Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The customer is always right--or is this true?

Who knows what goes on in the kitchen?
Emily Hunter, PhD, work place deviance expert (say what?) at Baylor, says restaurants are a battleground sometimes.

A server's response to a difficult customer reflects on that server, the customer, and the establishment.

The server, she says, should concentrate on improving the customer's satisfaction--not retaliation such as spitting in the soup.

She studied 438 service employees and found the vast majority had engaged in some sort of counterproductive behavior.

79% made fun of the customer to someone else

72% lied to the customer

43% argued with a customer

19% confronted a customer about the tip

6% admitted to contaminating the food

Managers have a role:

Train employees to detach and adopt healthy coping strategies.

Be open to employees discussing these matters.

Provide rest breaks to reduce stress.

Empower the employees to provide small discounts or considerations as needed.

The latter is called job control--many studies show employees cope better if they have some.

I think sometimes I am a grumpy customer--I can control that. How about you?

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