"Go the extra mile" becomes bad advise to give a co-worker if the co-workers perception of service differs. Service is the art of precisely meeting the expectation of the client. In cooking we meet the demand by giving the customer exactly what they ask for, (ie: a medium rare steak should be just that) any variances and we have failed both the customer and the ability to preform the service. The extra mile is not met and we have not preformed a service.
One definition of go is: an attempt or a trial to perform something. We have failed right there. Service is not attempting to perform it is rather performance in itself. We are servicing a client when are simply trying to do so. We must be successful at servicing for in a trial the client will always judge us as lacking therefore failing them.
Go can also mean to traverse, as in "to go the entire distance." Certainly service will take one from beginning to an end, but is it the desired end. When we preform a service we have a set goal we desired to see gained when we are complete. However the client may have a differing goal in what they are seeking for the service they are requesting. Without each have a clear understanding of the service being provided conflict is sure to arise.
We have all heard another service expression, "the customer is always right" this falls short when the customers has not defined what they want or has not communicated what they desire is. Therefore, without having a clear understanding what the customer wants, becomes a cloudy mess, in seeing the finish and therefore understanding how right the customer truly is. This maxim also gives the customer a false sense of entitlement which is often expressed in verbal (or worse) abuse of the one providing the service.
Originally coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London in 1909, his goal was to give the customer the assurance that their demands would be clearly met, therefore service would be given at the highest standard. The opposite happened, the more demanding the customer the less the service provider became willing or just unable to meet the demand. The service went down, demands went higher, were not met and service went down, demands went higher, a seemingly unbreakable circle. The result, both client and provider became unsatisfied. The clients went elsewhere as did the employees.
Question, if the abusive customers get's his or her way by unreasonable demands does this means the nice customer is therefore not right and also needs to become abusive as well. Who will return to the service offered the abusive customer or the nice one, focus on the one most likely to return. Unhappy abusive customers who believe they are right are not coming back so focus on the happy one who really believes they are right because they are satisfied. Perhaps the expression should be, "the satisfied customer is always right."
How is the customer satisfied, by a happy service provider (employee). If keeping the employee happy is the key to keeping the customer happy then we must rethink and see our way to satisfying our employees. Bad customers are bad for business great employees are great for business.
We also have a problem with if the customer is "always" right then the service provider is "always" wrong. If we (or our employees) see ourselves as providing a service in which we cannot complete believe in then we are apt not give the service that our product deserves therefore not providing the service our customers expect. If we are the ones that are wrong we cannot defend our service when the customer is wrong, and believe it or not, the customer can be wrong from time to time. The customer who throws a temper tantrum only get his or her way (at the expense of other customers or the service provider) is not right. A great service provider will stand their ground when they are right, to take away the right of the service provider from being right will reduce the employee's pride in doing their job, and their pride in working for a company who will not defend what is truly right.
Proceed Without Delay
Another definition of go is: to proceed without delay. Delay is a huge enemy of service, yet it is one of the most common mistakes committed by the service provider. There is a song "Make Someone Happy" by Jimmy Durante, the last verse is:
Make just one someone happy,
And you will be happy, too."
Free food given in exchange for poor service in a restaurant never produces a return customer nor does it negate the customers' feelings of being cheated by the poor service, whether it was the server or the kitchen, an unhappy customer becomes a non customer, they speak with their absence from the establishment.
Matthew 5:41 states, "If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles." Back in the first century AD, when the Roman Empire conquered what used to be Israel, a Roman soldier could tell a Jew to carry his baggage. As one can imagine, the Roman could abuse this right by forcing a Jew to carry his bags indefinitely. So, a law was passed that no Roman soldier could make anyone carry his stuff for over one mile.
When Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount, His audience were aghast as He came to the part that says, “If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles” (Matthew 5:41). This was a revolutionary thought. It would be like the Jew offering the Roman soldier, “Sir, I carried your load for the obligated one mile. Would you like me to carry it for one more mile?” To freely paraphrase what Jesus was saying, “Sure you have enemies. Who doesn’t? But don’t regard them in silent contempt. Do something good and kind to them that they do not expect or even deserve. If you don’t, what would make you different from ordinary people?” Therefore we must ask ourselves what makes your service different from ordinary competitors.
