Over the Christmas break, my family went bowling to celebrate my sister and bro-in-law’s anniversary. A great lunch special : free shoes and a game of bowling. My sister asked if we could bowl an additional game and the guy pointed out that it was going to be extra, but mom agreed. The bowling was great fun (I had the highscore), and the food came just as we were finishing up our first game.
When we went to pay for our second round, we were told “sorry, there’s a waiting list now – we need to get other people on your lane”. That’s when we started getting upset. For the next 15 minutes, this kid behind the counter said he understood how we felt, but the rules are the rules and he wasn’t able to break them. He knew he screwed up – you could see it in his face – but just like most employees in retail-like establishments – he didn’t have the authority to go outside of the “system”.
Finally he found the manager. The manager approved the situation (obviously – we had already spent over $200 in bowling and drinks and we wanted to spend more!). Then we realized that some of our food order was incorrect. The manager apologized and personally took care of it. He made everything right (except a discount which would have been nice). I even saw him telling our waitress to go over and spend time talking with us. But, we were pissed off for a good 25-30 minutes in total. We almost left without eating. It was all up to him to make things right – even though there were 10-15 people working. So here’s the takeaway:
Give power to your people.
If you have a business that includes both employees and customers:
- Hire the right ones
- Fire those that suck
- Empower them with knowledge
- Lead with the passion for the customer’s needs
- Don’t resolve all the issues yourself
Now, how are you going to lead your employees differently?
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