A Moment From Our Lips – A Lifetime Connection Lost or Built!

Do you remember that saying “A Second on our Lips – A Lifetime on Our Hips”!  I may be showing my age, but I remember my mum reminding me of this when taking that extra biscuit or piece of cake.  

For some reason this saying resonated with me when contemplating the theme of this short article in relation to comparing two very recent customer experiences which were very brief but with very different, long-term consequences.

The first was here in Malta when I stopped quickly on my way home as my husband and son fancied a pizza. I ordered the pizza and paid and sat to wait as was told it would be 15 minutes and I didn’t have anything else to do before getting home… so I decided to wait.  I sat and watched the chef and a waitress laugh and giggle with someone and the person who took my order was watching on.  The time was ticking away but I thought that my pizza was cooking.  After around 20 minutes I saw the chef go up to the cashier and it was obvious he was talking about my pizza order.  I went up and asked and was told “no your pizza is coming now madam”.  So I sat down again and soon after I walked over to see the chef just getting a pizza ready. I asked whether that was the pizza which I had ordered, now 25 minutes ago!  The chef said to me that he just received the order and pointed to the piece of paper towards me, indeed quite rudely.  I looked to the person who took the order and he again told me “the pizza is coming”.  I asked why, when there were no other customers, is the pizza just going in now and was then told “the technology must not be working!” Yet there were approximately 4 sets of eyes watching me order and wait!  After approximately 40 minutes I walked out thinking “never again.”  No apology but I was made to feel that I was wrong asking why it was taking so long.  My husband and son did love their pizza but I will never purchase from this establishment again.

The second was just last week while in France.  My husband and I went to a Beach Club and the staff member who showed us to our beach chairs was extremely friendly and helpful.  He asked for our names and continued to refer to us by name throughout our stay.  Two days later we decided to go to the same place as we had received such great service from Erik.  And guess what it was very busy when we arrived, we didn’t have a reservation however Erik approached us and said Welcome Back Robyn and Brian – and proceeded to organise beds for us with a great smile to go with it.  My husband said how impressed he was that he remembered our names and Erik responded – I am in the customer service business – that is what we do isn’t it?  They did have a computerised reservation system and yes he could have referred to it and said – sorry we don’t have any reservation for you but he didn’t.  Guess what – we have told many friends about our experience and as well I will be writing a recommendation on TripAdvisor of our personalised hospitality customer experience.

Two very simple interactions – a pizza order and seats at a beach club. Two very different outcomes – one lost a life-time customer and the other acquired recommendations and loyalty.  Both based upon humans taking decisions to respond to a situation, very differently!  

Whether you are in the Finance Industry, the Shipping Industry, the Banking Industry – well for all of us serving others, we are all in the industry of “Hospitality”. We are creating experiences for the people we make contact with that will make them want to return and recommend our business to their friends and colleagues. It is all about the hospitality customer experience!  Training and providing consistent reinforcement to our employees and colleagues to continually strive to deliver the best possible hospitality customer experience should be “what we do” every day as owners and managers in this industry.  And please, please – as technology becomes more and more a part of our business don’t let people get into a habit of “blaming” it for our own lack of focus on delivering the best possible customer experience which has long term benefit for our business.

Focus on being the best of the best in our hospitality industry each and every day and remember… Every Moment From Our Lips can Mean a Lifetime of Positive or Negative Impressions for our Guest!

Impact Consulting works with clients in all industries to “get the basics” right and create the right tools so that your team is on board and heading in the same direction. This ultimately has an impact on your operation’s bottom line. Through our Hospitality Consulting services we specialise in Hospitality Customer Experience and Hospitality Quality Assurance. 

Drop me a note on robyn.pratt@impact-consult.org if you would like to more information on our Hospitality Customer Experience Services or other consultancy services.

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