Profits/ Service/ Morale--- Oxymorons?

Phoenix

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A true story...

The hostess opened the door with smile as the party of 10 showed up at the restaurant. They were kindly told it would be 25 minutes until they could be seated. At 25 minutes the head of the party presented himself to the hostess of the good establishment and inquired as to why he and his party had not been called to be seated for their dinner. At exactly 26 minutes the head of the party lost his patience and began to raise his voice at the hostess. He caused such a commotion that the manager of the restaurant found it necessary to quickly make his way to the front door to see what needed to be done.

Jim politely introduced himself to the rude customer and explained that he was the manager. “Sir, what can I do for you?â€

The customer started to yell again and pointed his finger at the hostess. Jim immediately interrupted him. “Sir, you can yell at me, but you will not yell at my employees.†Stunned, the man then turned his attention to Jim the manager, and began his embarrassing tirade all over.

Jim allowed him to shout and explain the situation and then politely interrupted the gentleman. “Sir, if you don’t stop yelling you are going to have to leave. Here is what I can do for you. I can split your party of 10 into two parties and seat you all now, or if you give me five more minutes I will seat all of you together.â€

The irate customer calmed down and agreed to wait another five minutes.

During the meal, Jim visited their table and made sure that they were enjoying their dining experience.

When it was time to take the bill to the gentleman who had made a fool of himself, Jim personally carried it to the man and announced, “Sir, I would like to apologize that you did not receive the dining experience you expected this evening. I have adjusted your bill. All of your drinks are on the house. (“compedâ€) And here is my business card. Next time you come, ask for me. Your entire meal will be on the house. We would like you to give us the opportunity to show you the level of service that we pride ourselves on. Have a good evening.â€

Yes, it is a true story.

At first, the corporate headquarters mentioned to Jim that he seemed to have too many “comps.†But, because his sales were so much higher than the other restruants, they sent him to save five different restaurants from shutting down. (some failing health inspections and loosing $20,000 a week). Jim made all of them break even in a month and become profitable within two months.

Fast forward seven years... this month Jim will open his third restaurant. He enjoys putting his name over the door, and having his managers carry their bussiness card in their pocket. (They give their cards out to polite people too.)
 
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Phoenix

Phoenix

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That is a great story Phoenix!
But honestly do you really think anybody in the airline industry has figured out that our hero, Jim is on to something. Anybody who deals with the public knows that if you give away a couple of pieces of pie as goodwill gestures that ultimately you sell more pie!

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Piney,

Alas alak...

You disappoint me.

You missed the point. It is not about free pie for people who make an embarrassing scene.

Jim takes care of his employees and shows them how to deal with people. (No yelling at my employees who work for me, yell at me.)

In so doing he teaches his employees...

1. Take care of the guys who work for you. (Servers take care of your bussers, bartenders take care of your servers, bussers take care of your dishwashers. etc.)

2. Calm a guy down politely. Calmly and sincerely explain what you need him to do (not with an attitude but with sincerity that demonstrates you have every confidence in his character that he will comply).

3. Then explain what you can do and give him an option so he can be in charge again. Tada! He can still be a paying customer. (and you get tips!)

4. Customers are watching; Treat him better than he deserves and everyone watching will know that they are surely gonna be treated well. Happy customers are repeat customers and happy tippers!)

So happy tippers make happy employees that are able to see the reward for going the extra mile, and it is self-perpetuating.

And Jim takes care of his customers. (If you continue to yell and disrupt my customers, you will have to leave.)

The one boneheaded customer that tries to ruin everyone’s day is actually also a great opportunity to teach employees and show 30 nearby customers why they should be "regulars."

And who knows, maybe the bonehead will learn something and end up being a great manager for Jim someday. Being treated good when you don’t deserve it teaches you more than any Harvard Proff can about sales.

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“Taking care of dirt ain’t got much glory in it, but a farmer learns real fast what to take care of... Some managers are like five year old kids that play in a sandbox, yet call themselves farmers.â€￾
 
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Phoenix

Phoenix

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On 4/18/2003 10:28:32 PM PineyBob wrote:


I did indeed miss the fine points! I fell asleep on the couch so perhaps I wasn''t fully coherent.

Hal Rosenbluth of Rosenbluth Travel wrote a really good business book and it deals with the themes you mentioned in your post. His theory is essentially that it is impossible to have true customer satisfaction without employee satisfaction. The story of Jim is a great example of that theory. SWA is a great example of employee satisfaction leading to superior bottom line performance

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Yes, Hal learned something farmers have know for a few thousand years.

There once was a farmer who visited Harvard and told the Harvard Professors that if they visited his farm he could show them how to increase their profits.

Reluctantly the Professors appointed a young man to go and investigate and report what he could learn from the farmer.

Upon arriving at the farm, the farmer said to the city man in a suit, “Sir, you got to realize that the fruit is like the product, and the dirt is like the employees. You have to treat the dirt in a special way to get it to produce more fruit for ya.â€￾

“Well what do you mean?â€￾

“Let me show you, sir.â€￾

The Farmer got out his dump truck and dropped a load of cow manure on the dirt.

Before the Farmer could get out of the truck to explain, the city man was rushing back to his office to tell his friends what he had learned.

They had work to do…