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Hard Habits to Break

How to break free of "Order Taking" and do more!

Bad habits are HARD to break! Have you ever tried to quit smoking or to stop overeating? It is not an easy thing to do - and many people who do try ultimately fail. After a few days, a week, or maybe even a month, people who try to break a habit end up right back where they started...unless they find the right motivation and follow through to successfully break their bad habit for good. Below are six steps that will help to break a bad habit:

1. Decide that the habit is wrong

2. Associate Pain with the old bad habit (health issues related to smoking) and pleasure with the new habit (improved health, better quality of life)

3. Be mindful in making choices that allow you to move toward the new, better habit (and away from the old habit)

4. Learn new/better ways to behave that reinforce the new, better habit as a good/permanent change

5. Recognize and Reward progress toward the new, better habit...reinforcing the new behavior makes it more likely to result in a long-term behavior change

6. Test It - Think about the future and picture yourself reverting to the "old habit" - if you cannot see yourself reverting to the old, bad habit, CONGRATULATIONS! You have successfully broken the old habit and moved to a better option (if you can see yourself reverting, start back at step 1)

You might be asking yourself "but how does this apply to my operation"? Well, if your Ticket Team is in the habit of asking "How Can I Help You" and simply taking orders from guests, they have a bad habit that needs to be broken! "Order taking" has several negative side effects: it leaves money on the table, it prevents your Team from connecting with your guests, which lowers guest expectations and can prevent them from having the best experience possible at your facility. This is because a team that simply takes orders is making the assumption that the guest knows everything about your facility and already knows what they want...which is usually NOT the case.

Having a Team that connects with each guest and then offers the best options for them will result in happier, more satisfied guests, a more engaged Team, and a healthier bottom -line...it's a Win/Win/Win situation! So how can you get your Team to break the "Order Taking" habit? Here is our proven formula:

1. Decide that Order Taking is WRONG - Your Ticketing Team should present the best options for the guest in front of them. Order Takers simply listen to the guest state their ticket order, repeat the request to confirm, and then hand over the requested items. This type of apathy and disengagement can kill an organization.

2. Associate Pain with "Order Taking" and Pleasure with Sales Engagement - You need to let your team know that order taking can result in layoffs (a computer can "take orders" for a lot les than a person), stagnation, and even possible closure of the facility. If guests don't feel valued by and engaged with your team, why would they keep coming back? Make sure your team understands that "How can I help you?" is no longer acceptable.

3. Get determined and work with your team to stop "order taking" - You need to decide that order taking is no longer acceptable - it is leaving significant money on the table and it is not providing the best experience for your guests - make sure your team understands this. Changing directions to have your Team actually engage with your guests can take your business to the next level!

4. Teach your team to replace "order taking" with a better way - We have many tools at Operation: Pineapple to help you improve. Our "Five Star Sales Program" is designed to elevate service levels and to transform your ticket counter revenue. Your Team will learn the skills to connect more of your arriving guests with your best products.

5. Introduce Mechanisms and Recognition to reinforce the new sales program - Consistency is the key to finally breaking the "order taking" habit with your team and having them move forward as "Five Star Sellers" who engage with your guests. You must be committed to monitoring your team to ensure they are engaging in the new behaviors and you will want to recognize your team for making forward progress. You want to publicly recognize team members that are meeting (or beating) goals and that are successfully following the new expectations. You can also establish rewards such as gift cards, free meals, or other items meaningful to your team if they meet/beat expectations.

6. Test Your Results - Measure team and individual performance comparing your sales and revenue numbers. Identify your top
sellers as well as those who need help. Share your findings with your team. Let it motivate your team to improve their performance. If you have team members who are poor performers who cannot (or will not) adapt to the new procedures relocate them to another area or terminate them.

*Adapted from Tony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within

Operation: Pineapple works with any size Attraction, Zoo, Aquarium, Museum, or Park to improve performance and to drive revenue. Contact us today for more information.

Melea.Desrochers@operationpineapple.com 702-234-7064