Disney calls their staff “cast members” to remind them they are always on stage. Something people in front line customer service easily forget is that someone is always watching you. As creepy as it sounds, you need to always be aware you are on stage. Here is something that happened today:
I’m sitting at one of my usual lunch spots and I’m watching the staff. I write a blog about customer service, what did you expect? There aren’t any customers that need to be helped, so the staff are prepping things for the next rush and helping the drive-thru guests. That’s good, but there are people in the dining room so they have an audience. That’s when the show starts – the complaining about last night’s closers. They aren’t loud, but it’s not the best time to talk about how something wasn’t cleaned properly and how so and so is super lazy. At this point I’ve finished lunch, so I’m wondering if I should be concerned. Ok not really, I’ve eaten so much fast food the last 30 years, it would have got me by now. A customer walks in so they stop. I’m pretty sure they will start up again in a little while.
I see this all the time and I’ve been guilty of it myself. You work with the same people, you get to know each other so you make conversation. When you get engrossed in the conversation about last night’s date, or music, or other staff you forget someone could be listening and you might share something better saved for the break room, away from work, or not at all.
Being on stage isn’t just what you say, it’s what you do as well. I’m not talking the obvious, like scratching your nose and then handing a person their food or stealing, those are given no nos. It’s the little things, like rolling your eyes as you are answering a customer’s question on the phone. Or wadding clothes up into a pile instead of hanging them back up right away. Or it could be playing on your phone because you don’t think you have anything to do. (I’m sure there are a lot of things you could be doing besides being on your phone). I can think of a lot of things not to do. Just be sure you are always doing what you should be doing at your best and it won’t be a problem. You never know when a secret shopper, the best friend of the manager, or a customer experience blogger will come in.
I guessed right, they went back to complaining. I’d love to have watched the rest of the show, but I had to go back to the day job.