Note from Randy:
Joe Calloway is one of the most insightful people I know. I love talking to him and reading whatever he writes because he resonates and thinks at a different frequency than the rest of us.
That is why I was honored when he asked me to endorse his new book, Be The Best At What Matters Most. If you are in business, read his guest blog and buy the book. If you work in a business, read his guest blog and buy the book. If you know someone who is or works in business, read his guest blog and buy them the book.
Random vs. Consistent
A guest blog by Joe Calloway Excerpted from Be The Best At What Matters Most
What a wonderful story!
A customer service expert tells a wonderful story about a “random act of wow” by a restaurant chain. She was extolling the virtues of this restaurant and the story was about, in her words, “how they treat their customers.”
It seems that a young woman was sick and confined to her bed at home. On Facebook the young woman posted about her sad condition and said that the one thing that she was craving was a particular dish from this particular restaurant.
One of the employees of the restaurant happened to see the Facebook post. She showed it to her manager who told the staff to pack up the woman’s favorite dish and take it to her. What a wonderful story! It truly is a fabulous “random act of wow.”
That’s the trap.
But it’s NOT how they treat their customers. It’s how they treated one customer on one day when they did something special. You see, that’s the trap. We get all excited over some out of the ordinary thing that we do, or a story about something that a “superstar” employee does, and we say that’s our standard of performance.
Somebody stop the madness! It’s great that this restaurant took the surprise meal to the sick woman. Yay! They are to be congratulated! But it’s not by any stretch of the imagination how they “treat their customers” in any meaningful way.
Regular, everyday customers.
If you want to know how they treat their customers then you need to find out what their regular, everyday customers think about:
- the quality of the food
- the price
- how long they have to wait to be seated
- how long they have to wait to get their food
- whether or not the staff is efficient, effective, and nice to do business with
- is the food hot when it’s brought to the table
- how easy it is to park
- how long the wait is to pick up take-out orders
- and every other basic thing that the restaurant does every day with every
- single customer.
I’m beating this point into the ground because it’s the point that so many businesses miss. Random acts of wow are wonderful. Do them. But that’s not where you’ll win or lose the game. Don’t think that some once-a-year special thing that you do ever takes the place of being the best at what matters most consistently.
If you lose inside the box.
Put your energy, effort, and focus into doing a really, really great job on the basics and into consistency of performance. That determines how your treat your customers. Then be on the lookout for the sick customer who you can surprise with a free meal. Jump all over it.
Unless. Unless having an employee leave the restaurant to deliver this wow meal leaves the rest of the staff short-handed, and the regular everyday customers have to wait longer for their meals because of it. Then all you’ve got is one happy, special customer, and a restaurant full of customers who are angry and waiting for their food.
If you lose inside the box, you lose.