One customer complained when served by a “Trainee” at a five-star hotel. If served by someone not entirely qualified, he wondered, should he pay a less-than-qualified rate?
“Trainee” badges are horrendous. They are frequently old and mangled, handed down from new staff to new staff for years. They do nothing to improve customer experience while creating an atmosphere that is simply uncomfortable.
The new staff feel exposed and humiliated, as if they do not warrant a real name until they prove their mettle on the front line. The customer feels uncertain and wary, wondering if his requests for service will be understood and acted upon correctly. And the manager is anxious, hoping a recycled plastic badge will provide some defense or insurance from customer upsets and complaints.
Just the opposite often happens. The staff, manager and customer are all on edge. It’s a “lose-lose-lose” situation that does not improve customer experience or elicit a sense of comfort.
Instead, train your new staff to welcome customers with solid eye contact and a warm smile while saying:
“Hello! It’s good to have you with us today, and my pleasure to serve you. I’m still a bit new here so my colleague will be overseeing my work to be sure we take care of everything just the way you want it. Is that alright?”
Most customers would be surprised by such confidence from a new staff and are likely to respond, “That’s fine!” And if the service is good, positive compliments will surely follow. Ultimately, this tactic can improve customer experience and put everyone in a more comfortable frame of mind.
Key Learning Points
“Trainee” badges don’t help; they only hurt and hinder.
Don’t create anxiety with an old piece of plastic. Instead, build confidence, improve customer experience and goodwill with the right kind of training.