describe specific examples of how their efforts positively impact your business and your customers.
3. Educate your employees on what exceptional service looks like and feels like in your business. We all have a different understanding of what “exceptional” means. Spend time discussing and showing by example how to consistently deliver exceptional customer service.
Show your employees how to create memorable experiences with your customers by first creating memorable experiences with them! When employees feel like they matter and someone appreciates what they are doing, they will pass on that feeling of appreciation to your customers.
To learn more about how AmericanWay University can help you build a culture that delivers exceptional service on a consistent basis, please visit our website or send us an email. We are here to help you boost community, productivity, and profitability!