Hospitality Matters

Am I the only one around here bummed out about lame customer service?

I get it. We're tired and under paid and often disconnected from the job we're doing anyway. We can't wait to punch out to get to the more enjoyable parts of the day. So if I don't smile at you when you step up to order, don't take it personally.

But wait, isn't that part of the job?

Again, I get it. I was in the hospitality industry for years, waiting tables and bartending to get through college. There were two kinds of employees. The one that did the job well, regardless of the training in place or lack of leadership and the one that did just enough to get by.

I do admit, I set high expectations for the interaction I might have when I go for coffee. I want to feel welcomed and valued as a customer. I want to feel comfortable to ask clarifying questions, not like I'm wasting time. I want to enjoy a good product and ultimately, I want to feel excited to come back.

Am I setting the bar too high, only looking to be disappointed? I don't think so. I have had plenty of experiences that remind me of how valuable human connection and hard work are in the work place. We've all had that surprise customer service that was just fantastic. An interaction that sends you off on your way with a good feeling inside. A good feeling that was created there and taken with you as you left only to greet another. An infectious ripple effect of good feelings.

I've seen and felt the difference that thoughtful customer service can play in making or breaking someone's day. We're all walking around, doing the best we can, and some days it's enough and some days are tough. If we can remember that the people we serve are humans, just like us, then maybe we can treat them as such and send a little smile their way.