I’ve just got back from a weeks skiing in France.
We flew out of Bristol with Easy Jet. Our flight was at 0700 and that meant a very early start. When we booked we didn’t realise the clocks went back the night before – that made it a really, really early start!
We arrived on time, checked in and went in search of breakfast. It was quite busy but we found a place to eat and joined the queue. It took some time but we made it to the front of the queue behind the till and waited to be served.
We must have been waiting there, patiently, for 10 minutes. OK maybe 5. Not one member of staff acknowledged or approached us. Finally we caught someones eye;
‘Excuse me… we’ve been waiting here for about 10 minutes’
That was it. That was the response. It was so shocking it was funny. He simply said ‘why’ and told us to join the end of the adjacent queue. He didn’t care one jot what we did. Even worse not one of his colleagues batted an eye – that’s obviously just how they do business. That’s how they treat their staff and how their staff treat their customers.
I like to think it was because of sleep deprivation however (muttering under our breath) we joined the other queue.
We may have looked complacent at the time but in true British fashion and like 89% of other people who experience bad service we won’t go there again. We will also tell at least 10 other people about our experience – with 4 Adults in our party that’s at least 40 people. If like David Carroll however I use you tube (United Breaks Guitars) to share my displeasure I could get my message to 500,000 people in only 3 days!
In this technological age it could take just one bad experience to wreck your reputation and your business.
That was the only instance of bad service we had ( considering we were in France and at the end of the season, that was actually very surprising!).
We had a wonderful time and returned with the usual stories of falling off lifts and wipe-outs. We also have an interesting couple of food related tales to do with a cheese fondue and profiteroles!
Snow and sun were plentiful but what made the holiday special was the people looking after us.
This was our first skiing holiday for a few years and we chose to go with a company called Ski Bonjour who promise the ‘ultimate chalet experience’. They delivered.
Hannah and Lou, our ‘Chalet Girls’ were a delight. Very welcoming, attentive, confident and good company. Nothing was too much trouble for them. One of our party is on a gluten free diet – every day gluten free cakes/biscuits were on offer after skiing and every meal was adapted.
They told us that they were well looked after by their Employer, Ski Bonjour, and it showed. Nothing appeared regimented or forced (although there were clearly some well established standards and routines). And because they were happy so were we.
Next time I want something whether it’s a holiday, book or a cup of tea I’m going to buy it from the person with the smiliest face, or the smiliest voice. And like 86% of the population I’m prepared to pay extra for the service that goes with that smile.
For more evidence that happy engaged employees deliver better service take a look at engage for success. Then ask yourself if your employees make your customers feel the way you want them to?
…and if you need some help to find out just ask.