How do the customer know what kind of day the shop is having?
by Mike Haley
by Mike Haley
This week I went to watch my son play a lacrosse game. The game was in Pittsburg which is about four hours from my house. On the east coast we measure distance by time not miles. On the ride back around 9:45pm my wife wanted to stop and get something to eat. Fighting off all my male instincts to continue driving until we are there or out of gas I agreed to stop at a well-known exit for gas and food off the turnpike. We approached the sub sandwich franchise (no names) and waited behind another couple. No one was at the counter and the couple in front of us made the comment they were not sure if anyone was working. After the young lady yells hello about a minute later here comes Jake shuffling around the corner trying to get his shirt tucked back in and adjust his pants. As he approached the corner with his slumped shoulders and head tilted down. It was obvious in about four seconds we were definitely a disturbance to his closing procedures. As the couple in front of us kept request certain subs Jake was quick to say what he was out of and not able to do anything. After about the fourth no from Jake my wife and I decided to try somewhere else. How many times has your actions or mannerisms at the service desk told the story of what is going on currently with your shop?
How many times have we stuttered when asked how long will that take or can that be done today? How many inappropriate internal conversations go on at the service desk within ear shot of the customers? Have what I will call elevated conversation between service writers and technicians taken place at the service desk and then a customer’s walks up to the desk and the service writer is unable to recover before speaking to that customer. Looking at your service desk area at any given time what kind of story does it tell? Are we clean, organized with no clutter? Or do we have everything we have done that day and two days prior spread out over the entire area and complaining we need more room and can’t find a thing? I think Dennis Snow a former Walt Disney World employee puts it best. Don’t ever let back stage become front stage. The service desk is where most of the interaction with our customers take place. So why would that be the place we drop off our business laundry? Whenever you see a great event (sports, concerts, and professional services) they go through pain staking detail so back stage is not seen to the customer. If it is seen it’s no longer magic or impressive. We absolutely need to follow this model. I would love to hear your feedback on what you do to keep back stage from becoming front stage?