The Customer Experience Will Never Exceed the Employee Experience

The Vital Mission of Seasonal Employee Engagement

By Tony Bridwell Partner and Practice Leader, Partners in Leadership (PIL) | March 20, 2016

Co-authored by Mattson Newell, Director of Partners In Leadership (PIL)

Being a statistic seems to be inevitable in life. In some way, each of us will find ourselves on a statistical list of sorts. For over half the country one such list is a reality: the "first time job" list. At some point in our life we have held a job in the hospitality/restaurant industry, and if you throw retail into the mix, it is possible to cover most of all the country.

We (the authors) both fall into this category, one working at a snow cone company and the other starting at the young age of 14 as a fry cook for an A&W Drive-In only to cap his career as the Chief People Officer for Brinker International, the owners of Chili's Grill and Bar.

For many, their first work experience in one of these industries was made possible on a part time or seasonal basis. The number of seasonal jobs each year account for a substantial quantity of first time jobs, some 52% as reported by the US Government Workforce report. Experience teaches us leaders frequently do not invest the needed time, energy, and resources preparing these seasonal employees to deliver a desired result. The belief broadly held, as told to me by a hiring manager of seasonal employees is, "They will be gone soon, why waste our time?"

The question needed at this point is this, how important is maximized sales to your organization? It seems a bit rhetorical to ask, but the question must be asked to make a point. If maximizing sales is important, then maximizing the customer experience to drive more sales should be a key focus. There is a simple principle to keep in mind, the customer experience will never exceed the employee experience. Meaning, the investment you make in your people has a direct payout with the customers walking through your doors.

The Power of 1-2-3

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.