In a world of cookie cutter businesses, restaurants that are all identical, superstore's that offer the same merchandise, big box electronic stores that need a sound check, what is going to differ one from another? Service. Media and cell phone companies offer nearly identical plans, what is convincing to a customer to choose one or the other? Service.
The service is absolutely the difference, but when they all offer service just as they are, very much identical to each other then it becomes our job as the person requesting the service to gain knowledge of our service provider before choosing them.
When we consider the extra mile we have to think about the term" mile" what is exactly we are talking about. Put another way we need to the distance required to provide our service, then push forward way beyond that.
As a restaurant person, let's just look at the areas I am most familiar with. Going that distant, do we greet the customer at our door why not go a little further and open the door for them, this lets them know "you are most welcome here" opening the door for them as they leave says" thank you so very much for your business" certainly not hard things to do but things that speak largely in the mind of the customer.
Want to keep the customer from leaving while they wait in line at the door, offer them a bite size something. Amuse bouche (literally mouth teaser) a French term for a tidbit of free food offered to keep you happy while you wait for your first course. When offered during a waiting period it does a few things, first it puts the taste of your chef's culinary ability in their mouth causing them to want more (if good of course.) Secondly because they are hungry and now with a flavor in their mouth, they may order more once they are seated. Thirdly, this little gesture speaks to the customer that the patience they have given in waiting for the table is rewarded with a kindness by the restaurant setting the customer somewhat at ease. I learned this little kindness many years ago when a friend took me to a BBQ restaurant. We drove for nearly an hour on back country roads to get to this little shack of a restaurant. It didn't look like any place I would ever enter, out in the middle of nowhere. But although it was miles away from anything there was a line up of people in front. We were greeted by a hostess and informed that the wait would be nearly 45 minutes (an honest time period) two minutes later she returned with a couple of barbecued ribs to snack on. Once we tasted those ribs we knew we were not going anywhere no matter how long the wait may have been, they were just too good not to have more once inside. This was great service.
Once inside, the service just got better and better, drinks with 1 minute of ordering, food within 10 minutes, a friendly smiling "knowledgeable" server just what a great dining experience should be. We drove many miles and were treated very well for doing so. A restaurant could have the best food in the world but if the service is poor or worse then the experience of the food is not worth the time it took to get there, even if it's just walking across the street.
Going the distance, means getting proactive. Do you wait for the customer to request something or do you foresee the need. Just having one napkin in BBQ restaurant is not likely enough, does the server bring additional ones before asked to? Service foresees the need and responds, on hot days does the server bring ice water with lemon as they bring the menus. A proactive service cuts the problems down quickly and if one does arrive it is often far less than what it could be with poor or even average service. Being proactive is simply anticipating the need before it arises. It sees that the request of the customer is met beyond the expectation, when a special request is made it is fulfilled "exactly" as the request was made.
Thinking about going the distance as if you are forming a relationship that you really, really want badly. You are absolutely willing to do anything to see to it that it will work. Great service is exactly that, a relationship with your client that you want to continue for a very long time. As in all relationships remember actions speak larger than words. What you do in service must be beyond what you say. When you do speak, say what you mean and mean what you say. Remember back in grade school we had a time during class called "show and tell" that is exactly what service should be show me what I need and tell how you're going to fulfill my need, then I will be a happy customer. We used to do business with a simple handshake, why, because they always stood by their word. Service must be the same always do what you say. Today instead of the handshake we have long legal binding agreements which deal mostly upon one or the other not keeping their word. How much easier to say what you mean then do it.
When a customer has a need don't just tell where you find the solution, take them there. When they need something on the other side of the store take them to it. A good concierge of a hotel always sends his clients what he considers the best, not only telling them about it but arranging the transportation to get them there as well.
Relationships do not require permission to move forward. Give the service worker training and they will have the required knowledge to handle a situation without the need for a manager's approval. When the situation requires a manager's attention then the customer will know that server has already done the best to resolve the problem and manager may find the customer less hostile in dealing with.
