I’ve noticed a trend at restaurants lately, where some of the servers are going out of their way to be nice…when they hand me the check. It’s funny because it seems like the person who gave me the bill is not the same individual who served me throughout the meal.
I’m not saying they were bad servers or are mean or anything. They were actually all good. However, when the checks were dropped, I received comments like, “Have a fantastic evening, sir.” These remarks were normally said with an over-the-top tone that was nowhere near the one used to ask me, “You know what you want” So the question is: Has someone started teaching servers that the last impression is the one that gets them a tip?
If so, someone fire that guy. Each time it has happened to me lately, I adjusted the server in my mind to a bad salesperson. Why? Simply put, if they could be that unbelievably nice at the end of my meal, why weren’t they that way the whole time? In fact, if that was the case, I would have given an extra tip! I can’t help it. I love happy, can-do-anything kinds of servers. It’s probably because I was a waiter once, and I understand how easy it is not to be nice. Consistency should be the goal. Let me think you’re always nice, not just when you want a tip from me.
A classic example of “doing it right” is Chick-fil-A. Every time you enter a store, you are treated consistently well from beginning to end. The staff is courteous and respectful. When you say, “thank you,” they always follow it up with “my pleasure.” That’s the kind of customer service that makes you want to tip big!
Interestingly enough, the wait-until-the-end phenomenon isn’t just for servers. In fact, you’ve probably noticed it in several different places. How about the rude receptionist who suddenly realizes you might actually say something about them to the person you’re meeting with? All of a sudden, they are as sweet and as interested in you as they can be.
To me, the issue is people not going the extra mile to make all customers feel amazing through the whole process of the transaction. There may be a ton of good reasons that they aren’t “feeling it” that day, but none of them matter in the eyes of the customer. All they know is the experience with that person. And that can be the difference on whether the customer returns or not.
As leaders, it’s our job to make our team successful. Part of that is ensuring they have all the tools necessary to do their job, including instruction on serving customers each and every time they interact with them. Be excellent in the ordinary. The goal is not to shine when the moment is right. It’s to shine the whole time. Then, every moment is right.
Question: Have you noticed the same actions happening? If so, where?
- Food service…is that an oxymoron? (ChrisLoCurto.com)