A 25+ year hospitality industry veteran, customer service trainer/coach, author and speaker - and known as “the ops guy” during his tenure at Hilton Hotels, Steve DiGioia has redefined the operational and service standards for multiple food and beverage departments for some of the best names in the industry.
His book “Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift…Even If You’re a Bad Waiter” is an easy to follow training method that can be used across all industries, resulting in better customer retention and repeat business for your company.
He is an 8 year Army Airborne veteran with 145 jumps and received 4 promotions. Immediately after being discharged he started his modest culinary career learning multiple cooking styles, trained other cooks and now currently works manning an action station in the middle of the dining room taking orders directly from the customers.
He’s a team player, customer focused and willing to help others. Just the kind of person any company should want to hire.
I’ve had a long standing relationship with a culinary school in New York City as an adjunct instructor for their hospitality program. Spending time with these students is extremely rewarding, especially when they share their hopes and dreams of why they wish to enter the challenging hospitality industry.
Recently I taught a 4 day program of professional development for this class with the topics of resume building, cover letters, building a 30 second elevator pitch, job searching and interviewing skills, all in the hopes of helping them to land their first/next job.
Due to various reasons, on one of these days, only 1 student arrived for class. Frankly, my first reaction was frustration;
“How am I expected to teach only 1 student?”
I thought this was going to be a waste of time but boy was I wrong!
As I sat down with this Army veteran to plot out a series of steps in the hopes of turning his resume into an “action-packed” and powerful representation of his skills and experience I realized (more…)
After joining Toastmasters International, and completing one of my first speeches, my ending line was to “thank” the audience. Saying thanks after a speech is a “usual” and traditional ending. My mentor and the founding member of the club quickly gave me some wise advice:
Today’s guest post is from Alyson Sia. She discusses the 3 best ways a business can discuss issues with their employees, and customers too.
It’s nice to think that the businesses we frequent have integrity. The truth is integrity, or effective honesty, takes actual hard work that many are not willing to do. Each customer and situation is different, forcing you to adjust depending on who you’re dealing with.
The real risk of losing a deal, a customer or a client “forces” us to be honest. It’s better to be transparent than to hide something that may cause something bad later on.
With that in mind, here are three things to remember about delivering the truth.
Are you in search of leadership skills? Skills that will catapult your career to heights not yet imagined? What is the secret to great leadership?
Frankly, there is no “secret”, only a series of skills needed that will separate you from most would-be leaders who are nothing more than just “managers”.
Here Are The 6 C’s of Leadership 2017
How many do you possess?
Study them, learn from them and put them into practice. Imagine you already have all 6, good luck!
Your morals and steadfastness to always “do what’s right” sets the tone. People know where you stand and what you stand for. Don’t come to this leader with some half-baked idea that is shady at best.
You have the ability to attract, charm, and influence the people around you. No wonder you always seem to get your way. The room lights-up when you enter. You may be the other “most interesting man in the world”. (more…)
With a few sincerely-meant words we can easily take a dissatisfied customer and turn them around, providing we use appropriate actions to match. Just as easily, we can take a content customer and, using a few seemingly innocent words, show disrespect, imply a lower status and diminish their worth.
Here’s an example that I bet most of you have encountered…
Correspondence from most members of the retail industry is reduced to little more than a form letter with a few “mail-merged” names; the letter can fit most circumstances and usually does. Isn’t it about time someone uses their imagination and creates a response that we look forward to read…and share?
Derek Sivers, who founded CD Baby in 1998, once the world’s largest online distributor of independent music, had a brainstorm. Initially his company sent out a standard automated e-mail with every order that let the customer know when the CD was actually shipped. At first it was just the normal “Your order has shipped today. Please let us know if it doesn’t arrive. Thank you for your business.”
But quickly, he felt he could do better. He spend 20 minutes and created an email, the shipping letter, which has since brought smiles to everyone who has read it and reportedly led to their largest increase in customers since.
Pursuing excellence, customer centricity and continuous improvement are obsolete; so says Sampson Lee in his 2015 article “Turn Upside Down How PAIN is Perceived in Innovating CX and Brand Management”.
I am glad to say that I haven’t really had many bad customer service experiences, just some that fell short of expectations or I was disappointed in. Did this cause me “pain”? No, not in the literal sense but it did show a gap between expectations and my willingness to “accept” what was not to my liking.
The most recent example came when I took my wife to a great resort spa for her birthday, just a quick overnight stay at a spa that was rated in the top 5 in the country. Everything was top notch, a beautiful property, excellent bellman & front desk service and the spa was fantastic!
The employees were so friendly and professional, we had a great time.
Now I know why they are rated so high, they deserved it…
But when most of the company is operating at such a high level, the departments that do not maintain the same level of service really stand out.
The best companies don’t hire sales employees and put them at a desk to “sell”. The new “sales department” employees must first understand the overall company mission and processes by which the mission is achieved.
The best sales people are those that have actually done the job and come from the rank and file employees that make, service or deliver the products. They are the backbone of any company and the ones to deliver the dream presented by the sales team.
10 Keys to a Better Sales & Marketing Team
1. Understand Your Goals
It is much easier to promote/market/sell your business and its products and services when there is a clear understanding of what you can actually provide and how your product can benefit the customer.
2. Feedback From Your Customers
Proper feedback will help determine what they desire and provide a measure of satisfaction and adherence to product specifications, capabilities and performance.
3. Marketing is Like the Bait on the Fisherman’s Hook.
That’s only the advertisement and the beginning of the journey. The good fisherman is the customer service/support team and will quickly know if the marketing (bait) is successful. But he still must “sink the hook” and make the sale later.
How do you expect to sell “the right” product or service to (more…)
American diners are a fickle bunch. We love going out to eat but when the check comes we don’t know what to do. How much should we tip? Is it 15%, 18%, 20% or more?
It’s gotten so bad that many restaurant chains now place a “tip guide” on the bottom of their checks that list the recommended tip in percentage and dollar amounts. Yes, this makes it easier to figure out the totals but what do we base these amounts on?
3. Did the waiter inform you of the various possibilities of food substitutions for your meal?
4. Did the waiter make your children feel important and not like a nuisance?
5. Did the waiter get your order correct and present it to you as advertised? (more…)
On today’s video we welcome our special guest Jeff Toister.
As a customer service trainer, advocate and author of “The Service Culture Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Employees Obsessed with Customer Service“, Jeff discusses his thoughts on how to improve your company’s service culture.
Topics of Discussion:
1. How do you define a successful customer service culture?
2. Why we should NOT copy another company’s service culture model.
3. Why it’s important to align every employee to the customer service vision.
4. How do you get your employees more engaged?
Join co-host Tal Shnall and me to welcome Jeff Toister.