Great service is helpful service even when there is no apparent benefit in it. There is a win always customers with a customer who is happy. The customer who leaves happy lets others know how happy they are and therefore they will come for the service as well.
Going the distance means to be known as the company of "always." Do you always serve the same meal every time it ordered, or does it vary from time to time. Do you always clean the interior of a car after it has been serviced, or just when you're not busy. Do you always treat a child when servicing the parents or is just employees who really love the kids. Do you always check a guest with a smile and a comforting word? The two demons of always are "new and improved" this tell your client that there was something wrong with the old. Do remember how Pepsi was able to cash in on Coca Cola with they introduced "New Coke" this told the customer that the old Coke simply wasn't good enough, they quickly switched back.
We know the expression "don't fix what is not broken" so don't mess with always. What works, always do it and stay with it, if you don't your customer will, by always staying away. On August 29, 2010 a sewer worker walked out of the sewer and into the Parkway Bakery & Tavern in mid-city New Orleans, dirty and grimy he orders a shrimp PO-Boy sandwich, later that day the president of the United States (much cleaner) did exactly the same thing. Why, because the Parkway always served the very best sandwich. For them always has meant over 100 years of the same great food and service.
The PO-Boy sandwich in the late 1800s was the fried oyster sandwich served on French loaves. Well known in New Orleans and San Francisco as "oyster loaves", a term still in use. The sandwich was alternately called a "peacemaker" or "La Mediatrice".
There are countless stories as to the origin of the term "po' boy". The term is likely derived from the French word pourboire, referring to a tip given to a waiter. A popular local theory claims that "po' boy", as specifically referring to a type of sandwich, was coined in a New Orleans restaurant owned by Benny and Clovis Martin (originally from Raceland, LA), former streetcar conductors. In 1929, during a four-month strike against the streetcar company, the Martin brothers served their former colleagues free sandwiches. The Martins' restaurant workers jokingly referred to the strikers as "poor boys", and soon the sandwiches themselves took on the name. In the heavy Cajun/Creole Louisiana dialect, this is naturally shortened to "po' boy. The best of these today is served at the Parkway.
When you think of companies with great service you can trace the history, Parkway Bakery & Tavern 101 years old is still young compared to some with great service (still around today.) Here are just a few:
Hoshi Ryokan a Japanese hotel established in 717 AD the worlds oldest hotel.
Think how an establishment can be found and then centuries after it came into existence it still is here today, one answer, service.
Always know who the company is, when you represent your employer you are the company. In the eyes of the client you are the company so then treat both your job and your client as if they are your own.
Have you watched Undercover Boss, they go undercover to see how their employees treat their customers and their business. What they discover is the best employee always treat the business as their own, and the customer is always first. These employers have come to understand that the quality of service is totally dependent on the quality of people. Money is not a good qualifier of the quality of a person, many minimum wage employees have greater quality of person than those who make 100 times their wage. However those of high quality should be compensated for their high standard.
Serve With Honor
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” Albert Schweitzer
In a world that has so many vast needs the art of service may be the walk that we require to take us to the answer to these needs. Fulfilling needs truly is the art of service, the needs are great the service must be greater. In other words, we minister to the needs of the people. Minister in religion, in government, in business, in health care and in family. Ministry is simply meeting the people where they are at and then lifting them above it. Serving the people, Christ of course was the greatest example, Stephen (a waiter) gave his life to serve as did Philip (Acts 6:5) Serving is always life giving, life changing and for life.
However one's service can only be as genuine as they are. A corrupt person will serve from a place that focuses upon self and not upon the need of those whom they serve. Those who are motivated by anything other than to serve and to make someone happy must check their motivations. Some are motivated by need themselves, when the need is met then the service becomes lacking. Those motivated by greed never serve the needs of others and only are there to serve their own need. Check your motivation and you will see what kind of server you will be.
Service is and must always be an act of compassion, but understand that compassion is not just feeling sorry for another and the situation they be in. Compassion is far greater than this. When we read scripture we find that compassion was all that moved Jesus, He met the needs of the people when He had compassion upon the people. In other words He served the people by meeting their needs through the motivating power called compassion.
