It’s 10/10 or Nothing!
Last week I was speaking with a hospitality client about an experience they had with a new staff member. They had positioned her on the register on a Saturday night, their busiest night of the week.
Consequently, it didn’t go well. Her speed was slow, the queue was really long, and customers were complaining.
What they said to me was, we should have had her wearing a training badge, to set the expectations of our customers’. My response to them was “No, she shouldn’t have been doing that job until she was proficient on the register” especially on a Saturday night. She should be working in that role on a quiet night where you can have two registers open and have a really skilled person working next to her.
In this instance they had SET HER UP TO FAIL.
They put a new staff member who has not mastered the register, into a key position, on the busiest night of the week.
Every customer group goes to the servery register to order their meals. Yes, they could have had her wearing a training badge, to set the customers’ expectations, but we should never compromise a 10 out of 10 customer experience inside of training our team.
It’s all about having your ‘Aces in the Right Places’.
On a busy night it is not the right time to train new staff in key areas. During these trading times we must have our ‘A-team’ on to ensure we always maintain a great customer experience – which is what their A Team can do.
On other nights, a quieter night, that’s where we can focus on, on-job training, with two registers open, where they would normally only have one and a skilled person working with the new staff member training, on the job.
Our staff do need to be trained but they also need to be trained to a level of proficiency before they start working on the register or in any frontline position.
Just about every system I know has a training function, so that repetition, practise and learning how to follow and deliver the service standard is critical.
Aces In The Right Places
As previously outlined in a previous blog 10 Major Steps to Successful Recruitment – Step One – Defining Your Needs we discussed the importance of defining your needs; defining your team’s needs. This is also relevant when it comes to the positioning of your team into the right roles or key positions.
Teams are made up of many individuals and different skill sets, they all come together to create the whole.
How do I know I have my Aces In The Right Places?
Attitude – What does this person enjoy doing? What should they have a positive attitude about?
They are NOT people you are going to have to keep pushing, knowing that if you don’t push them they will fall back into being passive employees. Not smiling as much, energy levels drop off, and the reality of that is that it is exhausting.
For example, some years ago now, a highly valued team member taught me a really big lesson in an exit interview after he had resigned.
He shared with me that he was exhausted. I sat there thinking, what how can you be exhausted? He was delivering half the amount of training programs I was at the time and I certainly wasn’t exhausted.
We talked about it and he said something really interesting to me, he said,
You love this work you don’t have to motivate yourself it is exactly where you are supposed to be. You love being in front of the room working with people and the difference is, I have to make myself do it.
I replied and said, “but you do a really good job” and he said “yes, I know I do, thank you I appreciate that but the level to which I have to generate myself is exhausting, it is NOT my natural expression”.
My point here is, when people find things exhausting, it is NOT their true expression and they are NOT in their right environment.
Even though I teach this I realised I didn’t actually follow my advice I tried to make someone into someone they are NOT. And he was never going to be able to fulfill his role long term.
Not to say that they can’t do it, but for how long can they keep it up?
When you have team members who can do it but it is not really them and they don’t really have the right attitude and personality – it’s exhausting for them and for you!
Constantly having to be on them all the time is exhausting. For example, if ever a staff member greets a customer without a smile, especially when they are in a front line service position – you have just set yourself up for a whole lot of work.
I know it’s tough finding the best possible people at the moment, although just putting people in a role where they have to really generate themselves, they are just not going to last.
You train them all this time and then wonder why they left.
Ace in the right place is about looking at your team and asking yourself who is the best person to be answering your phone, who is the best person to be on reception?
Remember my last blog, Service from a Distance? These frontline customer service roles form the customers first impression.
From a distance customers form a number of impressions. These initial impressions may be even more significant than the service itself, which can be very brief. Initial evaluations certainly create expectations of the service that will follow. Good or bad impressions can effectively form the basis of customers’ judgments of staff performance, as well as your own.
Another example, of not having our ‘aces in the right places’ think about how many times you have heard of companies making a great salesperson into a sales manager. Being the best salesperson, does not mean they have the skills to be a manager.
In fact, in this example your ‘ace in the right place’ is leaving that salesperson selling!
And, you need to look at how you can reward them, so that they feel their contribution is acknowledged and rewarded. When we do this people stay.
When people move to other jobs, it is not always about taking on more responsibility, they make the move when they don’t feel acknowledged, they go where the money is.
Let’s look at Fisher & Paykel. Their team of designers are the highest paid members of their team.
The brand is celebrating 80 years of Innovation and when you look at their history the contribution to the company from the design team through innovation has been what underpins their success and longevity.
The best innovators don’t just understand technology, they understand people. Since 1934, we’ve been designing technology that enriches and improves people’s lives. By challenging conventional appliance design these world-first technologies have changed the way we live forever. In 2014 we celebrated 80 years of this spirit of curiosity.
Fisher & Paykel certainly have their Aces in the Right Places and they understand the value in rewarding their team members the impact they have on the company.
If you would like to have a chat with me about ‘Aces In The Right Places’ and customer loyalty best practice contact me I look forward to hearing from you.