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By: Lauren Davis
Many would not think that outside management experience could help public relations in any real way but, that is not the case. After being a shift manager at a local pizza place for the last six years, I’ve learned so much that I can apply to my daily agency life. As a manager you’re not only managing your team and maintaining a well-run shift but you’re also having to take care of your clientele. In my case, customers in the food industry can be very difficult. People have different food preferences and allergies that need to be taken care of. But when a customer has an issue with something and is angry about it, I step in to take care of the situation. With this ‘crisis management’, I am taking control of the situation and making the customer happy while making sure the business is not tarnished.
There have been times when a customer has been angry or unhappy with something that happened at my place of work and as a manager, I’ve had to remedy so many different problems. Sometimes, a customer’s order will get lost in the kitchen which makes a customer’s food not get made. I’ve been there to apologize, figure out what they ordered and made sure to credit their account or give their money back. I’ve needed to calm down a customer because their pizza wasn’t correctly made, even if they put the order through themselves. So many different situations I have been thrust in and yet I’m always able to see myself out on the other side, all while keeping the customer satisfied.
Not only is being there for your customer or client important but being there for your team as well. Management does include delegating, but your team won’t want to do anything to help out if they don’t see their manager helping out either. Being a manager includes taking control and leading your team into the storm. The ‘storm’ could be anything from a busy dinnertime shift, to a big sale at a clothing store. When having your manager there to help lead you through that as an employee, it can be so inspiring. This can then make the employees want to do more for the team as a whole.
Learning how to be an effective manager taught me that it’s not only important to make sure my shift is going well with my team but also making sure that the customer is well-taken care of. No matter what work you are in, the customer is always important and first. With retail jobs like clothing stores, it’s important to make sure the customer feels comfortable with the clothes they are trying on, in a safe and nonjudgemental environment. Your PR clients are in the same boat. Your clients need to feel comfortable with the team they have to build up their business and can trust that you’ll take care of the situation for them.
“Learning how to be an effective manager taught me that it’s not only important to make sure my shift is going well with my team but also making sure that the customer is well-taken care of. No matter what work you are in, the customer is always important and first.”
Learning to be a manager can teach you so many things learning such as money, keeping labor in mind and usage variances on products. But I think the most important part that I’ve learned from being a manager is how to interact with people that may be different from me. Knowing your surroundings and how you need to act and respond to an issue is important when you’re the representative of a brand.