Duh Customer Service – How Thinking Improves the Customer Experience
I’ve been there… you’ve been there. You enter the restaurant. You spy as many as 50 empty table and 6 tables with guests. They have two servers working. Where do they seat the guests?
In clusters right next to each other. No spacing. No private conversations. No thought about the customer experience. The only thought – if you can call it that – is for the two employees who might actually have to walk more than one step between tables.
As guests, we see this clearly. As restaurant employees, we do not.
It’s not that the employees of the restaurant are uncaring. It’s not that they want to create a sub-par customer experience. It’s not that they want to receive minimal tips. It’s simply that they’re not thinking. Not thinking, that is, about what is best for their customers.
Your Customers’ Eyes
Creating a great customer experience – I mean a truly exceptional experience that will keep customers coming back in droves – is not hard. Look at Chick-fil-A. They serve a good fried chicken sandwich… with a pickle. However, they’re regularly lauded as providing an unequalled customer experience. It’s not the fried chicken sandwich that fills their restaurants (and allows them to make more per restaurant than McDonald’s, Starbucks and Subway COMBINED), it’s simple manners coupled with quick and friendly service.
Chick-fil-A doesn’t solve many customer service issues because they don’t have many customer service issues. Everything they’ve designed was created to move the customer through as efficiently as possible without sacrificing the quality of their chow. Simple… like their menu.
Chick-fil-A, I would argue, sees their restaurants through their customers’ eyes.
How’s your team doing with this? Do they see their job, their day, their workspace, their routine through only their eyes? Or, do they see everything through the customers’ eyes?
You would know it if they saw all these things through the customers’ eyes.
You would know it, because your establishment would be as full as a Chick-fil-A at Noon. Your customers would be as happy as the family that just received their meal from a friendly Chick-fil-A server. Your online reviews would be loaded with people giddy about the experience they enjoyed while spending money with you.
Do The Thinking For Them
As the owner or manager, it’s your job to do the thinking for your team. Most employees are not automatically programmed to deliver a great experience; and those that are, will get swallowed up and forced to confirm to bad standards by a lousy organization within a few weeks.
I’ve written it this way before: Here’s the good news and the great news about being a manager. The good news is that if employees always did what was best, we never would’ve invented managers. The great news is this means you only have to train and reinforce best practices every single day for the rest of your working life.
Do you think Chick-fil-A relaxes their accountability just because they’re better than the rest? That would be foolish, of course; as franchisees, managers and employees would drift to the dark side. It’s human nature to make one’s own life easier (even if your choices actually make your life harder).
No inspections from the home office? No need to pay someone to constantly keep the restrooms clean. No need to hire the best cashiers, since I can get a warm body at a 30% discount. No need to staff the kitchen with enough cooks; customers can wait a few extra minutes for their order. Fast forward a few months and your Chick-fil-A location is closed because your profits won’t cover your rent.
Of course, if you saw the restrooms, the service your cashiers provide, and the timeliness and quality of your food through your customers’ eyes, you’d never make those decisions… but, your managers and employees just might!
Want to ensure your team is always providing an exceptional customer experience? Drive into your parking lot and walk into your establishment, call your business number, or chat with your team online using your customers’ eyes. Would you rave about what you found? Would you pay extra for that experience? Or, would you realize that your team is merely delivering Duh Customer Service?
Want to learn how easy it is to provide an exceptional experience every single time? Share this free 79-minute video lesson with your entire team: The Customer Experience – Free Training Video.