It’s The Little Things

We just stayed in a five start resort and whilst the place was beautiful (and must have cost a fortune to create) it’s the little things let it down… to the point that would probably not go there again.  This got me thinking about our industry and how this same tragedy happens every day in restaurants.

So we have this beautiful holiday resort, highly equipped with the latest gadgets including an infinity swimming pool overlooking the ocean but… (Here are 3 examples of “buts”, there were more but I won’t bore you)… the cleaners didn’t clean the walkways and steps meaning guests had to wade through leaves and litter day after day.  The maid refused to vacuum the floor in our room (she did tell me which cupboard I could find the vacuum myself though!)  The manager couldn’t tell me where I could rent a DVD for the night and he didn’t bother to find out for me either.

Now don’t get me wrong, we had a great holiday but because the little things were not taken care of this place will not be receiving repeat business which in all probability would be worth tens of thousands of dollars to them.

It was quite obvious everyone was just doing “enough”, they were doing their jobs, but they weren’t doing anything to wow their guests.  This place has to discount their prices on a last minute booking website so obviously they don’t have their front end (new business) marketing strategies nailed down.  Therefore, they aren’t too busy to care about standards, yet they aren’t motivated enough to do the little things to get the easy sales (repeat business).  This smacks of the owners/managers not working “on” the business but “in it” and/or not having systems (standard operating procedures) in place for staff to follow.

In my experience most people will do the least they can get away with at work and so if there aren’t clear procedures, standards, a checking system and consequences in place the quality of work will be just above what the boss tolerates.

As an owner, it is your responsibility to set the standards and, procedures and monitor them; if you don’t then you have no reason to be upset when people work to their own standards.  In many cases their standards will not be high enough to create the “WOW Experience” that is required if you want repeat business and great word of mouth marketing.

Ask yourself these questions…

Do I know the exact dollar value of repeat business in my business?

Do I know what needs to happen to create wow experiences in my business?

Do I have very clear step-by-step procedures in place that mean those things will occur every time?

Do I have a system for checking and monitoring adherence?

Do I have a management system in place for managing non adherence? Am I willing to use it?

Am I willing to work on the business instead of being busy in it?

(NB the excuse of being too busy is often more to do with you needing to feel that you’re personally necessary for the roles you play than actually having someone else be 100% productive in them.)