Using symbols and models can help people grab concepts, making things easier to understand. So here’s a way to communicate to your people the importance of an all-round positive customer experience. It’s called the Change Maker Tricycle of Customer Service.
Whilst this item is aimed at the hospitality sector, it is applicable across most businesses. Just adjust to suit yours!
Your Three Wheels
There are three wheels to the tricycle
- Service efficiency where everything needs to be working to get satisfaction
- The quality of your product or offering meeting their expectations
- And the Hospitality Skills of your people
Service efficiency is the need to ensure that you have systems and procedures in place to help your people deliver the right type of product or offering. Efficiency and timeliness is vital. These can be policies for handling problems or complaints or it could be the right type and effective technology systems
Having the right quality of your physical product or offering means that the ‘bricks and mortar’ elements at least meet if not exceed the expectations of your customer. This can include the cleanliness and fittings in the bedroom, restaurants, lounges, fitness centres.
Remember quality means fit for purpose so it doesn’t have to be totally overboard.
The first two components represented the back wheels of the tricycle. But it’s the front wheel, BIGGER than the other two which steers your tricycle in the right direction.
Most managers are smart enough to teach people about welcome skills and most teach new staff about using technology, systems and procedures. Unfortunately most only skim the surface on teaching hospitality skills
Using the Change Maker Tricycle of Customer Service
Lose a rear wheel?
What happens if a rear wheel comes off? For example, the quality offering wheel. Let’s say they get a warm greeting and check-in and then go to their room which is dirty or things not working. The result is that their experience has been marred.
If it’s the service efficiency wheel then let’s say again they get the warm greeting but something goes wrong in the service such as the key system not working, the credit card machine inoperable, the computer system down, slow service at check-in causing the tired and hungry guest to wait 20 minutes for the key.
But the front wheel?
The two rear wheels are usually handled by sound training which most people have or should be given. But the front wheel, the one that steers your tricycle is often ignored. You see this as someone arrives at reception and sees the top of a receptionist’s head “Checking-in?” It almost wants to make you say “No, I’m standing here with my suitcase as it’s a hobby of mine seeing how many hotel lobby’s I can visit with my suitcase!” I know that sounds facetious but I’m sure you get the gist. Or when you go into the dining room by yourself and the waiter says “Just for one?” in a condescending manner.
It is important that the front wheel doesn’t come off and that your people are taught hospitality skills in the form of interactive communication. They need to know to smile, make eye contact, have the right body language, and anticipate guests and how to start the right kind of customer interaction.
Everyone is in the driving seat
It is important for staff and managers to know that everyone can be in the driving seat of the tricycle. Everyone can bring out their best side. Everyone can work to anticipate customer needs and make sure that all three wheels work in harmony to meet customer needs.
How to use this Change Maker learning
Use the Change Maker tricycle model for your next training session or meeting to illustrate to them the importance of the three wheels and that everyone needs to ride the Tricycle of Customer Service to provide hospitality excellence.
What’s your thoughts?
What’s your experience with standards of customer service? Are they improving at your organisation? Where are you making changes? What are you doing to monitor and measure service standards?