Excellent Customer Service
On a recent training trip, I visited a nationally known restaurant. The greeter appeared to be uninterested in her job as “greeter”, with no smile or even an ounce of a dashing personality. She said, "How many?” and I said, "One”. She said, "Did you want to sit at the bar or would you like a table?” To which I replied, "I would like a booth if possible.” Apparently not hearing me, she stated, "But the bar is full service.” To which I replied, "If you have any tables, that would be great.” Just a note – the restaurant was about half full. So, I took a table.
I could tell you about the rest of the wonderful experience – wonderful waitress, a manager who came over to see how my meal was, staff who were energetic – but what I remember is my lowest level of service – the greeter (although I do believe that title is pushing it a bit).
Ironically, as I was eating and reading the news on my phone, this particular restaurant was noted as losing 15% in sales this year, with the chance of being sold off. Hmmmm. Apparently a lot of people do not like eating at the bar.
So, what can we take from this? Well, let’s start with the obvious. A greeter should be just that, a person who offers a fantastic first impression and is clearly aware of their role in the organization. They have the opportunity to set the tone for the entire experience. And they should listen. When I noted I was not interested in sitting at the bar, that should not have been another option. The initial option could have been “Would you like a table, booth or to sit at the bar, where there is full service?” Hey, everyone loves options!
I will admit, I missed the opportunity to speak with the manager. What I did love about him was that he was what I like to call a hands-on manager. If someone needed a refill, he didn’t go get the waiter or waitress, he refilled the glass. So, yes, I missed that opportunity. Shame on me.
If you have a “greeter” at your company (whoever that might be), please make sure they know how effective they can be. You can role model with them; let them walk in and see what others see.