The Biggest Mistake in the Service Industry

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Written Blog | 5 comments

I do not know about you, but it is rare for me to come across an employee in the service industry who is truly Switched On. I mean from the get go they are in the moment, bring energy and enthusiasm, a sincere interest in serving you and emotionally committed to what they do. Your immediate reaction is WOW!

When it does happen, I believe it is an exception. You likely travel quite a bit too. Think back to the recent times you checked in at a hotel. What was that experience like? Most of the time you get a, “Next” or “Checking in?” or my favorite silence. They say nothing. I love it because I say nothing too and will never speak first. I am the guest, they should welcome me! Give it a try, it’s fun.

It is rare you get someone Switched On (who notices you have bags with you and are likely checking in at 10pm) saying, “Welcome to the Marriott Marquis, we are glad you are here, let’s get you checked in, you have probably had a full day?”

waitress-2-2-midWouldn’t that be fantastic if that was the norm? Recently I was in Orlando trying to get home with thunderstorms throughout the SE (Southeast) making it difficult. I had accepted I would not make it to ATL (Atlanta) to make my connection home and would be stuck overnight in ATL. I went into the Delta Sky Club for an adult beverage and to wait for my delayed departure. When I checked in the agent was energetic and empathetic to my situation AND quickly realized there was a delayed flight just leaving now that would get me to ATL to make my connection to Knoxville. She printed a new boarding pass and send go!

It happened so fast I did not even get her name. What surprised me is that I had spoken to the special Diamond Line customer service (I fly a lot!) three times and none of the agents had come up with that option. I did make my it to ATL and just made it to my connection home. Yes!

If you are in a service business, encourage people to be playful and show their personality. Create an atmosphere that encourages them to have fun and set up a system to reward them for doing so.

What do you do to get your team Switched On before their day begins?

Reviews people post on Google Reviews, Yelp, Twitter, Facebook, Travelocity, Tripadvisor, Angie’s List or many other sites are very important for any business because often we start with a web search BEFORE we consider doing business somewhere. Have you checked your reviews recently? You could be losing business from a few disgruntled customers. Engage them and turn around their experience with you. It is makes you look great when you do that.

Employees who are Switched On and go the extra-mile for a customer with creative acts of service will not only feel great about themselves, but it can also drive their customer to tell their story on line and to all their friends.

What do you do to ensure Switched On employees and drive exceptional customer reviews?

5 Comments

  1. 5-31-2013

    That is very true, My wife and I normally end up paying a little ( or a lot ) more money to have the service we expect. It should not be that way and checking reviews on a company is a great idea – do not check there company website, check there Facebook,or Yelp account so that you know that the review has merit.

  2. 5-31-2013

    Chip,
    Great insight…I also travel a lot and have had the same experience. I am overwhelmed when I come across someone who is upbeat and outgoing. For these reasons I try to excited and friendly with all I come across. However, I get criticized for being too friendly sometimes!

  3. 5-31-2013

    When you are switched on and excited it is so far out of the norm -you seem strange. Isn’t that amazing. Also – had someone ask was SE – Southeast and ATL – Atlanta was, here you go.

    • 5-31-2013

      It is so true, it is almost impossible now days to find someone switched on in the hospitality industry. After traveling for over 22 years I found one flight attendant on the BA from Miami to London… that was the WOW factor for me for the first time. From the beginning to the end of my trip he was switched on and had a great people skill and right verbal etiquette
      Overall it seems to be that these Airline, hotel and restaurant service staff has lack of training and follow up, lack of continuous effective and efficient supervision from the managers… I wonder the hiring process and where are all the quality peole in this world. Most of the time I think these people are hired for a wrong profession.

  4. 5-31-2013

    I am amazed by how switched off most employees in the service industry are. Not only that but also how low our expectations for good customer service has become. These employees are the faces of companies. If the employee is not happy with their job they should either move on or fix the situation. Too many workers these days are more concerned about punching a clock or how much money they are going to get. A job is something you should enjoy doing and have respect for. Working for a company is not a right it is a privilage. Don’t let a bad situation harden and jade you. Instead seek to improve what you can and if you are unable to do so move on. We are looking forward to an attending more of your events.

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