You cannot give what you do not have. Employees cannot care for their customers if they are not cared for.
Yesterday, my wife decided to treat me to dinner even though she was fasting. The event is like an eclipse. It seldom happens, and it’s even more seldom that it’s a complete Solar eclipse.
We were in Eastwood mall, and I did not want anything fancy, so we chose to eat at “D.” As we entered, we were greeted and walked to our table. There were no customers at the time, but for some reason, the server gave us a table near the end of a narrow hallway. It was far from where the servers stood.
We sat down and checked the digital menu. We downloaded the menu from a QR code displayed on the table. After choosing what to order, I turned around, and there was no server. I stood up and saw a server with her back turned from me.
I gently called her and sat down again. It took her a few minutes to come over, even though there was nobody else in the restaurant at the time. After taking our order, she asked me if I had a ‘B’ card. I had a digital version of my discount card on my phone as an app. I opened the app and clicked on the QR code of my membership. It showed my membership number. I assume that she would need to write this down to enter it in their POS.
Without hesitation or permission, server A just took my phone and walked to the POS to type in the membership number. I thought that wasn’t nice. However, considering that she may be having a bad day, I just kept watching to see if she did anything else with my phone. Like everyone else, we have confidential or personal information and photos on our phones.
When the food arrived, they were placed on our table. I called the same server; let’s call her server A. I asked server A for Tabasco and some tissue. Server A has been stoic or showed no emotions at all since we came. Not a smile, nothing.
Another server, server B, brought the hot sauce and tissue to our table. Server B had the same stoic look on her face. I’m not sure if she’s unhappy with her job or just tired. They had the same lifeless look. Not a very pleasant environment to be having a meal.
At the end of the meal, I asked for the bill. Sever B brought it over. She showed me the discount amount from my “B” card membership.
While opening up my gcash to pay, I asked server B what’s the name of the street across their restaurant. To my surprise, server B just quickly said she did not know. That was puzzling. She works in a restaurant and does not know the street across it. Maybe she was dropped to work by a private helicopter, so she did not have to see the street names.
I asked her to ask the manager standing near us at the time. As soon as she asked, the Manager just turned his back as if not hearing anything and just walked away. I did not make a big deal out of it. I needed the Information for the grab service I was booking.
This morning as I was processing what had happened in my mind, the quickest reaction would be to get upset with the employees. We experienced terrible customer service from a popular chain of restaurants. However, it’s not one-sided.
Of course, the employees can decide how they will treat their customers. We always have that decision regardless of what we are going through.
However, the more important question is how are they being treated by their company? How do their superiors manage them? How are they motivated and developed? How are they selected for their roles? All these play an important factor in customer service.
It’s not only the profits that stop at the leaders’ office. Accountability for their employees and customers is entirely theirs; that is what great leaders have.
Outstanding leadership takes accountability for their people and customers.
Are you taking accountability for your people and customers?