The Importance of the Guest Experience

The guest experience is the new marketing norm for today’s consumer. In 2010, 36% of companies expected to compete mostly on customer experience but in 2016 89% of companies expect to compete mostly on the guest experience. In today’s modern world where social media feedback sites and online communities significantly influence customer spending, the experience you offer and how people write about that experience is more influential than any advertising you could spend.
In 2012 Beign Company research found that 80% of companies believe they deliver a superior guest experience. Do you have any idea what the percentage was when they surveyed their customers? Just 8%. While we think we deliver a great experience, our guests might think different. Whether we like it or not, how your guests think is critical to your brand and your reputation.
Look at it this way. How many of you have cell phones? OK, how many of you use your cell phones to get on the internet? Now the last question, is how many of you made purchasing decisions based on what you read on the internet?
Well I would submit to you that your guest and customers also do the same thing. As a business owner, I hate websites like Yelp, but as a business owner I pay very close attention to websites like Yelp. I might not like what I read about what the guest is saying, but I definitely make operational adjustments based on what I read.
In the end, it goes back to the fact that your people represent your brand and your culture. And culture is the behavior of your company and its people. It forms your reputation and your reputation is your brand.



The One Commonality of a Bad Service Experience

As a restaurant and bar owner, I have discovered that there is one commonality between a bad service experience; whether it be that I have the poor experience myself,  I receive a complaint letter from a guest for one of my restaurants or I receive a bad mystery shop. That one commonality of all three is the fact that there’s no manager presence on the floor interacting with staff and the guests.

I always say that a manager’s job is simply this, to make things happen or let things happen. If a manager is not on the floor with the guests, then they are not able to influence the guest experience.  I ask my team all the time, what is more important while you’re working than the guests in your restaurant?  The only answer acceptable is nothing!

The guest is not an interruption of our work they are the purpose of our work.  If floor managers aren’t  present to oversee the experience their team is giving the guest and a guest receives a poor experience, then who is ultimately at fault for that bad experience?