Job Descriptions: Dead
Wood or Living Tools? - your input needed!
Service Viewpoints Forum Highlights
In the Easytraining Insights newsletter of yesterday, I quote the owner of Restaurante Fellini in Brazil, who offers great value to his customers and to his employees. No wonder his business is booming. The main point of the Newsletter was about Customer Service as being composed of three important elements:
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The owner of Restaurante
Fellini has an integrative human approach in the management
of his operation. He considers Customer and Employee needs and
expectations, extends recognition, incentives and rewards to
both parties, based on the principle: Treat your employees right
and they will treat your customers right. With his permission,
I am quoting a short description of what his management and
" I will list some of the things that we do which makes us different:
- We don't charge unhappy customers; if you don't like it, you don't pay. We respect word of mouth.
- Normally we have lines outside waiting for room. For these people, we serve outside soft drinks and draft beer with some appetizers for free, respecting our customer's patience to have business with us.
- We do not give discounts or make promotions. Instead, when our "frequent customers" come to pay, we tell them that today they are our guest (you can imagine how thankful and happy they become). Yes, here in Restaurante Fellini there is a free meal !
- Normally we give kids a dessert for free (you can imagine how happy parents get when someone pleases their kids).
- We call (follow up) every customer who places food orders "to go" (normally on Christmas, New Year, and special dates and events). And for those who aren't happy, we send their money back , we apologize and send an invitation to come dine in the restaurant itself as our guests (free).
- Every time a customer praises one of our employees, we give the employee US$ 5 in reward for the "great customer service" they extended .
- We call our customers when we have in our buffet their favourite plates (we have a gastronomic buffet, which changes daily).
- Customers who come to enjoy their birthday with us are our guests.
- There are other
benefits our employees receive. Our cashier got a 17-day tour
of Europe, our night manager got a brand new car!, ours pasta
chef got a 5 day-cruise, the person in charge of the office
got a new home computer, our waiters got air tickets to visit
where their family live (and more...) "
I often spoke with people who were in charge of human resources and/or training who admitted that they were never copied on customer feedback. They immediately responded: "This goes to our marketing department (or to our public relations department). "
How can one be attuned to company needs without being continuously in the know on how the company is performing, as seen and experienced by customers and the outer world? Such knowledge would even help in employee selection, evaluation, and reward. Moreover, such "live" feedback is the perfect basis on which to plan the necessary training programs.
Recently, as a Customer, I had occasion to be very upset at three technology and communications companies because each of them overcharged me.
One of them, after much aggravation and time loss, had to repay me around $130, the other, $60, and the third $10. All in the same month. Here we have to do with the mistakes made by the Accounting and Billing Departments. In each case, except for one, the girl in charge of the billing department argued, trying to justify their charges and wouldn't listen. Regardless of the quality of technical service one gets, when this "back of the house" department makes mistakes and the person stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the mistake, refuses to credit back your Visa so that management wouldn't ask questions, one gets a very bad impression of the company. Actually, one gets very irate until finally upper management has to deal with this billing overcharge.
Most of you discussed "change management". Except for the phone company the mistakes were made due to change in ownership and management. Something else to keep in mind when companies change hands: not to give free rein to accounting clerks to make mistakes but be very careful in order not to irritate customers.
The point of this
posting is: Do HR and Training people make sure they are attuned
to what's really happening in the company? Customer feedback
and customer relations are not only for marketing and PR departments.
These are vehicles to assess how the company and employees are
performing and one has to be constantly up-to-date regarding
this. Performance feedback should not originate only from the
It is worthwhile
opening for discussion today's trends regarding customer service
for air travellers.
question is " Is attitude trainable?"
Response from Moderator:
behavior on the other hand,(a persons conduct & actions),which
may or may not be related to the above, is relatively easy to
modify or change. And yes,it has to do with all of the areas
Claire touched on above. It is related to standards, performance,
orientation, measurement, evaluation, review, training, coaching,workplace
environment,skill development, etc,etc.,and most important,reprimand
& praise. Communication & leadership are key. This is
not rocket science,but it can be deep, and tough to fully cover
in a response. Bottom line...focus on conduct or behavior with
great consistency, and over time desired attitude will evolve
in most(it may take years). However, positive change in conduct
will come quickly. Be fair, forgiving, respectful, caring ,
but absolutely firm.