I hope that you’ve been lucky enough to do business with a company that treats you like a regular. You get that extra touch of service and connection. I get it most often at car rental locations and at hotels. It’s a great experience that ensures that I will be back for more. While we recently talked about treating your guests and the team like family, let’s look at why it’s important to be consistent in our level of service.
Treat them ALL as regulars
It’s easy to say to treat all people as regulars, but really drive that point home with your team. The team will have to overcome their natural stereotypes and misconceptions. I was working with a retail leader recently where the company had an add-on sale initiative going on. The leader was not meeting expectations and was at a loss on what the next step was. After digging in, I found that many members of the team were making judgment calls instead of asking everyone. If the person didn’t look like they matched the product or only bought a few items, they didn’t ask. When the leader found out the root cause, he was able to address it and make progress.
I travel quite a bit, so I know where most of the healthy and quick stops are in the towns I visit. I always seem to run into this same guy every time I’m in one particular sandwich shop. He’s not traditional by any means. He has over 20 piercings on his face/ears, wears tattered clothes, and a ton of accessories. Some places would treat him as the mass of other people that enter the establishment or they would move him through the line to get him out a quickly as possible. Not this place. They see him enter, greet him by name, and begin making his sandwich as soon as he’s getting close to the front of the line. They have a pleasant conversation and he’s right on out of there.
Consistency is key
It is difficult to go back to the old ways once you establish a culture of treating people as regulars. You’ll begin to catch new customers faster, but if you stop, you’ll lose established customers even quicker. Let’s say that your coffee shop knows you really well. They get you that weirdly specific drink going as soon as you hit the door. You typically make small talk with the staff, you get your drink and off you go. It feels great! Later you go in and a new person doesn’t know your name or what you want. You write off the first one, but as it happens more you become frustrated because you have been conditioned to excellent service and now you get average service. Before you know it, you’re trying a new coffee shop. Make sure your team is very consistent with the guest experience. Here are some ways you can ensure consistency across the whole team and all shifts.
- Observe them while they are interacting with the client. From a distance is best so that the person doesn’t feel the added pressure of when you are around. They may also give a different level of service when they know you are present.
- Look at your metrics: If you have the capability to see how you do on an hourly basis, learn where your opportunities are. Does business drop when certain people work together? Does business drop when you aren’t in the building?
- Love them like family: See newsletter from March 7th.
- Model the behavior you want when dealing with guests.
- Talk about it at leadership meetings. If your team hears you talk about it often, they’ll know that it’s an important expectation to meet.
Treat all of your people like regulars and you’ll start catching new clients faster and you will delight the ones that already do business with you.
Make a better tomorrow.