March 10th, 2014
A Customer Focused Business to Emulate
During the International Builders’ Show, I had the distinct pleasure of dining at Gordon Ramsay Steak restaurant. While there, I observed a number of characteristics of the restaurant as a business operation. It occurred to me as I watched this fascinating machine at work that the most important characteristics of the restaurant were also attributes to which every door and window manufacturer should aspire.
The first thing that strikes you when you enter the business is a very high level of hustle among the workers. This hustle connotes competence and activity, but stops well short of anything you’d describe as controlled chaos. Rather, it is efficient and precise without appearing robotic or rehearsed. You are left with no doubt that your presence is valued by every worker you encounter in the business. This level of care is not accidental, so you know that the owner of this business has invested heavily in training and meets frequently with staff to ensure the continued delivery of high standards and best practices.
The employees are passionate and quietly confident about what they do and never lose their focus on the customer for an instant. They exceed expectations and create a sense of “how did they pull that off?” This makes a complex business appear effortless. You see just enough of the behind-the-scenes activity of the workers to appreciate the level of hustle without having every mundane aspect of the business paraded before you. The employees of the establishment have embedded the requirements of their role into their DNA and they know the roles of everyone else around them to pitch in when needed. The phrase “that’s not my job” is not uttered here.
While I was only a patron of this business once, I am confident that the same experience is consistently repeated for customers every day. Where complexity in the business offering is unavoidable, workers are trained to quickly guide customers through the options available. Customer orders that take widely differing amounts of time to prepare are completed simultaneously and delivered as and when expected by the customer. Another example of the high level of control in this business operation is that it is balanced enough to accelerate or slow down the delivery of orders at the customer’s discretion.
Overall, the business delivers an excellent and unique customer experience that is worthy of word-of-mouth advertising. I hope you are able to say all or most of these things about your own business. If not, target two or three of them each month and, within a year, you’ll be the Gordon Ramsay of doors and windows.