When you own your own business you only have to work half days. Pick any 12 hours. Which still leaves 12 hours for your employees to mess up everything you’ve worked for. For example, I was in Memphis over the weekend. I wanted to have genuine "dry style" Memphis barbeque but it was too hot to drive downtown and wander Beale Street looking for it. The hotel's Internet was down so I was forced to use the phone book. The ad for Corky’s (I usually don’t name names but this one is so special) gives an address but I don’t have a good map. So I call and ask, “Where are you located?” The girl who answers doesn’t ask for clarification, she puts me on hold assuming the address included in on-hold message is all I need. The message repeats a second time before someone hangs up without coming back on the line.
I call back, this time a man answers. I quickly blurt out that I know the address I need to know their location. “Next to Tennessee First Bank.” Click. What we have here is failure to communicate. Evidently I should have specifically asked for directions. Which I would have if given the opportunity before being put on hold or hung up on.
Undaunted, I asked the receptionist at the hotel for directions and we found our way to the Corky’s on the east side of Memphis in Cordova. Our waiter comes to the table for our drink order. I ask what kind of wine they have. He laughs at me, rolls his eyes and says, “We only have beer.” I guess they don’t get many new customers at Corky’s. Either that or they’re all telepathic. The ad said Corky's has his been voted #1 year after year in by Memphis residents. I suppose customer service isn't part of the calculation.
How often do you send a secret shopper into your business when you’re not around? If you don’t, it might be a good idea to schedule a visit once a quarter or so to see how your people act when when the cat's away. I know what you’re thinking. “That’s why I have a manager.” Well do I have a story for you.