I’m Sorry!

That phrase, “I’m Sorry!” is not said enough.

Scenario #1

You are waiting for your coffee; there are people ahead of you and only one barista. The barista finally hands you your coffee after 4 minutes (having worked at a coffee shop for many years your drink should be done in 90 seconds) but that’s fine, 4 minutes it is. The barista says your name, and hands you the drink with no eye contact. Well now you are upset that no one said sorry for the wait and now you are contemplating if you’ll ever go back to that place.

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Scenario #2

You are waiting for your coffee; there are people ahead of you and only one barista. While the barista is making a drink he looks up and says, I am going to work as fast as I can, but it will be a little wait, I’m sorry about that. You are instantly ok with waiting. Your drink is ready, the barista knows you are there (cuz he already acknowledged you), he hands your drink and says, ‘thank you for waiting patiently, and again I’m sorry about that. I really hope this didn’t ruin your day.’ (he threw in a little joke to lighten the situation) It made you laugh and you are walking away with a smile on your face and going to talk about this place in a positive way to all of your friends.

barista

Why don’t people want to say sorry?

– We don’t like to own up to mistakes and we don’t like to be wrong. But it ultimately comes down to pride. It’s a vulnerable thing to admit when you are wrong. When a toddler hits their younger sibling, the parents don’t disown the toddler; you discipline, make sure they know they did something wrong, they apologize, and learn from their mistakes. Toddlers shouldn’t be the only ones saying sorry. We need to make sure we still say sorry, learn from our mistakes and grow.

People working in customer service deal with having to apologize all day long. They (personally) didn’t do anything wrong, but because of their job, they take ownership of where they work and create solutions for their customers.

Create Solutions! Say Sorry! Acknowledge People!

Here are a few phrases we need to add to our vocabulary:

-I’m sorry I messed up.

-Thank you for waiting.

-Thank you for being patient.

-I see you and will work as fast as I can to get you on your way.

-Welcome to…

-Hello

-Goodbye

-Is there anything I can get you?

-Do you need anything?

Be someone who says sorry, who acknowledges other people. Be someone who possesses compassion.

Why Great Customer Service is Crucial!

“How may I serve you?”

Doesn’t that phrase just make you happy? I hope that all of you have had the pleasure of experiencing the incredible customer service at Chick-fil-a. Every employee that works there has to go through intense customer service training, and their main focus in the training is having everyone understand that serving is what makes them different and stand out. It’s no wonder that they out perform KFC and still can close their doors one day a week.

Let me list a few reasons why you should consider training your staff to be amazing at customer service.

  1. Your employees will have purpose
    • Remind your employees of the why! Why are they coming to work each day? What impact are they making? This is a great tool to give to your people daily. You will have less burn out and give your employees purpose and drive to be great at what they do.
  2. Your customers will be happy and return
    • I walked into DSW today and within 30 seconds I was greeted with a hello and welcome. They saw me, and noticed me. I also like getting acknowledgement when I go to the gym. We want to be noticed. Make sure your staff is noticing your customers fast, that they have a big smile on their face, and that they are in the moment and not thinking about how badly they want to be done with their shift.

      People don’t follow companies, they follow brands, they follow experiences, and they always remember the way you made them feel. -Dale Partridge

  3. Your employees and customers will be your best referrals
    • To build followers you need to make sure you are creating a positive experience. The way that my husband makes others feel is truly a reflection of the type of servant leader that he is. He could be talking to a client, employee, friend or family member and he always makes sure to have that personal connection!
    • Connecting, serving and caring will make people come back and want more. When you elevate others and serve them, they feel it, and will be your biggest referrals! 
  4. Your focus will be on people and not profit (thank you Dale Partridge – read ‘People Over Profit’)
    • I’m reading the book ‘People Over Profit’ by Dale Partridge and ‘Dare to Serve’ by Cheryl Bachelder; both books have amazing tools in how to focus on people and not the profit. You know when that shoe salesman comes up to you and all they see are dollar signs. But there is a huge difference when a salesman comes up to me and starts asking questions instead of telling me about their product.
    • Get to know your people. Think about what’s best for them and not what’s best for you. People can easily sniff out the used car salesman. 
  5. You will have better sleep
    • When your team is trained well, when they know their purpose, and when they like coming to work…you can sleep easy. Putting time and effort into training your staff will help with your stress level, you will have less burn out, and your customers will be happier. You will find that focusing on others instead of yourself was the key all along.

The key to a fruitful life is finding ways to serve others daily. -Nikki Udicki