Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Catch People Doing Things Right

Last night I was out to dinner and had a server (Rosa) who not only was warm and friendly, but also went out of her way and took the initiative to accommodate a special order request even when she was told by the chef it wasn't possible. As you can imagine I tipped Rosa handsomely for the service, after all she made our meal an outstanding "experience". How many of us would have stopped there feeling that the generous tip was a sufficient statement for the outstanding service? Now think about those times when we had a problem during a meal and went out of our way to summon the manager to get satisfaction for a problem unsolved.

Isn't it human nature to focus on the negative and make a big deal out of a problem, yet we seldom spend a equal amount of time complimenting and sometimes even bypass really outstanding performance. We even go so far as to spend our days, especially if we have subordinates looking for things to hold them accountable for or looking for a problem. Just imagine if we spent the same amount of time and effort looking to catch people doing things right or going above and beyond what is expected? The world would be full of happy and motivated employees, happy to please their customers (whether external or internal) and productivity would go through the roof.

We could all help guarantee equally superlative future experiences if we consistently rewarded outstanding service. Additionally, many of our interactions involve young people who are very impressionable. I remember one occasion where I complimented a young server in a restaurant for his warm smile and friendly demeanor and told him to just keep doing what he was doing to help ensure his success. His response was a big "WOW" and "thank you!" He told me that it was one of the nicest compliments he had ever experienced.

True to my philosophy of living the "1 Percent Difference" in this case, I immediately looked for the comment card which most hospitality businesses have so that I could use the "write-in" section to write effusive praise for Rosa. I didn't stop there however because I wanted to go beyond the comment card as one is never sure who reads the cards or if they're read at all. I asked for the manager and made sure that he knew how our interaction with Rosa had influenced our meal. He already had high praise for Rosa but thanked me for my positive comments relating that he seldom hears anything unless it is negative or related to a problem.

Why not start looking for people "doing things right" and pay them a compliment or otherwise reward them for such performance. Your input in this case could result in many positive future experiences for both future customers and providers.

1 comment:

Hugod3 said...

I agree completely, great comments and good encouragement for us all to do this and continue to "pay it forward".....take care