Power to the People

Author: Patti Hone

Date: FEB 27th, 2015

Topic: Industry Experts

There was an advertising campaign for a national burger chain in the 70’s that had a catchy jingle. It went

“hold the pickle, hold the lettuce

special orders don’t upset us

all we ask is that you let us serve it your way”

You may remember it, or not, but it certainly conveyed that anything a customer wanted, was not a problem and they would be happy to oblige.

To be honest, I don’t know if that mantra still applies but the chain certainly doesn’t advertise that they are that customer focused anymore.

Is it because its just too difficult to please customers now a days? Or that employees just can’t be bothered going that extra mile when its so much easier to just give the customer a cookie cutter experience rather than one that is unique to them?

I have found over the years having dealt with a multitude of franchise businesses that many systems have lost sight of fact that one of the main reasons customers come to your store is for great customer service. and who provides that to them? The people on the front line.

Your employees are your greatest asset. They are as important as the merchandise on your shelves. Because without the right people representing you and your brand, your business will never flourish.

When looking to hire someone, look for someone who expressed a passionate commitment to service your customer. Hire people with the right attitude. Skills can be taught, attitude can’t.“ appreciate everything your associates do for your business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a well-chosen, well-timed, sincere word of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.” Sam Walton

Yes, it's true that people get paid for the job. But the best employees don't work at your company just for the money. Empowered people need a greater level of satisfaction than simply financial stability. They need to feel that leadership appreciates their contribution and values their participation. Make an effort to find ways to say "thank you" or celebrate the good things your employees do. If they have to ask how they are doing, you are not doing your job as a positive leader.

The attitude you display with your loyal customers has to be translated to customers with complaints or who are dissatisfied. Don’t avoid them; that never solved anything.

Acknowledge the customer. Listen to their issue and try to offer a solution immediately that will make everyone involved happy.

Empower your employees. They represent you and your brand. Make sure they understand the importance of connecting with your customers. Let them know what you expect of them and encourage and support them to go the extra mile.

The empowered employee is able to create a feeling of true customer service that eventually yields a much greater customer loyalty. Empowered employees take pride and ownership in their jobs when they know they are encouraged and supported to exercise independent judgement when needed.

So the next time someone asks you to “hold the pickle, hold the lettuce” remind your employees that “special orders don’t upset us”…in fact they motivate and inspire us to create an experience that will turn a regular customer into a loyal and happy customer.

Learn more about franchise business opportunities in Canada at Be The Boss.