Revolution Brewing

I’ve had so much bad service lately I couldn’t begin Customers in Lineto detail each incident.  Long lines, frazzled team members and cranky customers as a result.  When it has FINALLY been my turn, I engage the staff and try to be pleasant.  In showing a bit of empathy, they have all quickly revealed that the lines are the result of how management has elected to cut expenses. Customers are surly by the time they reach the counter and  take it out on the only staff they see.   An employee revolution is brewing and by the time the economy fully recovers and they go elsewhere, the damage to your business and the reputation of your business will already be done.  

I ask questions and here is what I have learned from YOUR team:

1.  They think you are clueless about the situation you have created.  While they are out there taking the heat from customers, you are in your office.

If the economy has frozen hiring, supervisors and managers should pitch in and help ease the burden during peak times.  Seeing you working alongside them will do as much for morale as it does for moving the line.  Who knows, perhaps if you see the damage being done with your customers as a result of your decisions, you may find less conspicuous ways to save money.  If you have to lobby up the corporate ladder for resources, this will give you first hand experiences to bolster your position.

2.  They don’t feel valued.

Recognition is and always has been the single greatest motivator of people.  It doesn’t have to be a plaque or a ceremony like Employee of the Month – any form of recognition from a bottle of cold water, a bite size Snicker bar (your efforts are nothing to snicker about) to a sincere word of appreciation.

3.  Their feedback is not welcome.

Sure, a business is not a democracy.  Everyone doesn’t get a vote and no one wants to listen to the same complaint over and over.  However, a vehicle for employees to share their constructive suggestions could give you a gem of an idea to solve a problem.  Even if not, it would help the team feel heard.  Consider a form they can opt to not put their name on in a real or electronic suggestion box.

4.  As soon as the economy recovers, they are GONE!

TakeThisJobAndShoveItHow expensive is it for you to recruit, hire and train new team members?  How expensive will it be when the economy recovers and everyone is competing for the best hires?  Perhaps an investment of your time, attention and empathy NOW could help you prevent the exodus looming on the horizon.

The more you can bring your team into the fold and both get their suggestions for solving problems and express empathy for the situation the more likely they will feel included and valued.  The investment you make in your team is the best thing you can do TODAY to improve the customer experience and insure the position of your company for the future.

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One Response to “Revolution Brewing”

  1. Gayle Sprague O'Donnell Says:

    What an appropriate post, really hitting home after just returning from a trip to Las Vegas where the management team at Bally’s hotel/casino are doing exactly what you discussed in this article – cutting customer service personnel at the front desk and causing the guests to stand in very long lines. Couldn’t agree with you more!!

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