Your Customer Doesn’t Care About You and How To Fix That


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Life has a
funny way of throwing us curve balls. 

Things never seem to go as planned or as we hoped.  It’s understandable that we would become
discouraged or upset when this happens and take our problems to work.  


“I’m going
to speak with Sheila when I get to work, she’s always good with things like
this”, you may say.   

You get to work,
punch-in and start your shift at the restaurant or customer service desk.  As soon as Sheila arrives you start to tell
her your problems, diligently waiting for her sound advice.

But what you
fail to realize is that phones are ringing, customers are waiting in line and
they are getting upset.  Upset that the
person that should be taking care of them is more focused on their own issues
than providing service to the cash-paying customer.

The customers
don’t care about our problems, should they?

When has it become
acceptable to start or enter into a non work related conversation with a fellow
employee when you are “on the floor”? 

How can you realize
if your guests are in need of something or if their food is waiting under the
kitchen heat lamp when you’re talking about your date last night or your
favorite football team? 

The goal of any
business is to provide the highest level of service to their customers but how
can you, as the business representative, do this if you are not paying
attention to your guest!

“Yeah, but I
just left my table, they were fine.  I
refilled their water and bread basket and asked if they needed anything
else.  What more do you want from me?”
you may say.

You must be
laser-focused on the customer, from the moment they enter your business until
they leave!

Do you think
that when some star baseball player is in the batting cage he is BS’ing about
the vacation he just returned from?  Do
you think that when that lead guitarist from the big rock band is on stage he
would lean over to his band mate to tell him about the new car he just
bought?  Do you think that actress on
stage at the award show will pull out her cell phone and show us photos of her
new puppy?  I don’t think so.

How do you
think they got to where they are?  By
taking their job as serious as a heart attack. 

By focusing
on what they need to get better at and devoting all their efforts to make it
happen.  By paying attention to the task
at hand. 

Your task at
hand is the customer in front of you.

the customer doesn’t care about your needs or your problems.  They only care about their needs.  Who can blame them? 

When you are
waiting in that long line at the supermarket the day before a big holiday, do
you care that the cashier has been standing there for the past 3 hours scanning
items and filling bag after bag of groceries? 

Heck no, you
just want to get out of there.  “What’s
taking her so long” you are saying to yourself. 
“I’ve got things to do and don’t feel like spending all day here.”

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Well that’s
what your guests are saying to themselves as well when they are looking around
the restaurant for you.  “I want to place
my order, where’s the waiter?”  “Can’t I
get a refill on my coffee, where’s the waiter?” 
“Come on man; bring back my credit card I want to go home”. 

This is
what’s happening in the mind of your guest when you are not around and they
need you.  Don’t get into side
conversations with your work buddies, your guests don’t care about that.  Don’t complain to your bartender friend about
your problems, your guests don’t care about that either.

A few other things your guests don’t care

  • Your alarm didn’t go off so you overslept and were late
    for work.  So now your boss gave you
    the worst closing assignments.
  • You got stuck at your “other job” so you rushed over here
    and didn’t have time to shave in between jobs.  You look like hell.  The customers should not have to be
    served by some scruffy-looking dude.
  • You just had a fight with your boyfriend and are now mad
    at the world and really don’t want to smile or greet the customers in the
    normal manner.
  • Your car got repossessed and you need to wait for a friend
    to take you home.  She just called
    you to say she will be really late and that’s going to mess up the rest of
    your day.
  • Your mind is somewhere else because you have a lot of
    homework to do after your shift and finals are next week. 

You may have
your own stuff to talk about but not during working hours. 

Be professional.  Describe a few of the dishes in detail to
your guests.  Show your guests you know
the menu like the back of your hand. 
They may want to try something different.  Tell them about the history of the
restaurant.  Let them know about any
upcoming special promotions planned.

Realize that
your guests have their own issues, problems and concerns.  They must not be burdened with an inattentive
employee too preoccupied to satisfy their needs.  Leave your troubles at home; put them in the
trunk of your car when you drive to work. 
Leave them on the bus; close them behind the train doors. Take them
anywhere else but never to work.

Be “a
person” to your guests, not just “the waiter”. 
The customer may “like” a waiter but feel a connection to “a
person”.  Treat them well and they will
treat YOU well.


This article is an excerpt from
the author’s book “Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift…Even If You’re a Bad Waiter”, available on, and originally featured on Hotel F&B Observer Blog.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve DiGioia
Steve uses his 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to help companies and their employees improve service, increase morale and provide the experience their customers' desire. Author of "Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift...Even If You're a Bad Waiter" and named an "ICMI Top 50 Customer Service Thought Leader" and a "Top Customer Service Influencer" by CCW Digital, Steve continues his original customer service, leadership and management-based writings on his popular blog.


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