Giving compliments to people is free and can give a little lift to both the recipient and the person giving that compliment. However, if complimenting a customer or a fellow employee it pays to do it right.

Be specific about what you are complimenting on. Being vague such as 'you look good today' does not really register and is not exactly very inventive either. Pinpoint something that you notice and back it up with a 'why' afterwards. For example : That necklace / neck tie looks great on you...( the why) ...it matches your eyes / shirt / suit.

When complimenting a fellow employee, it is good to follow the 3 step rule of 1. WHAT 2. FEELING 3. EFFECT.

The 'what' part is the reason for the compliment - what was done to warrant the compliment.

The 'feeling' part is how did you feel about what was done, did it tickle you, make you proud, or made you glad, thrilled, pleased.

The 'effect' is what effect did it have on the business or department or client. Did it make us stand out better amongst the competition, did it allow for more efficiency or cost effectiveness etc.
Example ; I really liked the way you welcomed that large tour group yesterday on the front desk. I was pleased to see it go so smoothly, and it showed the rest of your team a fine example of how it should be done in the future. Well done.


I have worked in many hotel and restaurant corporations who like to think they are 100% in favour of looking after their customers.
However a familiar scenario which you may recognise is this:

.......The area manager is in town for a quick site visit and is having lunch with the General Manager. All senior staff begin running around nervously, checking back of house areas, cleaners are frantically running from one corner to the next checking for anything which may upset the inspection ahead.
At lunch the food check for the managers table gets V.V.I.P. and rushed forward ahead of paying customers. The food is fussed over and tweaked in the kitchen by the head chef, and of course they get the best table in the restaurant. Senior staff are expected to be there even if it is their day off and tensions are raised.......

Sound similar to something at your place?

Variations of this I've seen in many companies, it may be the company owner, the board of directors, Vice President or whatever, the end result is the same. "The boss is king instead of the customer."

What many people miss out on here is that subconsciously the message is being relayed that the customers are second in rank to the managers / owners. Yet these same managers / owners are being paid, like the employees, from the profits resulting from the customers paying money for a service.

So if you see this kind of scenario happening in your establishment, ask yourself how you can stop it and turn the culture around to reflect a genuine desire to put customers first, not the boss.


So what do you do with your new front line staff? These fresh faced individuals which you have carefully selected through an often costly recruitment process, who have themselves thoughtfully made the decision to come and work in your organization. What is planned for their first few days as your newest employee?

Are they, like most front line staff, buddied up with a more experienced staff member and told to learn the ropes as they go?

The power of a properly planned induction training works it's power in three ways.

1. It reinforces to the new employee that their decision to accept the position was a sound one given that the company takes the initiative in properly introducing the companies culture, vision, expectations and methods of work.

2. The company benefits in that there is immediately a stronger bond forming between employer and employee by having the induction, thereby lessening the chance of the employee becoming disillusioned and leaving.

3. The customer benefits by having a staff member relating to them who is confident and able to perform their duty in an efficient manner, instead of having to make do with a 'newby' fumbling around.
Note: ( The customer pays the same price for your service regardless of which employee cares for them - so why should they be offered up as someone who will assist you to train your new employees on the job?)

What to include in your inductions?

- Introduction to the business/department and its personnel/management structure.

- A thorough understanding of expected standards in the workplace.

- Correct health and safety requirements.

- A refresher course on the particular skills needed in their area, namely showing staff the company way of doing things, as opposed to how things may be done elswhere.


You already know that a good customer survey can highlight weak areas and perhaps show what your existing customers think about you.
The trouble is getting them to answer your questions.

The solution is simple. Get the front line staff to do it for you. Not with clipboards or long lists either, just politely and whilst in conversation with customers.
The questions need to be open ended ones which do not put the customer in an awkward position.
So asking outright if they think service is good, poor or great is not the line you want to pursue.
You need constructive pointers and comparisons with your competitors.
For example; to customer- " You seem to be traveling a great deal in your job, how do we measure up against our main competition? How could we be better in your view?

Give each staff member a couple of questions to have on their desk or discreetly placed in their area of work. Their mission is to try and place that question to as many customers and entice fruitful answers from them which he or she can then bring back to the survey coordinator to compile with the dozens of different questions from other staff . Reward those staff who bring back the most answers and ideas from these customers, those responses are gold dust to you.

Pretty soon you have a wealth of answers given direct from your customers, without alienating them or having to offer rewards like free trips or discounts etc.