Expectations – Don’t Make Me Wait


We live in a hurry up world. People can be rude, impetuous, quick, and impatient. These are thoughts that have loomed large on my mind this week as I slowly crawl, or limp, from one place to another. I had knee surgery a week ago and I thought that, miraculously, I would be back up to speed in just a few days.

I’m surprised at how frustrating the slow physical pace has affected me. In an effort to pay attention to the lesson I’m forced to face, the fact that maybe some things require patience. I know that when it comes to guest service, or even dealing with the public, patience needs to be the word of the day.

Those who provide service, and those receiving service, have expectations of what that means. Depending on your mood, whether you are the giver or receiver of service, your experience can be colored many different shades of happy, sad, or mad.

Yesterday, I flew to Vegas. My mood was tentative at best. My knee hurt. I was moving slow. You get the picture. In an effort to create my own best experience (I do believe I’m in charge of how I behave), I approached the self check–in with a positive attitude. Service was good, everyone was nice, and then I had to take the extra steps to drop my bag at TSA.

I must say that with TSA it is a crap shoot. Typically the DFW folks are pretty nice, but you never know. I’m not sure those people understand they are in a guest service business. I digress . . I approached the TSA bag check–in and much to my surprise this guy was great. He asked me the standard, “bags are unlocked, no firearms” questions. And then he inquired from what gate I was departing. He gave me directions to the security check–in and then followed up with gate information about where I could find restrooms and food once I was on the inside. He wished me safe travels and sent me on my way. I found that to be VERY cool! He didn’t have to give me that information, but he seemed very genuine and pleased to help me. I love that!

Here’s the amazing part . .  I arrive at the security check point and a lady approaches the TSA check person and asks the best place to check in for gate 20 – she’s dropping her grandmother off at the airport. This guy seems annoyed by the question and gives the lady a gruff, “go down there” explanation. The lady thanks him and goes out the door. He checks my boarding pass against my ID and then looks up and says, “American needs to add us to their payroll, we need to know everything about their business, where to check in, what gates the bathroom are at, and even if there’s food inside.” I was so stunned at the quick turnaround and comparison of service and attitude.

The bag guy gave information without asking, and the security check point guy was frustrated that someone expected that type of information from him. Who are you? Do you think that everything you give comes with the expectation of receiving something in return?

Who works for you? Do you know what their expectations, or explanation, of service really is? I think the following questions would be a great training exercise to perform with your staff. Ask these 4 questions:

  1. What are your expectations when you are receiving service?
  2. What do you think is expected of you when it comes to giving service?
  3. What would it look like to you if you receive excellent service?
  4. How could you provide service that is above and beyond what our guests expect?

I would love your feedback. This blog is a place for us to communicate with one another. I look forward to your input.

Limping Along.

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