Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chicken Wings in the Morgue?

Have you ever been at a restaurant where you felt totally unwelcome? I'm not talking about the kind of ignoring that happens when a place is totally slammed with customers; rather an atmosphere where people don't really care if you spend your money there.

The other day my friend, Tony, and I decided to visit a well known restaurant in Madison, WI. I won't divulge the name of the establishment, but I will tell you that they serve chicken wings...and they have a city located in New York as part of their name. We were eager to catch up and do some solid masterminding over an ice cold beverage. Not only were we not greeted when we walked through the door, but I wound up having to go to the bar to purchase our drinks. It was pretty obvious that the service staff was more interested in their conversations and text messaging than they were in helping to gain revenue for their establishment.

After about 20 minutes of masterminding and brainstorming, Tony and I began to wonder if we had some kind of plague or third eye growing out of our forehead. Perhaps we were on the set of Night of the Living Dead. No one had even said "Hello." At that moment, we decided to visit one of my favorite sushi hot spots named Wasabi.

We were greeted by everyone within seconds of entering, and shown to our table. The server was very gracious and pleasant and she was genuinely happy to provide us with a memorable experience. Guess which place will be around 6 months from now?

Here are a few lessons that you may apply to your business to help create great experiences for your clients:
1. Train the "Director of First Impressions." This can be a hostess, administrative assistant, or anyone who is the first point of contact for your customer. This person is often overlooked and under-appreciated, yet they set the foundation for the experience that people will have when they do business with you. Take care of them.
2. Check in on your guests. No one likes to look around to find their server. It is your job to take care of your guest.
3. Communicate with people if there was a mistake. A simple "I'm sorry we took so long to serve you, but we are a bit short staffed tonight." Would have cast a completely different light on the experience which I described above.

There is nothing like helping people create a fantastic experience. Many businesses spend barrels of money to get people through their doorway, but they neglect them when they are there. The easiest and most cost effective way to grow your business is to take care of the customers that you already have. I hope that you and your staff will continue to live with an "Always Better Your Best" attitude!
For more information about booking The Shef for your next event, visit http://www.theshef.comor call our offices at 1-800-863-2591.
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