EVERY company provides a service, even if they sell stuff. Airlines are a service company. A grocery store is a service company. Even a single owner-operator of a taxi cab is a service company. Restaurants are the most frequented service-based businesses we all use constantly. There’s an endless supply of service companies we all use every day.
So why is so hard to deliver good service? I’ll tell you why, because people are LAZY and because employees don’t care. They don’t! And why should they? They get paid crapola, they are treated like 2nd class citizens and they are treated like they are completely expendable. If you own a company and provide a service to clients then listen carefully.
Your People Are Valuable!
CONSUMERS WILL STOP USING YOUR SERVICE
if you don’t make the experience better.
True Story #1. I go into a Boston restaurant. I am waiting in line to order. The one and only person at the register is on the phone with her boyfriend, she sees the line building and turns her back as people begin to leave.
True Story #2. I get into a cab in NYC and the stench from the driver is so overpowering that even after waiting 20 minutes for that cab, I get out and get back in line.
True Story #3. I board an unnamed airline for a 6-hour flight. I have work to do and I am pressed to get it done. The tray table is broken so I can’t use my laptop. I ask for help, the sassy young man tells me he can simply report it, nothing else, doesn’t even try. His attitude was horrible.
True Story #4. I sit down for dinner with my family at a local restaurant and my meal comes out cold. I am hungry, I want to eat but the food is cold. I send it back and by the time my replacement meal comes, everyone is done eating in 10 minutes, I send it back. I will never go there again.
Do you have your own stories to contribute?
It’s amazing that any of these places are still in business! Yet, we continue to tolerate bad service and that’s why we get it.
Yup, we get what we tolerate and that’s all there is to it.
Two Major Problems Perpetuate Crappy Service: WE – allow it to happen.
Busy, busy, busy professionals like us can’t be bothered to complain or write the CEO. Did I take action when my tray table didn’t work? I did. I improvised and found a way to prop up the table so I can use it. My engineering background served me well but most people would have suffered through a 6-hour flight and NEVER said a word. Did I write the CEO? No. I was too busy. There was no incentive.
We as CEO’s do not reward good service with praise, cash or benefits.
Why should we? Low-end staff are a dime a dozen, right? Yes, they are but they feel and act that way because we treat them that way.
It’s time to put an end to crappy service in America. Here are the 5 WORST mistakes we make and how to fix them.
- Mistake #1 – We treat staff as either expendable or hopeless – and they act that way.
- Mistake #2 – We don’t train staff exactly how to treat clients and we don’t know if any training we did took hold.
- Mistake #3 – We do a terrible job of screening and matching people to tasks.
- Mistake #4 – We provide no incentive to do an amazing job and we don’t empower them to solve problems.
- Mistake #5 – We don’t have a long-term plan to keep our best people engaged, we don’t reward them for exceptional actions.
Solutions that can solve all of the service problems in America.
Instead of raising the pay of fast food workers, (or any staff for that matter) which is something that has received national press lately, profit share with every staff member. The % is minuscule but the effect will be massive. It can even be neutral. You have now created an ownership mentality in every fry cook, counter person and maintenance guy in the store.
This can start 90-180 days after they start if you are concerned. But don’t be. Start at the point of hire. If the corporations were going to grudgingly provide substantial raises for no reason other than it’s what “America” is calling for, then at least do it with a purpose. You also created PEER PRESSURE to do well so everyone benefits. And the difference in pay will be tiny compared to the benefits.
Make all training a qualification program which means that if a new hire is not able to test at an acceptable level AFTER TRAINING, they cannot have the job. Testing levels the field for everyone and passes only those qualified to do the work. Scores should be based only on the results of tests. Match those best qualified for the available jobs and the rest can’t find somewhere else to work.
Create a reason for clients to recognize and thank those who provide great service. If you run a fast food restaurant or an airline, tell both staff members and customers that a client testimonial will be rewarded individually and as part of a team. Now you have clients who are looking for great service to commend and staff bending over backward to get a testimonial.
Explain in advance that people must get better at their job and be promoted in order to stay. In other words, create an environment where the staff knows what it takes to be promoted and can grow inside the organization as long as the organization keeps growing. This creates long-term loyalty, high productivity and creating a path for the best to rise to the top. Also explain that if staff are NOT promoted in some amount of pre-set time, they may be invited to leave the company. No sense paying more to people who are not going to grow with the company unless you are willing to increase the pay of entry-level people for 5-10-25 or even 20 years just because they are still there.
The above suggestions if implemented will solve all service problems in all service businesses.
Why? Because you are changing the formula of how we treat our staff and when we treat our people with respect, they treat our clients/customers with respect.
There is nothing like respect and acknowledgment to enhance the self-esteem of our staff members. It’s been proven over and over again that praise works better than scorn. Encouragement over correction and even ADMIRATION will inspire those to rise beyond the level of expectations, almost without exception because the highest level of self-esteem comes from the admiration and encouragement of others.
Don’t believe me? Try it.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org