Have you ever been at a restaurant or a hotel and had this air of annoyance because you had to ask for more water, towels or other items that are standard? When this happens to me, I am annoyed at the lack of service but also at myself because I feel like a whiner and complainer making me fall in the category of being “high maintenance.”
I was recently on a cruise having to ask for a poolside table to be cleaned, more ice in my water, more butter at the table, Parmesan cheese to be served with pasta and even crackers with the cheese plate I ordered for desert. When the crackers finally arrived, they were stale Saltines, rendering the cheese plate less than desirable.
I am so thankful and fortunate to be on a cruise ship in the beautiful Caribbean Sea, why then do I have this aura of annoyance and discontent?
I think it is because I was taught that it is so easy to be above average. I have also learned that I really hate mediocrity and doing the bare minimum to get by. Lack of excellence and high-quality service is my pet peeve and an annoyance I cannot shake.
I remember teaching my children as preschoolers to watch the counter clerk at McDonald’s. Did they have clean fingernails, eye contact with the customer, an attitude of service and creative problem-solving? Did they get angry when I shared that the order was not correct or did they immediately try to fix the issue in a pleasant and amicable manner? Were they dressed properly in a clean, pressed uniform? Were they smiling or frowning? Did they have an attitude of service or were they just putting in the time to get a paycheck?
I would continue to do this as my children got older and we went shopping in a department store. I would ask for a certain size of an item and the salesperson would tell me that everything was out on the racks. I shared with the children that this kind of employee does not represent their employer well. They should at least try to find the size I am looking for or ask another clerk, even pretend like they care about what I am looking for. Employees that actually do their job with excellence, excitement and a positive anticipatory attitude of service are above average and stand out of the crowd. It is this kind of employee that I would look to promote and reward.
Dining, shopping or traveling is a pleasant experience when those who are hired to represent their companies anticipate the needs of their customers and serve them well. Customer service should be the No. 1 priority. Companies should seek to not only meet expectations but exceed them. It is not that hard to be above average. Let’s all focus on training employees well, expecting excellence as they seek to serve others. It works for relationships and it works for business.
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