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Nobody cares that you are short-staffed

Updated: May 4, 2022

I went on a little getaway this weekend. The resort was lovely—three restaurants, four bars, and a spa… but only half of that was open, and what was open didn’t match the posted hours or service description.

On our last night in the resort, the restaurant missed out on at least a $200 meal. We were celebrating and in the mood to have a premium dining experience. While we debated our dinner plans at the rooftop bar, the manager radioed down to the restaurant to find out the wait time was 45 minutes. Instead of booking it for us, she asked us to physically walk to the restaurant, where we were then told the wait time was an hour and 30 minutes, but “realistically, we would not get served.” My companion pointed out the visibly empty dining room, and the staff fired back about an 8 top and 16 top coming in.

No one cares about your “16 top” when staring at an empty restaurant. Ok, maybe that’s not fair. It’s not that we don’t care; it’s more we expect you to have it figured out by now. Across customer service as an industry, 93% of teams report higher customer expectations than ever before.

Companies consist of people to serve people. People are expensive. Skills are expensive. So, what can you do if one of those things is missing from the equation?

Hire smart people, and automate dumb processes.

Our needs and wants haven’t gone away with the pandemic. We still need basic supplies; we still want creature comforts, instant answers, and great experiences. These needs and desires have compounded the acceleration of technology. And like it or not, customers expect all companies to deliver. Hence AI in the drive-through, robot stockers and smart inventory systems, online ordering for everything, chatbots, the list goes on and on…