Are You Rewarding the Right Things?


Customer-focused companies put the customer at the centre of their business and business decisions.  Customer-focused companies concentrate on long-term goals, like customer satisfaction, retention and repeat business instead of short-term goals like “increase dessert sales by 10%”.

Teaching your team to effectively up-sell is important.  Those skills help grow your business and improve your bottom line, but not to the same extent as loyal, repeat customers who keep coming back to your business and refer their friends, families and colleagues to you.

Customer-focused companies:

  1. Live the customer experience.  In some of the hotels I’ve stayed at, I’m pretty sure the manager has not actually tasted the coffee put in the guest rooms.  As a woman, I appreciate a full-length mirror in the room.  How is the lighting?  Is there room on the desk for your customer’s laptop or is it covered with promotional materials?
  2. Look for ways to make the customer feel special.  Making your customer feel special can be as simple as addressing them by name or by remembering that they like their breakfast with eggs over-easy and lightly toasted rye bread.  It could be putting fresh flowers in the bathroom, speaking directly to the children when taking their order or offering to carry a senior’s tray to the table.
  3. Encourage customer feedback.  Customer-focused companies want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly from their customers. They want to know what their customers like and what they don’t like.  They take the information they receive seriously and use that information to maintain and improve their customer’s experience.
  4. Reward employees for service excellence.  When customer satisfaction is the main goal of a company, it doesn’t make sense to reward product sales.  Rewards based on the number of desserts or upgrades sold send the message the sale is the priority.  Customer-focused companies recognize and reward initiatives and actions that improve a customer’s service experience.

The bonus is that customers who feel valued, customers who believe that their satisfaction is your number one priority are more likely to stay at their table a little longer and enjoy dessert and coffee.  Customers who trust you and respect you are more likely to pay an extra $20 for the upgraded room.  The up-sell happens naturally when you focus on the customer first, instead of the sale.

What do you think?

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