asia woman barista


In tough times attitude is extra important

February 9 2021 by Jeff Hylton

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
This is a mission statement or policy printed on the letter head of a friend of ours in Denver who runs assisted care or retirement homes.
I was thinking about that after visiting a business that specializes in warrants and vehicle checks, and my experience was less than wonderful. The person who I dealt with must have had a pet die, or a marriage split or something that prevented them from smiling or any nice customer interaction. I have other options of where to go for that service and intend to do that. Straight after that I went to purchase a couple of batteries (retail approx. $500) and had an equally disappointing encounter with a staff member who couldn’t be bothered to walk 3 meters to my truck, to see what sort of batteries I needed. When I asked why, he said it was raining and he was not going to get wet. I told him that I would go elsewhere and did, getting friendly helpful service. One person’s loss is another’s gain. And all it took was basic customer service.

Not all my experiences are as terrible as that, even though I do wonder how some of these people keep their jobs, and why the owners/managers hired them in the first place.

I owned a clothing store in Queenstown for 20 + years and, when hiring staff, advised them that no matter how bad their day was, (dog got run over, Mum sick, boyfriend left, rent overdue etc ) they had a responsibility to be friendly, smile and not make the customer feel like leaving. If they could not do that, I had no use for them.

Luckily, those staff always did their best and continue to be awesome for the current owner of that business.

I am working in Lumsden at the moment and often visit 3 different coffee venues. Two are happy and reliable experiences. The other must have a policy that smiling is forbidden. Guess I’m down to two coffee options now.

So tough times for a lot of businesses here in the Wakatipu and attitude is extra important. I visited a fl ooring specialist this week and was greeted and treated well. Someone there pointed out, that they had been getting great service around town, as things were quiet, and staff were doing great in most places knowing how important each and every customer is. They followed that up with, “why couldn’t they be that way before the downturn?” My point exactly.

You are only as good as your worst employee … choose wisely.

- Jeff Hylton