Today, you can't visit a retail store, recreational event or restaurant without experiencing POOR SERVICE.
We visited a restaurant this weekend and were excited to spend time with family and enjoy a wonderful Italian meal. I won't bore you with every detail but it was obvious that the owner of the company had lost touch with his own establishment. The experience was so disturbing, it made me think about what the man could do to deliver a more consistent experience, so all of his guests could enjoy the high marks provided on social media.
These are the three keys to eliminating a poor service experience in any company.
1- AWARENESS Our party selected the restaurant based on a social media rating (it was high). After our visit, we dug a little deeper since our experience was nowhere near the high rating and guess what? We found a large number of poor ratings that matched our experience. (Social media ratings are still a bit of a mystery at times!) If the owner would dig beyond the favorable ratings, he would be able to see that speed of service, poor table attention and inconsistent food quality are common areas for improvement. Being aware of a challenge is the first step to being able to correct it.
2- TRAINING Delivering an exemplary service experience can only happen when staff members know how to do their jobs, please their clients and deal with the unexpected. The restaurant we visited apparently had not invested in their team because they had challenges in all three of those areas. When a team knows how to do their job and how to delight their clients- it makes for a great experience and that takes training. Proper training is mission critical especially when it comes to handling the unexpected. Our restaurant experience would not have been so terrible if the staff knew how to handle an over crowded environment, food not coming out of the kitchen in a timely manner and guests who had reached the end of their patience supply. Training can prepare your team for success in any circumstance.
3- PROPER STAFFING When your guests visit your business, they have expectations (as they should).
- They expect to be greeted by people who are good at their job and are dressed appropriately.
- They expect you to have enough people to help them as well as your other guests.
- They expect to have someone in management or with management skills available to prevent and address any potential challenges.
When you are not properly staffed, any hiccup in your normal routine has the potential to turn into a REAL problem. Paying careful and close attention to staffing will help prevent a POOR SERVICE experience.
As a consumer, I look for and truly appreciate a wonderful service experience. As a business owner, any service experience (amazing or poor) causes me to review my processes and work to make them better! I am going back to work to see how I can increase my AWARENESS, empower my staff with TRAINING and make sure I have plenty of the right team members so STAFFING adds to the experience for our merchants.