We therefore need to know what compassion really is if it is not just feeling sorry for another. Dakes says compassion is "a characteristic of God and Jesus and should be of the believers. It is the drawing and the agitation of the innermost parts at the sight of any distressed or miserable object. It causes revolting action in the innermost being to bring deliverance from such unlawful and inhuman misery and suffering”. In other word's compassion is "to experience what another undergoes and have the power to change it forever".
No matter what we do as servers we always to the same thing, see a need and meet the need. When we do so through compassion we often eliminate that need. A governmental minister sees that the populous needs a way to have health care that is affordable, so they pass laws mandating that the need be met. The pastor of a church sees a need within the congregation and takes them to scripture to fulfill the need. A banker, doctor, dentist, mechanic, electrician, plumber, waiter all are presented with a need, Having gone through a similar situation each knows the anxiety of the problem and each knows they posses the power to answer the need, in doing so, they eliminate it.
Compassion has its own motivating force, it is called honor. Without honor our compassion is misapplied even distorted and then confused with a feeling, (like sympathy) but all too often not a feeling for the one with the need but rather for self.
Honor is best defined as: honesty, fairness, or integrity in ones belief and actions. To serve without honor is but to mock whom you are pretending to meet their needs. So lets break this down. Honor defined as honesty. Many are surprised to learn that the scam artist actually believes himself to be an honest person. His own personal welfare far outweighs any other considerations. His thief is to serve himself and in his mind he is being honest to himself, harm to others are not factored into his actions. Look at the history of the greatest scam artist of all, Bernie Madoff, and you find someone who began with great intentions for the good of those whom he served. Life and welfare of others really was important to him at one time, he even began serving as a lifeguard. The well being of another was important to Bernie at one time, but along the line serving others became only a means of serving himself. Horribly wrong, incredibly dishonest. The trademark of any scam artist is to believe they are the ones who were honest and it was another who caused them to become a cheat locked in deception and delusion. Bernie's reward 150 years in jail, a wife and youngest son will not visit, his oldest son committed suicide and a life left unfulfilled. Lost it all because he stopped honoring what he once believed so valuable, the welfare of another.
One doesn't have to be a Bernie to stop this action. Honor has no off switch, a bartender who over pours a drink may believe himself to be a person of honor, he in fact is a a cheat. Like a Bernie, he over pours for a bigger tip, give a little extra to a friend, or just doesn't care about the quality of the drink. Whatever the reason, his action is dishonest in that he steals a little at a time from the employer. Added up over a year and it becomes grand theft. I once had a singing bartender at my restaurant in Branson Missouri who stolen over his time there close to 50,000 dollars along with doing other harm to the business. When we caught him, like Bernie, denied it all, he could sing like an angel but stole like the devil. His service is ever marred, and forever is known as a thief. The waitress who bill for the extra fry's, the builder who uses inferior products, the repair person who fix's the problem with a used part charging for a new, the cashier who short changes a customer all are not in service but to themselves.
In serving with honor we protect the only thing we truly have, and that is our name. Say Bernie Madoff and honor is not something that jumps to your mind. Say the name of that bartender to me and I cannot bring myself to say anything worthy of him (I even refuse to use his name). Our name must be protected at all times and we can only do so by living up it with honor. Do something that takes away from your name (even a little) then you take away from your very being not just your well being (the reason most cheats are who they are.)
Honor will do what it has promised or offered to do even to ones own hurt. A contractor may offer to complete a job at a certain price but did not price the job correctly, honor completes the job. He may discuss the problem and believe that the extra may be paid but the price should remain as the quote. A store sale price should mean it applies without unknown factors. Honor always does the right thing. When we serve people with what has been agreed upon and do it in excellence then we live a life in honor.
Honor is the foundation for the expression I quoted earlier, "do what is right, do it because it is right, then do it right" yes even to your own hurt if need be. I am in a situation right now that is one of honor. Opening a second location, one of clients advertise their restaurant as if I approved of it, using both my name and trade name in their marketing. Yet they had no contact, or approval to do so. They make claims that leave their clients believe that they use the finest ingredients and freshest product and that I have approved such. None is true therefore cheating the customer, myself and even themselves. They mistakenly believe that because they are doing well the other factors are not important. Honor says they are important, to claim an international chef has approved your food when he has not is a falsehood, to claim you use the finest ingredients when you use far inferior ones is a falsehood, it will catch up with you.
