Scripts aren’t just important, they’re critical! And it’s not just the importance of scripts themselves but the strict adherence to them with ongoing inspection and confirmation of progress to their correct deployment.
A strong process sets you free, we all know that. It’s proven time and again in the military, business, and academia. Successful people follow a process in almost every aspect of their daily lives, whether they realize it or not.
Scripts go hand in hand with every strong process if you wish to enjoy ultimate success. Most rank-and-file teammates simply don’t know what to say, when to say it, or how to say it… This is where a strong process accompanied by situational scripts comes into play. But again, not just scripts themselves; ongoing checks and balances to ensure strict adherence to them, pointing out successes and coaching through fumbles. Without the ongoing aspect of the inspection, you leave much to chance.
This week I was involved in three different (yet similar) occurrences where a customer’s experience was compromised and revenue was lost. These are things that happen more often than not and can be easily remedied with a process, a script, and checks and balances…
Situation 1: Sitting at a bar waiting for a table during happy hour…
I’m sitting by myself at the bar waiting for the rest of my party and our table. I was early. Watching the bartender go from patron to patron solely focusing on those seated at the bar made me realize there was no process, no script, and no rhyme nor reason to anything. Some people were told about the happy hour specials, some weren’t. Some people received water, some didn’t. Some were handed menus, others weren’t. Some had place settings, others were given silverware and a few had nothing.
The bartender asked me if I was there for happy hour, and I said I wasn’t. That didn’t mean I wasn’t going to order something, it just meant I didn’t want something off the happy hour menu. Then, she leaves me and goes to the next patron to take his order and she stops him with a warning “That’s not on happy hour…” to which he responded, “Is it not available at all? I still want it!”
So, what is there to learn from this dining experience? The lack of ongoing training, the lack of inspection coaching, and the lack of a process with script cost them thousands daily. Imagine if everyone was greeted properly: “Welcome to ABC Restaurant, my name is Michele, and here are our happy hour specials which end at 7. I’ll be right back with water and to take your order…” WOW! Now you know her name, what’s included with the happy hour, when it ends and you have water en route!
Situation 2: Standing at the hostess stand waiting to be seated (a different restaurant)…
I’m waiting in line to be seated and the hostess is on the phone with a customer. She wasn’t given any training, any scripts, or any semblance of a process. All roads lead to her, phone, fax (yes, they had a fax up there), and walk-ins. I’m pretty sure she also handles the online appointments.
Here’s what I heard her say: “2 pm Saturday? Yeah, come on in, we’re here…” The person on the other end of the call clearly confirmed a reservation wasn’t necessary and she then said “Nope, we’re dead on Saturdays, come on up.” Now, the person on the other end of the phone triple-checked due to the size of the party and she then said “Yeah, we’re good for 10 people…”
Personally, and the same for at least two other people in line based on the looks we were giving each other, we’d NOT eat there. I’m now worried there’s a reason they’re “dead on Saturdays…” Is it cleanliness? Quality? Staffing? All issues that would ruin the meals of 10 people, right?
So, how should this exchange have gone? “It’s a great day at ABC Restaurant, this is Jill, are you calling to make a reservation?” Then, after they said yes, she should confirm the party size, and the time and repeat it back to them, not “2 at 10” but “10 at 2.” “What name shall we place this reservation under and what’s a good contact number for you? Is it textable?” Repeat it back and then call the day of the reservation to confirm as it’s a big party. The fact they’re “dead” at that time is all the more reason to secure a party that size!
Situation 3: The Rolex as a corporate gift…
A really good friend of mine owns a company that gifts tenured teammates a brand-new Rolex. The average price of the ones they buy come to around $15,000. Essentially the price of a car. I was in his office as he was making calls to secure one and he was on speakerphone. The first two calls were appalling.
They went like this:
Jewelry Store: “Watches, this is Jim.”
Customer: Hi Jim, my name is Gary and I’d like to purchase a stainless-steel Rolex for an employee.
Jewelry Store: “We don’t have any…”
Customer: I didn’t think you would but perhaps you could take my name and number…
Jewelry Store: “We don’t have a timeframe…”
Customer: I can give you a deposit over the phone, I don’t care how long it takes…
Jewelry Store: “You’ll have to come in…”
Now, when I tell you both calls were the same, I mean they were equally as horrible. This is a $15,000 watch and he usually buys two each year based on his staff size and length of employment. That’s a nice client to have in your pipeline... Imagine if these guys presented him with options, pre-owned, another brand of equal value, a waiting list, etc etc. Nothing.
So, on the third call, he finally found someone that handled the call properly. It was the owner of the store and we left to go directly there and purchase it. Now, while he was there, he also purchased his wife a significant piece of jewelry and when she went in to pick it up from being sized, she purchased their son a Rolex as a graduation present and she purchased herself a new Rolex as well. So that one call not only turned into a customer for life but went from a $15,000 sale to $100,000 in sales in a matter of 3 days.
A good acid test is to ask yourself, what would the owner do in that situation… If he wouldn’t do what you just did, then perhaps you need scripts, a process, and ongoing adherence coaching.
Don’t just wonder how your team does when you’re not standing over them, find out for certain! Let us MYSTERY SHOP you on the phone and the web for free and report back our findings. Zero obligation, zero cost, and zero hard feelings!