May 2014

Is Your Staff Armed with 'Freedom' and 'Knowledge'?

Ralph Salisbury

In last month’s Blog (scroll to April), I wrote about the importance of getting to know your staff. I stated that your staff is a big part of your customer’s ‘total experience’. In its April 2014 issue, Boardroom Magazine has an article titled “Guest Recovery” by Nancy M. Levenburg. ‘Guest Recovery’ has become a common phrase for applying specified practices to preserve a disappointed customer; much of it is common sense. An underlying theme in these suggested practices, however, is what I term ‘Staff Response’. Your staff’s response will dictate the success of Customer Recovery. But how does your staff know how to respond? Responses must be prompt and courteous with a controlled sense of accommodation. Is your staff armed with the ‘freedom’ and knowledge necessary to offer such responses? Only you as owner/manager can arm them accordingly. It is your responsibility to know that your staff will perform according to your standards, and respond to a troubling situation as you yourself would respond. If you truly care, you will have given yourself the opportunity to know and respect your staff. Effectively educating your staff will contribute to the development of the same mindset you have which hopefully is one that understands and appreciates the concept of ‘the total customer experience’, the value of repeat business, and the desire to grow a great hospitality company.

Effectively educating your staff requires knowing your staff. If you do not know and understand your staff, you can only program them, and programming does not last long nor does it work well in business, particularly hospitality. Today’s customers are too savvy to accept programmed responses. Additional reading: Guest Experiences Gone Awry!

For Memorable and Branding Quality Menu Covers, Binder Covers, Guest Directory Covers, and more, visit Impact Enterprises at

The National Restaurant Association Show, Booth #5152, May 17 - 20 in Chicago

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