Many workers/service providers have no idea how their leader (the owner, manager or company), is expecting them to deliver service. Without proper training, service providers simply flounder. They may not understand that they have a strong influence on:
- how many times customers may return
- the long-term value of a customer
- a reflection of future sales, and by association, a future pay cheque
Just last week I dropped into a McDonald’s to grab a coffee. I couldn’t see their WiFi network on my phone’s network list. I asked the girl behind the counter “Do you have WiFi here?” to which she responded “I don’t know about that” and walked away to her other duties. My jaw dropped in disbelief of this uncaring response. This girl had either not had any training, or she did and… had forgotten how to treat customers.
Proper training would have taught her that if you don’t know the answer to a customer’s question, you find out. Full stop. Otherwise, it’s an “unfinished transaction”.
The server in question was young, around the age of 17 is my guess. It is quite possible that this was her first job and that she had not yet been taught the importance of caring for customers (or worse, for anyone). I don’t entirely blame her, I’m inclined to fault the management for not having provided the training.
Compare the above McDonald’s experience to that of “No Frills” described here. Night and day.
Does it matter? Yes!
The only time I get my coffee from this McDonald’s location is when I have to, when I’m waiting for my car to be serviced nearby. Otherwise, I avoid it at all costs.
(UPDATE: Since I wrote this article, a Tim Horton’s opened next door to this McDonald’s. Guess where I get my coffee now when my car is serviced? Guess who lost a customer?)
As business owners or managers, we shouldn’t assume our employees know how to serve. It’s our responsibility to ensure all employees know how to deliver top notch customer service and our responsibility to fill any weaknesses with training. It’s imperative that all our employees are intimately aware of our business’ ethos.
The importance of providing consistent excellent service to the company’s customers can’t be understated. Survival and success depends on it.