The ‘Bezzie Mate’ Test

How often do we try to show our smartness by making simple ideas complex, when we really need is to make complex behavioural processes simple? 

When we interact with a customer this can be a hugely complicated process.  Just try stepping into a role that you have never experienced before to understand the sheer terror of trying to ‘get it right’.  I decided to put this to the test by helping out at a restaurant I part owned.  Much to the amusement of the highly experienced staff, I suggested that I needed to understand the pressures they worked under so would do a few shifts. My induction quickly showed that here was a job we all took for granted, after all, we have all been to a restaurant, we all know what we want as a customer. 

Firstly, I had to achieve mastery over the equipment.  Tills, coffee machines, dishwashers, order-taking, creating a bill, even cutlery… arghh! This is before getting to relationship building with my customers. I needed to give a great experience so they would go home bursting with praise and desperate to come back.  I was the face of the restaurant; I was now responsible for the success of the business.

Luckily our team realised my intention was to learn so I could help us all to make better decisions.  Getting to grips with the processes was a matter of good training and practice.   Transactional customer service can be mastered relatively quickly but when weidentified what a great customer experience would look like, the number of factors became unmanageable.  That was until one of our super-skilled waiters simplified the complexity brilliantly.

She described her approach which was to treat all customers as ‘bezzie mates’ (local vernacular for best – ‘bezzie’ friends). You want your ‘bezzie mates’ to have the best possible experience, to show off how good your restaurant is, to be proud of what you do.  You know that sometimes they want a quiet experience while on other visits they want familiarity and fun.  With your ‘bezzie mates’ you work hard to understand quickly how they want to be treated. The ‘bezzie mate’ test became our mantra.