Is Your Business Ready to Reopen?

We spent a few days at Copper Point Resort in Invermere the week of Canada Day. It was clear from the moment we arrived that the hotel employees were not fully trained, and their guest capacity was more than they were staffed to handle.

The first sign was when the young woman at check-in told us, “your room is still dirty” when we inquired about checking in at 3 p.m. instead of 4 p.m.

The second sign was when we said no problem, we would go to their patio for a drink and she told us they were closed until 4 p.m.

The third sign was when we called to order take-out food from their restaurant for dinner, got voicemail, and after 30 minutes, no one returned our call. I had to walk down to the restaurant, order our food, and then pick it up. When I did, it was the most disappointing Kale Caesar salad I’ve ever had.

The fourth sign was when we realized they weren’t open for breakfast or lunch either.

The fifth and final sign was on the second night, after trying to call and order dinner once again and receiving no response. I walked down to the restaurant and listened to an employee tell a woman she could wait or leave if she wanted to dine there. He said, “Look, I’m the front counter guy, the door guy, the bar guy, and to be honest, I’m a little overwhelmed right now.”

After waiting several minutes for him to come back and take my order, I decided to spend my money elsewhere.

It’s been a few weeks, and maybe some have already overcome these challenges, but for many restaurants, making a comeback after COVID-19 has been hard with shortages of staff, products, continuing restrictions, and consumers who are ready for things to be like they once were.

#Leaders and #BusinessOwners need to think through their #CustomerExperience carefully right now and teach their team members to #communicate clearly, and to manage expectations. Read more: Share on X

Leaders and business owners need to think through their customer experience carefully right now and teach their team members to communicate clearly, and to manage expectations.  

Hotel reception desk. No people.

You don’t tell a customer their room is dirty, or that they can wait or leave because you’re overwhelmed.

The room may be dirty and you may feel overwhelmed, but your customers don’t care.  They do care when you make it about them.

When you say things like, “We had a large number of guests check-out today, and we want your room to be exceptionally well cared for before you check-in. Thank you for giving us a bit of extra time to do that.”

Or, “I understand you’re hungry and would like a table right now, and I’d love to get your party seated as quickly as possible. Would you mind waiting at the bar, or having a seat in the lounge while I see what I can do for you?”

The way your employees communicate and manage customer expectations as the market re-opens will endear those customers to you once again, or it will leave them searching for better options elsewhere. 

The way your employees #communicate as the market re-opens will either endear #customers, or it will leave them searching for better options. Read more: Share on X

Your customers don’t expect you to have everything perfect, but they do expect you to communicate well and act like you value the fact that they have chosen to spend their money with your establishment. I never thought Subway for dinner would appeal to me more than a restaurant that appeared to be poorly managed—but it did.

Prior to making the decision to publish this blog, I filled out a survey from the hotel to share my feedback and requested that the General Manager contact me for more details. More than a month has passed and he has not made any attempt to contact me, which also speaks to the impact of leadership within this organization.

So, is your business ready to reopen? 


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Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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