So You Seriously Don’t Know?

I want to do a survey. Of those of you who travel, when you stay at a hotel in a strange city, what is the number one question you ask the hotel desk clerk?

You don’t even have to answer, because I know what it is. Because you ask it in every new city you travel to. The question? “Where’s a good place to eat?” That’s it! By far, it is the most asked question.

So if you are a hotel desk clerk, what should your answer never be? “Hmmmmm… That’s a great question. I don’t really know what’s around here.” Seriously? What, were you beamed in from another state to start your first shift two minutes before I asked that question?

This is a frustrating moment not because you don’t have an answer, although that’s pretty bad. It’s frustrating because I’m the 11 millionth person to ask that question. And hotels are in the service industry. You should answer this question before I ever ask it—as soon as you hand me my room key.  “Mr. LoCurto, would you like a list of the local restaurants? I can also offer you my personal opinion as to which is the best in each category. I see that you are staying a couple of nights and wondered if you need something to do. May I also tell you where the best movie theater/park/hip-hop club/Chuck E. Cheese is?” (Okay, maybe just stick to the movie theater.)

As a leader and entrepreneur, this is the kind of response that makes me think, “What the heck does my team do that is just like this?” In what areas does my team not super serve my customer? Heck, what is my teams’ number one question, and can everyone on the team answer it—not just with an answer, but with the best answer?

As a leader, you’re probably not the person on the front lines. Therefore, you have to get information from those folks who might not provide your customers the same level of service you would. And if you’re not big on customer service yourself, please find someone who is!

If you want to take your company’s customer service up a notch , do these three simple things:

  • Survey your team members. Start by asking your team to list the five most common questions they’re asked. How do they answer those questions? Then ask what are the unanswered questions? Get your team involved in finding out what’s wrong with the customer experience.
  • Survey your customers. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers how they’re being treated What do they love about your service? And what absolutely drives them crazy?
  • Be your customer. I believe every leader/owner/salesperson/customer service rep should personally go through every aspect of their company’s customer service process. That’s the only way to get a true feel for the client experience.

If you will always focus on doing a better job of taking care of your customer, you can spend less time worrying about how to get them back!

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