Meghan and I went out for drinks on our anniversary to a long-time, local restaurant that we hadn’t visited in a while. We especially love the bar area of this place, since it was the first place we shared a bottle of wine when we met 7 years ago. This night, we opted for cocktails. There were two bartenders working that night.
As most of you know, I love bourbon. I ordered an Old Fashioned from bartender 1 and loved it. Not too strong, just right. After finishing it, bartender 2 came over and asked if I wanted another one. As good as the first one was, I ordered a second one with no hesitation. When it came, I could not even finish it. As I was drinking it, I kept thinking “Man, this has the same ingredients, but this drink is WAY too strong for me to finish.” The accountant and spirits lover in me hates to leave wine or bourbon behind, but that night I did.
I was thinking the next day about how you can experience wildly different service experiences at the same restaurant, within 30 minutes of each other. It’s annoying, but it happens all the time. You order a steak one night and it’s wonderful. You come back the next night, order the same thing, and it just isn’t the same. Of course, there are different people working night after night, but shouldn’t the deliverable be the same and satisfy you the same way it did the day before?
As a knowledge firm with a long-time team in place, we sometimes have issues with delivering the exact same level of service each and every day. We get tired; we think that we can do it faster if we do it this way instead of how we did it last week; we don’t have the time today to give that question as much thought as we did last week when someone else answered it. I get it. It happens. But overall, as a service provider, it’s incumbent on us to provide the same level of service each and every time you call or ask for something from us.
Why didn’t that bar have a recipe for the drink that would ensure that it tasted the same no matter who made it? Why don’t we have a standard template for that spreadsheet that we give to several different clients, so that we don’t have to waste time recreating it (thereby increasing our odds of making mistakes)? Why don’t you spend the time to train your team in the best way to do something, rather than making it up each time the task has to be done? This is one instance where predictability is a positive thing.
One hallmark of a strong business is its ability to produce a great result over and over again, no matter the team in place or the day. Your favorite restaurants do this, right? I will cut this restaurant some slack because I’ve been going there for as long as I’ve lived in Greenville, but your client may not be as graceful with you. Do you have a recipe for what you do so that your deliverable wows each and every time?
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