Do you verbally practice with your employees on how to speak to your clients and what you want them to say?
Last Saturday, my husband and I were visiting Maastricht, a small city in the South of the Netherlands. At lunch time we decided to go to a nice looking restaurant situated along the Maas River.
A waitress came up to us and asked, “What do you want?” My husband and I looked at each other and had the same thought, “She must be having a bad day.” She sounded very unfriendly, and it was obvious that she was bored with her job. We didn’t feel very welcome, but we decided to stay and hoped this was the only person at the restaurant who behaved like this.
The food was really good, and we wanted to order another drink. The waitress was nowhere to be seen. Nobody noticed us or even asked us if we wanted to order something else. We gave up after 20 minutes and asked for the bill. The cashier said to us, “Cash or Credit Card?” and nothing else. Our hopes were dashed. It seemed that the owner didn’t care about the communication skills of his or her employees.
So with this in mind:
- “Do you know exactly what your employees say to your clients to welcome them?”
- “Do you know exactly how your employees behave towards your clients?”
If the answer is no, my suggestion to you is to find out for yourself. Observe your employees and listen to what they say and how they behave towards your clients. You will be surprised at what you discover.
How can you make sure your employees are saying the right things in the right way? Verbal practice and rehearsal! Rigorous and consistent verbal practice is a non-negotiable for performance excellence. If you want to learn more, please contact me.
The next time my husband and I visit Maastricht, we will choose another restaurant along the Maas.
What are your thoughts?
Brenda Schäfer is a Results Consultant for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.