Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons
Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

In this article, Paul Winans explores what you can learn from waiters and waitresses about customer service.

Recently I stayed at two different hotels, both part of the same chain. The price of the room gets you complimentary breakfast and internet. This was a good deal for me and my client.

Morning of Day 1 at the first hotel, I heard some yelling coming from what I assume was the kitchen. I thought that the work there must be as mindless as the three factory jobs I had early in my life, where all you can do to assert your individuality is to make some noise.

The server who was attending to the breakfast offerings did come out of the kitchen. She never looked at me or anyone else. Tables were bussed and the offerings replenished, but that was it.

The food was not that great.

Morning of Day 2 at the first hotel there was a new server. I pointed out to him that the orange juice was watery, as it was yesterday when I did not really having anyone paying attention to me or the other diners. He said “Try this other button and then I will change the container in the first dispenser.” The other button worked and he changed the container.

He checked with me while I was eating.

The food tasted better.

Morning of Day 3 found me at the second hotel. The server there was a pleasant person who asked me how I am and if she could help me. I felt like I was appreciated.

The food was good.

When working with clients, the choices you and your people make about how to interact with them can have a lot to do with the clients’ experiences. Being nice goes a long way to making the experience feel better.

It does not cost more to be nice, to be attentive. It does not take more time. In fact, it will save time in the long run because the client feels like you are on their side, reducing fear and increasing trust.

Remember that what you actually are serving is often less important than how you serve it. Want good social media ratings and good responses on your client surveys? Be nice.

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