Outside looking in and it’s not good

You can tell a lot about the quality of the food, drink, rooms and service by how the entrance looks

Bleary eyed and ready for coffee I approached a well known coffee shop  near Tottenham Court Road station. I nearly walked away.. above is a picture of the tables near the entrance.  I should have trusted my instincts and left but I continued.

Inside despite it being very quiet there were four people behind the counter, discussing pay rates, incentives and work conditions. It took a while to get someone to serve me and even then the person continued to take part in the discussion only giving me half of his attention.

I asked if the manager was off today as I was thinking bad service is usually an indication of lack of leadership. One of the team were pointed out to me as the “acting” manager. Just for the record he’s a terrible actor!

What would you have done if you heard a customer asking who the manager was albeit in a friendly way?

He continued his discussion about incentives with the person who was making the coffee. This meant she did not give me the attention she should have, therefore the drink was too strong, there was no eye contact, smile or greeting.

My first impression was that they simply did not care about the customer. What a wasted opportunity. I wondered if they felt that being on Tottenham Court Road  they did not have to try.  The customers will come in no matter what. Wrong!

Customers have a choice and there is a lot of competition. We will go elsewhere if we are not happy about the standards and service and we will tell others. 

According  to a facebook research (2012) customers will tell on average 140 others about their experience good or bad.

Businesses have nowhere to hide. 

When I worked with the team to set up All Bar One we developed our twelve points of excellence. The business must haves! One of these were to ensure the outside was immaculate. Everyday they had to deckscrub the pavement before opening, make sure the ivy was alive, the windows clean and the brass sign sparkling. We told the team if the outside looks perfect customers will have faith in the standards and quality and they will come in.

Make sure the entrance is immaculate 

Once the outside looks great, ensure the team are fired up and ready to go.  I realise in a busy branch it is hard to take people off the floor to brief them but any  sensitive information you need to share i.e. pay rates and incentives should not be done in front of customers. He could have taken the team to the side two at a time away from the counter or even as one to ones. Those that remained could have then given the customer their undivided attention and the ‘Universal caring behaviours’

The Universal Caring Behaviours 

Look at me

Acknowledge me

Smile at me and give me eye contact

Talk to me

Anticipate my needs

Remember my name

Thank me

Invite me back

They did none of those and I certainly will not be going back.

Why not share the Universal caring behaviours with your team today in the brief and pin this blog on your notice board. 

mjinspire have launched skillsbootcamp 90 minute accelerated learning sessions to build leadership and team capability. It is a flexible solution to learning, you can send one or 20 delegates, they are back in time for lunch. Contact us at hello@mjinspire.com for more details.

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