During our day trips out and about the shops and leisure outlets (when it was allowed), we have all suffered poor service at one time or another, but coming out of lockdown this week, I have been made keenly aware of it, and two experiences in the one day got me thinking about not front-line staff, but the management in these stores, shops, and restaurants.
My first experience was in The Range, a great store for everything and anything, but while I was being served by the lovely counter assistant, a Manager pushed her out the way in a flustered manner to access the till not bothering to acknowledge the customer (me) now being made to wait until she had finished. A minute or so later, she left as abruptly as she arrived, and when I sympathized with the assistant, she replied shaking her head, “she is always like that!”
Later on in the day, I went to our local Harvester, as it had been a while since we last frequented the restaurant due to the latest lockdown, and which is a place I like to take all the team at TPS out for the occasional meal to get away from the busy office for a few hours and keep morale high. On entering the place, a rather stern-looking Manager came to greet me with stern eyes peering above her facemask and leaning on the service desk, abruptly saying “Yes!” To which I replied, “I’m looking for a table for tomorrow afternoon for 7 people please”. The look of horror in her eyes caught me by surprise, as she protested forcefully, “I can’t do that” (referring to the only 6 people rule I assumed) “how about a table for 4 and another for 3 then?” I replied calmly, which seemed to be a logical and common-sense solution to the problem of the seating arrangements. Tapping (or banging) on the seating screen, she retorted, “I’m not sure”… “Just forget it”, was my frustrated response to a Manager, who needed a real kick up the ass and reminded that customers pay her wages, and it is her job to make customers feel welcome, and not put obstacles in the way.
What chance do business owners have when the Managers of their businesses are the ones cheesing off valuable customers, especially after being closed for so long due to the pandemic.
Look after your team, they look after your customers.
Now at TPS, we have an excellent manager in the shape of Elaine, who deals with everything that comes her way with a smile and “Can do” attitude and leads the office team by example; a customer-focused individual who does her very best for our customers and team. A real credit to her profession.
And as an employer, I am keenly aware of the “Bullwhip” type of Manager who rules by inducing fear and doesn’t think about the money in the till from valued customers; These dinosaurs would never be allowed to last at TPS.