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EuroAmusement Professional 3-2018-Leseprobe

Seite 60 EuroAmusement Professional 3-2018-Leseprobe© Jean-Claude Coutausse / Disney

the one hand in the area of employee management,
but also that point at which service personnel and
the guest, the customer, come face to face. We
spoke with Julia Thombansen about this delicate
area of management.
EAP: Ms. Thombansen, you have developed a
program called "Heroes for the Guest" designed to
enable service employees in particular to approach
guests and customers with a fun attitude and a
commitment to successfully serving their needs and
fulfilling their wishes. That sounds almost too good
to be true. How is it supposed to work?
Auf Augenhöhe mit dem Gast ­ sowohl sinnbildlich als auch tatsächlich ­ ist beste
Voraussetzung für perfekten Service.

EAP: Das macht Mut! Aufbauend auf das Motto ,,Ich bin OK,
Du bist OK" * entwickeln wir uns kompetente, souverän agierende Mitarbeiter, die mit Freude unsere bzw. ihre Produkte
und Dienstleistungen an den Mann oder die Frau bringen, die
motiviert beraten und überzeugen können ... Vielen Dank für
den Einblick in Ihre Arbeit.
Das Interview führte Petra Probst

"Your products and services are
only as good as your personnel!"
While complaints about a "service desert" have recently gone
somewhat quieter, unfortunately this doesn't mean that in the
meantime the problem has been completely resolved. On the
contrary, those of us who go through our day-to-day lives with
our eyes and ears open can see that in many places the quality
of service, and even simple manners, have deteriorated more
than ever before to unprecedented levels.
So ideally we should start with ourselves and see to it that
our own quality meets and even surpasses our standards.
While this is easily said, as is so often the case it ultimately
depends on hard work, stamina and a healthy portion of good
old fashioned sweat. But if in the end we manage to create joy
and team spirit where we jointly celebrate success, then we've
reached a goal that money simply can't buy! So in gastronomy
and every other industry where service is an intensive or at
least relevant factor (and that surely includes recreational and
amusement businesses of every stripe), this is an issue that
should always be treated as a top priority. After all, the issue of
human resources is a decisive sales factor!
Julia Thombansen and Christine Possler, Managing Directors
at MUTmanagement GmbH, have specialized with their team
for years on consultation and personnel training, always
focusing on the "interfaces" in a company; the interfaces on
* Grundannahme des von dem amerikanischen Psychologen Eric Berne (1910-1970)
entwickelten Kommunikationsmodells der Transaktionsanalyse.

100 EuroAmusement Professional 3/2018

Julia Thombansen (JT): The challenge is to
develop an understanding with service employees
about what customers and guests demand and
expect, and of how great service can satisfy guests to the
fullest. This unites a service team and shows where its
strengths are and where more work is needed in order for that
team to embody defined standards. Good service for guests and
customers requires two specific things: structures and liberties.
We like to compare it with learning to drive. At first all of us
fail to properly manage the clutch, steering, switching gears
and paying attention to traffic all at the same time. But with
practice and support we learn to do all this practically in our
sleep, even while we're talking and listening to the radio at the
same time! What's needed for service personnel to also attain
this level of proficiency is management personnel who know
what they're talking about and who are personally reliable.
EAP: In one of your speeches I gathered that in your opinion
"Serving has become obsolete". This concept initially caught
me off guard. After all, "service" comes from the word
"serve". What exactly do you mean with this statement?
JT: Well, the first thing behind it is the fact that the service
sector is suffering from an enormous lack of employees. This is
partly because people don't want to be treated like servants and
minions, which still happens from time to time. So if you want
good employees you should treat them well. Otherwise they'll
leave. And secondly, guests also no longer want servants. These
days they want capable contacts who they can communicate
with at eye level. Otherwise they don't take service employees
seriously. The third impulse is that when both sides meet on
equal terms something happens that we thankfully see frequently
in the leisure industry: They appreciate each other. Guests have
a feeling of "They're doing a really good job here. They're
great!", and the employee gains the gratification of knowing "I
just made them really happy. I have the best job in the world!"
This demands well-trained, highly skilled employees, for
example in sales, who are also comfortable approaching people.
EAP: Okay. So this means keeping my eyes on the prize,
namely the sale, while focusing on the customer to the extent
that I can identify with his or her situation? Or in short, "put
myself in their shoes"?

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