Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Plus, Minus, or Zero

(1:09) Every week I hear from followers thanking me for my Minutes. Aw shucks... But in reality, many of my ideas and much of my knowledge comes from interactions with many of you - the marina managers, owners, dockmasters, and others.

(1:03) This past winter we stopped in at the Riviera Beach City Marina and spent some time with the Harbormaster, Lee Beauchamp, who has had many years of experience at marina resorts and knows a thing or two about hospitality and customer service.

(0:57) He described a training session he once had that taught the concept of Plus, Minus, or Zero. The idea was that following every customer interaction you look at the customer's back as they walk away and imagine either a plus sign, a minus sign, or a zero displayed there.

(0:48) It's a plus if you made that customer happier or more satisfied by the interaction. A minus means that you made the customer less happy or satisfied. Zero means that you had no impact at all on the customer.

(0:41) I love the visualization and the notion of rating yourself right then and there. It is so easy to view our accomplishments based on the totality of the day or week or whatever timeframe. But to that customer, there is only one interaction that matters. The one they just had.

(0:32) That customer won't care if you handled 20 or 100 other situations with skill and excellence, if you handled this one poorly.

(0:28) You may be thinking this is a bit silly. There are plenty of interactions that don't require much skill. If a boater comes in asking for the WiFi password, isn't it enough to just tell them? Sure, if you're satisfied with a Zero.

(0:22) I believe you can make pretty much any interaction a Plus. When I walk in greet me with a smile. Ask me how my day is. If you remember my name, you're going for extra points. Once you've given me the password, make sure to ask if there is anything else you can help me with. Thank me for coming in and remind me you are there to help if I need anything else.

(0:10) That would make a rather mundane interaction into a definite Plus. I know you don't want a minus but don't settle for a Zero. Who remembers a Zero?

(0:05) With a just little effort, you can turn that Zero into a Plus. Now that's good for business.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.