We are just back from a great little break for some winter sunshine. (Flew out ahead of Storm Ciara & got back in time for Storm Dennis!) The trip was our annual All-Inclusive break in the Canaries and very nice it was too.
Being responsible for the business, its direction, strategy, income and most other things can make it difficult to switch off while on holiday so there's a real satisfaction to setting the 'Out of Office' on my email & changing my phone message.
But even with those things done, it's hard to resist the temptation to check emails while on holiday. I'm not a slave to it, but I do keep an eye on what's coming in & will often respond, even if it's just to say that Ill deal with something on my return.
Of course, my significant other can take a dim view of this and, especially in my previous position as a salaried worker, she would ask if I was checking work emails with a slight frown ... But now it's 'our' business, it seems to be ok, as long as it doesn't become all consuming. Checking emails also means that there can be less to deal with on our return and so it's easier to slot back into work.
But I'd be interested in your view. Whether business owner or worker, what's your view on work emails & holidays? Are they intrusive or invited?
Of course, while on holiday my mind will often reflect on the business and how the Hotel we are staying in provides services.
This musing led to the following two questions:
Why did Tony get the Tip?
In my past, I've had cause to speak to groups of hospitality students and my core question in respect of Customer Care is "What is your job?". Invariably the answer is "Receptionist, Server, Barman, etc." But, to my mind, their job is to make sure I have the best time possible & enjoy my experience of being in their establishment, be it a bar, a restaurant, hotel or other destination.
I don't tend to carry cash on an All-Inclusive holiday, which means I don't often tip. But this time, one of the waiters really understood how to engage with us and how to make a subtle difference through being attentive without being obtrusive. I was especially happy when he put my next beer in the ice bucket! As a result, we got to know him & looked out for him in the restaurant.
So that was Tony, he got it right & he got a tip!
And that set me thinking, of course, about how we could act to become attentive without being obtrusive and make sure that our customers look for us before we look for them.
That's a kind of pro-action that is hard to gauge but worth trying to get right.
So, what are your ways to make sure your customers think of you?
Where are the Bowls?
The Hotel had a sumptuous buffet, but the bowls and plates were often in the most obscure places.
This was our 4th visit to the hotel, so we knew where the bowls were and I often found myself directing others, especially those who had just arrived.
And this got me thinking about the times we create obstacles for our customers?
A great deal of time and attention had gone into the preparation and display of the food, but no thought had gone into how the customers were actually going to eat it!
So, as always, I'd be interested in your thoughts on 'sales prevention' tricks that you've seen. And what can you do in your own business to make sure your customers know where the bowls are?
I look forward to hearing from you.