Romans 12:10: Expanded Bible (EXB) 10 •Love [Be devoted to] each other •like brothers and sisters [with family/brotherly affection]. •Give each other more honor than you want for yourselves [or Outdo one another in showing honor; or Be eager to show honor to one another].
Simply put we are to honor those who get on our nerves, those who do us wrong, yes even the cheats of the world. In doing so we build ourselves and the reward they have for their actions will come. The cheating bartender lost all, Bernie Madoff lost all, honor is meant mostly for our well being and not another.
Some believe in honor so much that they are willing to kill for it. Recently we have seen a surge in so called honor killings especially in western countries, but there is never any honor murder. These are meant to service the honor of a family however every religion in the world forbids the taking of another's life. Most honor killings are a crime against the youth (average age is 23) surely it must be easier to instruct than to kill. Honor provides and loves whom it may want to instruct. To live with honor is to teach the most important lesson of life, to serve another.
Serving with honor is to serve with fairness, in 1949 the FCC saw a need lacking in the broadcast industry and would pass what became known as the Fairness Doctrine. The focus was to be sure that a broadcaster would handle controversial issue that were of great concerns to the public in a fair, equitable and balanced manner. The broadcaster would give the public an honest response to their need serving the viewer with comfort. So then to be fair is to be honest, equitable and balanced. These should be the minimum standard of any server.
Fairness in service should:
A) Give the customer what they paid for, more when it is fair to the service provider, but at a bare minimum what the customer has paid for. We may have need to educate a customer as to what exactly they are paying for, they then are comfortable they are getting what they pay for. I recall an automotive company once advertising "get a trip to Hawaii with any Chrysler product sold" so a customer went and bought a spark plug and demanded the trip. The car company saw the advertising mistake but honored to ad and gave the trip to Hawaii. In the long run they could not have got more exposure as the news wires told and retold the story. The customer was very happy, getting far more than what he paid for, the car company happy to be fair and honor their advertising.
B) Never take advantage of the customer. Most customers are not qualified in the service they seek, therefore the need of the service. Our priority must always be that we are serving in a manner that leaves the client feeling that they were served extremely well. Customers rely on the expertise of the server and know within when they are being taken advantage of. This always leaves a sour taste in the soul and you can be sure that you will never see that customer again.
C) Offer the customer the best you have. We have said this much during this study but always needs repeating. Excellence will always be rewarded mostly by gaining a loyal customer.
D) Create a loyal customer. There is a difference in a satisfied customer and loyal customer. A customer who is satisfied is one who received service which they considered the same. Same price, same offer, same service, they see the business only there to provide what they need. The loyal customer sees beyond, the service is better the product better, so they form a personal relationship with the service provider. They are swayed by gimmicks and freebies but by the service. A satisfied customer may not be a returning customer, a loyal customer thinks twice about going elsewhere. Going beyond, being fair will switch the satisfied customer to a loyal one.
You will find the loyal customer has emotional attachment to the service provider, therefore they begin to refer to the establishment as their own, and in no way could they be found elsewhere, no other establishment could be better than their own. In all my restaurants my loyal customers refer to as their chef, they have taken me on as a possession of theirs. I would have it no other way for many I will see several times a week. In Branson I had many of the entertainers who ate in no other restaurant many just considered it their own. The emotionally attached customer is your best advertising tool, they simply tell everybody to go to "their place".
E) Eliminates the embarrassment of closing questions. If a service provider has been fair then why should they be embarrassed to simply ask the client for their business. Would you buy the car today, have I explained everything and answered all your questions? 'Yes, then lets go a write it up. There is never a poor reason to ask for the client's business when fairness, honesty and honor is the foundation of the negotiation.
F) Good is not good enough! We just watched this year's Academy Awards, we watched how one Oscar winner after the other received their award, they were the best at what they did. All the others were good but these few excelled in their service to the moviegoer. TO BE FAIR IS TO BE THE BEST,
Serve with honor and success will be yours.