The value of an smile – Analytics allows you to counting the uncountable

If you only read the first sentences you will probably think that this post has nothing to do with Analytics (that may be good for some people, but let’s think that since this is an Analytics blog, that is something bad), so let me invite you to read the entire post.

Ten days ago I was having vacations after two years. When you don’t have vacations for such a long time you have the expectations that everything goes perfect.

The second day of vacations my kids asked me to visit a Dinosaurus thematic restaurant…. I went to a restaurant with my family. It hasn’t the best food in world nor the best prices, but the idea was having a good time with the kids.

So we arrived to the restaurant and asked for a table, the answers was “your table will be ready in 45 minutes” (first metric). My first reaction was, let’s go to another place but my kids were not agree with that idea, at all, so I had to stay there for 45 minutes. I remained inside of the restaurant since outside was cold, until someone from the restaurant told me, in a very bad manner, that I shouldn’t stay there but in the gift shop or outside. So I waited for 45 minutes in the gift shop (can you imagine how hard is staying in a gift shop with two kids for 45 minutes?) and came back to the “front desk”. After waiting like 5 minutes (second metric, and we are building our Analytics model :-) ) count someone told me, pretty ungently, that they still don’t have a table for me. So I waited for like 10 minutes (third one) and finally a very gentle waitress came to us with a big smile and invited us to have a sit .

I told her that before ordering I wanted the complaints book. I told her, you are the first person smiling in this restaurant. I understand that everybody here is working hard because the restaurant is full but that is not excuse for being rude or not gentle. We went there just for having a good time. She apologies for the situation and offered me to call the manager. I accepted. The manager was very gentle and always smiling. She said that probably their employees were pretty stress for their work and they “forgot to smile”. She told me that that is not an excuse, so they invited us to have a great time and to forgot about the past. We accepted, and finally we had a great time there.

Before leaving the waitress brought the check with a 20% discount for the inconvenience. It was a good way to say, the service was lower than the expected, so we reduce the price. The lower the price, the lower the expectations (price= product or service expectations – product or service provided). But what I kept thinking was, at the end of the day it is possible to measure uncountable things.

My complain was simple, nobody was smiling there. Even when I wait 45 minutes, even when they haven’t my table after the 45 minuties, the problem was…nobody was smiling. They understood that the lack of smiles in the restaurant worth 20% of the service. So, just imagine that the restaurant begins using that metric as one of the mains KPI’s and explain their employees the importance of smiling…”Everytime you don’t smile we lose 20% of the ticket, and in some cases even a client”. Actually is even a great deal for the restaurant paying like a performance fee. “If you smile and the client is happy, we pay you a and additional 2% of  the ticket value to your salary”. Remember the quote “tell me how you measure me and I’ll tell you how I’ll behave. Measure me in an illogical way and don’t complaint if I behave illogically“. Well, the “Smile rate” is very clear. All the people from the restaurant can understand the relationship between both variables (Income & smile) and if that is clear it’s easier to accomplish the followed results. Wouldn’t be awesome do an Anova model Analysis with the variables Income and Smiles? Never say this is uncountable as the first answer, be creative, every flow in your system is countable. If you don’t get the answer, probably you only need to dig a little more.

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