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Attention To Detail

Lesson 6 from: Managing the Customer Service Experience

Kate Edwards

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Lesson Info

6. Attention To Detail

Lesson Info

Attention To Detail

So, we've been really alluding to attention to detail throughout this course, right? But really attention to detail is attention to your business. Some people think of, similarly to self control, which we discussed in our previous course. But attention to detail sort of gets a bad wrap. Sometimes people think that you have to be sort of OCD or anal retentive to have attention to detail. But it's actually not the way at all. It's really about setting yourself up for success and identifying what are those little bits and pieces that need my attention. Watering the plants would be one of them. But attention to detail is something that sometimes people use as an excuse. "Oh, I'm not OCD," or "I don't really, "I'm not really good with the small details." As a business owner, you need to be. You have to be. The details are the things that are going to add up for your guests. So attention to detail is a big one. It demonstrates that you see all the little things in your business. And it's an ...

extension of I Notice equals I Care, which was in our second course today. And all the little things in your business are just going to reiterate and message trust again and again and again. So back to that flower pot outside or back to the bouquet on the table, right? Attention to detail, attention to that little plant, makes a difference. Attention to the squeaky door makes a difference. Attention to the uniform or the lack of uniform that people are wearing makes a difference. Uniform's a big one. How do you ask your employees and staff to come to work and how are they representing you through their clothing? In restaurants, very often, there is a uniform. White shirt, black pants, and black apron. But is it clean, right? In restaurants, the cuffs get very, very dirty because that's closest to the dirty plates and the dishwasher and all that. Very often the apron gets stained, right. Is it stained from yesterday? Let's put on a new one, right? We don't want people to feel like things are dirty and unkempt. But it's attention to detail. It's those small, tiny, little things. And I hate to tell you this, but you really are the manager of small things. All of these little things in your business are under your care. So you have to manage them. And I just acknowledge that it can feel a little annoying. But it is part of your job. So it is important that you start to create either a system for yourself, create points for yourself, gamify it if you need to, but start to pay attention to the detail and start to tune into it so you can correct it when it goes wrong. This is another place where habit comes in. It's important to build habits around managing all these little things. So it could be a checklist, very often I create manager checklists. They're making sure that they're seeing all the stuff in the operation. It could be manager checklists to make sure the team is doing what they should be doing. It could be checklists for the team, are they doing what should be done? You don't have to do it all, right? You've got a team of people working for you. Everyone can get a section and make sure the details are being taken care of. When I worked at this high level restaurant, four star, three Michelin star restaurant. I was a manager there and I created something called The Route. And The Route became sort of a thing that managers after me adopted, because it worked. So what I did is I had this route through the restaurant when I started my shift and I would open the restaurant. And I would first go to my office. I would drop my stuff. I would turn on the computer. I would start to get all that stuff going. But then I would walk into the front space. I would walk to the front door, I would unlock it. I would make sure is the window clean. Is the glass door clean? Great it is. I would then check the lights. Are they at the right level or are they at the nighttime level? I would go to the coat check. So, all these little things, I'm going on a route all the way around and each stop I had things that I was looking for. So, cleanliness on the front door, appropriate levels of sound and lighting, attention to detail in the bathrooms. Are the hand towels there? Is there soap in the soap dispenser? Things like that. I would look up, are the light bulbs where they're supposed to be? Is there anything that's out that I need to do now before I have guests in the restaurant? I would go and make sure, is my staff checking in? Is the cleaning crew here? Has the cleaning crew left? So, The Route was a physical representation that told me what I need to look for. And when I completed The Route, I knew that I had done everything that I need to do to make sure I was ready for service. Now, that was helpful for me because I know I'm kinesthetic. Kinesthetic learner is somebody who's hands-on. Are you guys hands-on learners? People have to do things? Yeah, very often creative types are hands-on so to find a physical way of remembering is very helpful. And that was helpful for me. So finding a way to walk through armed with my checklist became my way of making sure all the little pieces and all the little details were being attended to. So it was really, really helpful. And that was something that, again, some of the other managers I worked with adopted. So, we can build a habit around this and we've gotta make sure that, at the end of the day, we're doing all this, because when we uphold the standards and these are the standards that you may write, these are the standards that you may build or you may bring to your business. When you uphold them, it's a powerful message of caring quality. And it's upholding them that is the daily habit. It's the upholding of them that's the daily struggle for managers. Because sometimes it's hard to say, "Oh, buddy, can you please do it this way? "Aww, we missed that again, "I want to make sure we get that every day." It's hard to follow up on this stuff. But that truly is your power. You have to hold up the message of quality. And you have to stand up for the little tiny things that are gonna send a very big message to your clients. "Think small to grow big. "Keep your eye on the bigger picture, "but don't slip on attention to detail." Sir Richard Branson. Now, that's somebody who we think of as being a big personality, right? Everything is big. Big, bigger, bigger! But he's absolutely right. It's about the small little things, the small attention to detail allows you to do those big things. It's really the bedrock of your business. We can't get outrageous without taking care of the small, tiny stuff first. So that's really, really important. Has anybody ever had an experience of realizing that something small was in fact the biggest thing? The most important thing? In their business or an experience? Oh my god, I never realized that was so important. The smallest bolt can bring down the biggest plane. (laughter) Every little detail counts in the airline industry. Yes, that's right, engineering. Good one. I love that. No, it's exactly true. These little tiny things are the things that matter the most sometimes to people. And people will see it and people will feel it. That's the thing. In that case, they will feel it, right? Hopefully they won't. Hopefully it'll be the pilot that's like, "Oh man, something's not working here." Or an engineer that will catch it. But we've gotta have systems so that these things work or don't work. And that's what this course is about, creating systems for yourself so that you have ways to identify them and correct them and uphold them every single day. It's really important. You're in charge. So this is your power. Make sure.

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