Stay Professional

posted: Friday, April 10, 2015

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Its 9:30 on a Friday night, there hasn’t been a customer for 45 minutes, there have only been three customers in the past two hours, and you and your coworkers are ready to get the weekend started. You close at 10 and while you are working on your closing duties, you and your coworkers loosen up and start having a little fun.

On the surface, there’s nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that you are still open for another half hour and customers can still come in. This was the situation that I encountered a few weeks ago when I walked into a restaurant. I was on my way home from the airport and called home to see if the family wanted me to pick up some food on the way, they did.

I walked in and waited at the counter for five minutes before anyone even noticed I was there. While I was waiting there were some of the things I either witnesses or heard: I heard four letter words being tossed around, I saw two employees on their cell phones, I saw a manager that was doing nothing to stop the behavior and I saw two other employees rough housing.

To their credit, their interactions directly with me were professional but that doesn’t excuse what I witnessed. This is not me complaining about a bad experience, this is about being professional at all times. In this case, we are talking about customer service, but it certainly applies in the field of sales as well.

We’ve all been there when all you want to do is finish the shift and go home, but the customer who walks in right before closing deserves the same professionalism as the first customer of the day. I don’t know for sure but I’m assuming the employees from that restaurant went home, or to a party without a thought in their minds of their behavior in front of me.

The problem is that I left thinking about their unprofessional behavior and I’m not sure if I will go back. That’s where the real issue is: you may think it is the end of a shift and nothing really matters, but it matters to the customer and they are likely to tell others about it. I know I did.

Just remember that as long as the doors are open, you are there for any and all customers. Stay professional; you never know who might be watching.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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