Thursday, February 28, 2013

Growing Your Business in 2013 - Good NEWS Bad NEWS

Guest blog post from Carol Ritter of

Speaking of traveling, I’m blessed to work for a company that brings me opportunities to experience the state of Pennsylvania’s businesses at their best and at their worst.  I’m speaking every Saturday in February in various cites throughout PA.  My audience is wonderful, caring, giving folks who truly care about their communities.  That’s the Good news.  The bad news is that when you travel, the experience of just getting dinner or a hotel can say the least, interesting and sometimes frustrating!

First week, asked the young hotel clerk for a local restaurant with good food.  He recommended the restaurant across the street (lots of high fat hot wings). Why did I ask?  I finally found a wonderful, well-know restaurant with a flare for buying local.  I went in and asked the gal a question and her surly reply was, “How would I know?”   I opened the menu and a different name was on the menu than the restaurant I was supposed to be in.  I asked,  “Am at the Rock Restaurant?”  She said, “No, just go out the door and turn left, they are over to the right.”  So I did.  If she was interested in advocating for her restaurant she would have said something to make me stay.  Bad news for customer service. 

Second week, had to leave early due to impending snow.  Hotel issues, they had my reservation but not payment from the company.  The clerk went over the top to solve the problem with the biggest smile on her face.  She must have apologized 10 times.  Good news for customer service.  Then...... dinner.  I was sent to a neighborhood place on the corner in a very run down neighborhood.  I went in and walked right out.... if you know what I mean.  On to the next adventure!  Checking my phone app for another restaurant, I found a beautiful quaint hotel with a lite menu, turned on the GPS and off I went.  I turned the corner and OM goodness, the hotel was burnt to the ground.  I’m giving up the ‘buy local’ so I decided to visit Red Lobster, 1 1/2 hour wait, I give up, just want to eat dinner.  I left Red Lobster and drove to a subtle, little Mediterranean restaurant, parked and literally waited for guests to leave. “How’s the food here?”  A gentleman replied, “Best place in town.”  My luck had changed. The hostess greeted me with a smile and I sat down to a lovely dinner with live Jazz music.  Good news for customer service.

The first question most people ask when looking for a restaurant is always, how’s the food?  We never seem to ask, how’s the service?   Most of us are in the “PEOPLE BUSINESS ” no matter what, we come into contact with the public while doing our jobs.  And people talk, I read that we all have 10 people in our lives that we love and trust, those are the people we tell about our Good news, Bad news experiences. 

The Good news is that some business owners understand and are committed to extraordinary customer service. The Bad news is some just don’t care and they will let a future customer walk right our the door.  Train your employees well and no one will walk out the door again.  NOW THAT'S GOOD NEWS!!

Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog.
Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country.  Carol’s creative  leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND BETTER LEADERS. 610-442-4545  Like me on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia.

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