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Staff recognition tips & techniques

The Bell Tolls for Those Who Serve Customers Well

All I wanted when I visited the Taco Bell restaurant near our Fort Lauderdale, Florida hotel was a quick meal. What I received was much more. The experience not only fed my hunger; it also fed my passion for collecting examples of how businesses encourage customer service and provide opportunities for immediate feedback for a job well done.

A bell was mounted on the wall near the service counter. Beneath it was a sign.

The Customer Service Champion says:
When we do well…
RING THE BELL.

As I waited to place my order, I watched as departing guests, who were obviously pleased with the service, grabbed the cord attached to the clapper and gave it a ring.

The bell seemed to serve several purposes. With every ring, staff members were reminded of the importance of customer service. It provided regular and immediate feedback to staff. Every time it tolled, they knew that, as a team, they had performed in a way that met a customer’s expectations.

They may not have known which individual had performed well, or what specifically he or she had done, but they knew that, as a group, they had succeeded.

It was interesting to watch staff reaction when the bell rang. Those who were closest to the bell would pause long enough to say “thank you” to the ringer. It served as another reminder of the need to focus on individual customers.

One final observation: whenever the bell rang, most of the staff smiled, something they shared with the customer they were serving at the time. It is not difficult to imagine that those smiles reflected good feelings that translated into better service from a more engaged workforce… one that kept the bell ringing.

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