A few days ago, I stopped by Chick-fil-A to grab some lunch.
I expected to get the all-star customer service they are known for. Normally, that is what happens. You are met by a smiling employee that has a pleasant attitude and says "my pleasure."
For the first time in my experiences with Chick-fil-A, I was met by a person who had no smile and looked like it was the day the world was ending.
The person gave off the vibe that said, "Why are you bothering me? I hate my life and my job. And I'll serve you not because I want to, but because I have to. And once we finished our order, there was no "my pleasure." It felt more like, "Get out of here and leave me alone."
Some where there has been a breakdown. Leadership (the manager) hasn't given proper training or hasn't followed up on the training. Perhaps she is going through a really hard time. If so, her manager should have picked up on it and encouraged her.
It was a reminder of this. If you want to see guests return, you need to have rock-star volunteers at the guest services area. People who have a pleasant personality. People who know how to make guests feel welcomed and comfortable. People who naturally smile.
We know people decide if they are going to return within the first 8 minutes. This is why you need to place your very best people as greeters and check-in volunteers.
This is crucial. A new family may have positive interactions with the majority of people on your team. But they will be turned off by just one person who interacts with them in a negative way. And people remember. And how do they do to express that? They simply don't return.
While no one owns the guest. Everyone does own the minute or so they are with the guest. And remember if everyone except one person treats them with kindness, they will remember the unkindness more than anything else.
You need people with All-Star attitudes on your guest services team. Here's what to look for..
A - Attitude (this is one of those things that you can't be trained to do)
L - Love for people (place people who naturally love people)
L - Laugh with people (someone with a happy attitude)
S - Smile - (should have a natural default to smiling rather than frowning)
T - Talker (know how to talk with new people and put them at ease.)
A - Attention (focuses their attention on the guests and makes them feel like the most important person in the world)
R - Relational (people person who knows how to build relationships with new families)
Wonder how your guest services team is doing in these areas? Have someone else watch them and write a report that will show current strengths and weaknesses.
Assemble a team of people with All-Star attitudes and you'll see guests smiling and returning.