Have you traveled through an airport lately? If so, you know the drill when yo approach security: no dispose of all liquids, remove your shoes and ensure your carryon gels can fit inside this quart-size bag. Necessary words, but a hum-drum atmosphere usually surrounds the TSA area. Passengers just want to get through the experience and on their way.
On a recent early morning trip through Portland, Oregon I got in line with the hundred others trying to get on their way. When, just as expected, the speech began. But on this particular morning, I heard this, “Alright folks, you know the drill… no liquids, gels or vodka today!” Immediately, smiles and laughter begin to trickle through the crowd. It’s 7:30am in the morning and people are happy. Well done TSA.
Obviously, this agent was different – and in a good way – from most every other agent that day. He might not LOVE his job but to his customers he did and that matters, especially in today’s crowded marketplace.
So, what we can learn from a guy who includes vodka in his instructions to customers? Think about these three tips.
#1 Your customers have a positive memorable experience
Customers have become very discerning about where their money goes. And when given the choice between store A and store B, they want “the experience”. When those interactions are memorable, they talk about it. There is a marketing buzz you can’t buy. If your employees are just showing up and going through the motions (albeit in a professional manner), the experience is nothing to write home about. The TSA agent engaged with us in a way that made me talk about it in a good way. That’s what you want.
#2 Push through the mundane
Let’s face it. Some aspects of a job can be repetitive and over time can become quite mundane. That’s when an employee who loves her job can make a difference. This mindset breathes energy into a setting that has become a bit boring. Imagine how many passengers in a given day a TSA agent has to verify ID and bring through security (or fill in the blank in your world). Repetition can breed boredom and when that occurs, you can bet service levels will dip unless an energized mindset kicks in. This TSA agent found one small way to bring some fun to a standard speech given hundreds of times a day. The same could be applied in your world tool
#3 Your customers benefit from different strokes for different folks
Finally, every employee is different. What makes one person love (or hate) his job is as varied as Baskin Robbins 31 flavors. It takes all kinds to make your team unique. In this clip from the 80’s sitcom Newhart, the comedic trio Larry, Daryl and Daryl show excitement in some of the strangest tasks. It’s a funny clip (and worth the 5 minutes) but also illustrates a great truth for your team. What makes your team tick? Find that and you will find a way to help them love their job.
So, the big question. Do your employees love their jobs? And the even bigger question, do your customers believe your employees love their jobs? The answer to that question could mean the difference between one-time and repeat customers. So…what does “love” look like in your employee world? Tell us your “vodka” story!