If you don’t create a culture where employees love doing their best work, why would you surprised if your customers are unhappy?
When I was ordering dinner through room service in a very upscale hotel whose name I won’t mention, I asked the woman who was reciting the specials to me to make a recommendation.
She replied, “They’re all good.” I pressed further and asked her which one of the specials she enjoyed the most.
I was shocked when she told me that she hadn’t tasted any of them because they weren’t allowed to eat the food. I wondered how servers could make an honest suggestion or give their opinon.
I’ve worked in and with the hotel and restaurant industry for over twenty years. I have never not been able to taste the food, so that I could help patrons make decisions that would match their palates.
I let the hotel employee know my thoughts, and told her that I would write a letter to the owner, which I immediately did. I never heard back.
I did hear later, however, of the high turnover of the staff and customer complaints about the service.
It’s obvious to me. Treat your employees like honored guests which will make them feel good about themselves and their work, and they will treat their customers and fellow employees like honored guests, which in turn will mean repeat business and a better brand.
By treating your employees like honored guests, you help improve the quality of their life and make it easier to balance work and home because when they go home they feel good about what they do. When they treat their customers like honored guests they are helping to improve the quality of life by providing each customer with a great experience.
I compared the experience at the hotel whose name I won’t mention, with my experiences at Chez Panisse, a well known restaurant here in Berkeley, CA. I love every meal. The service is outstanding. I always feel like an honored guest and the servers are all well versed in the food, the taste and ingredients and are able to describe each dish in a way that makes me want to try everything and return for more. For years, Chez Panisse has recognized the importance of treating their employees well. Employees get to taste everything and when they make a recommendation, I know it is honest and I’m able to trust their judgement. I’ve enjoyed every meal I’ve experienced there.
Why is it difficult for some managers and leaders and business owners to not make the connection between happy employees and happy customers?