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The General Manager in the Bellman’s Uniform

This is a tip from Ron Kaufman’s brilliant Up Your Service newsletter, which you can subscribe to at www.ronkaufman.com

Ron writes:

“The manager who tells the team “Get out there and serve!” while he stays comfortably in back is not a service leader at all. The real service leader gets out on the frontline to help whenever she can, especially when times are busy, customers are angry or staff are overloaded.

At a leading hotel in London, the General Manager spends one day every three months dressed in a bellman’s uniform and doing the bellman’s job. Here’s what happens:

1. The General Manager meets customers in a completely different way.
He asks real questions, and gets honest answers. The bellman hears a lot of unvarnished feedback that guests may be reluctant to share with the General Manager.

2. The General Manager gets a first hand taste…
of what it’s like to work on the frontline. He wears the uniform, stands by the door, carries the bags, and eats in the staff cafeteria. This first hand experience means small things that might irritate staff get noticed quickly, and fixed quickly.

3. Most of all, the hundreds of other staff working in the hotel
…see their General Manager doing frontline work with dignity and respect for the customers, and their colleagues. This respect is returned with a shared dedication to providing superior service.”

SOURCE: Ron Kaufman, a customer service consultant and teacher based in Singapore whom I have a lot of respect for

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