Thursday, January 26, 2012

30 Almonds

Explora Hotel Salto Chico in Patagonia

When I first arrived at the lodge, “Rosario” reviewed some of my dietary preferences, to ensure my meals would be to my liking during my stay.  “Impressive attention to customer needs,” I thought as she asked me questions and I gave her specific requests for my lunches. 

When I returned on the first day from an all-day hike, Rosario met me at the door and asked me how my lunch was.  I told her it was perfect in every way, but I joked that I did not need so many almonds as I had been given. “How much is the right amount?” she asked. “30 almonds is perfect,” I answered. 

When I sat down the next day to eat my lunch out on the trail, I thought, “I wonder how many almonds will be this bag?” I counted them.  …27…28…29…30. 

30 almonds. 

When I returned on the second day to the lodge, Rosario again asked me about my lunch. “Was it to your liking?” She smiled knowingly when I told her I was astounded that there were 30 almonds in my lunch.  Not 29, not 31, but 30.  She smiled. “It was nothing.”

It is easy to sing the praises of Rosario (and I have already done that).  In reality though, she is part of a team.  Her part is important, but it is not the most important part.  She is the “face” of a team of people who truly understand that there is more to lunch preparation than counting almonds.   Lunch preparation and counting almonds is about delighting customers.

On every team, it is the people in the background that carry the heavy water when it comes to delighting customers.   If people are valued as “just cooks” or “only clerks” or “order pullers,” your team is doomed to mediocre service to customers.  But when these “background people” are valued as the “Chief Officers for Delighting Customers,” they will take on the mission with a passion and their work will be meaningful as well.

Don’t let the cooks, the clerks, or the folks in the warehouse think their work is not properly valued, because in reality, they are not counting almonds. They are fulfilling the lifelong dreams of clients.

Above is video of the view from the top of the French Valley in Parque Nacional Torres del Paine.

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1 comment:

  1. I like this analogy and can use it for our seasonal associates that work in the warehouse. the ultimate customer they are delighting are the children that will receive the gift boxes and the gospel.