Prego Is More Than a Pasta Sauce
Updated: Feb 29
If you are one of the many fortunate people of the world who has ever been to an Italian house, then you will understand what prego means. Yes, it is a famous pasta sauce. But like
aloha in Hawaiian culture, it is a word used to convey a sincere spirit of welcome. It literally means, “I pray you …” and then whatever you wish to happen. An Italian might gesture for you to come into their home and say, “Prego!” 2 It is a sincere indication that one is
welcome to join, and all the stops will be pulled out to make the experience and time together the best it can be.
I would always make it a point to drive this point home with my employees. In fact, I would buy jars of the famous pasta sauce and put it at various teller stations or loan officer desks as a reminder to my staff. Some customers thought we were a little weird for having jars of pasta sauce in a bank, but it certainly got a conversation started!
We all get those vibes, those feelings in the pit of our stomachs or hairs on the back of our necks when we sense something is just not right. We have all been in a business
where the musty chairs are just as uncomfortable as they look, or where a single person fails to acknowledge our presence. Think about walking into a luxury car dealership with marble
floors, well-dressed individuals, and leather chairs. Now imagine walking into a used car lot on the side of the road with a run-down trailer and cars with rusted-out paint. Both
examples set an expectation about the quality of the product sold and the level of service expected.
Every industry can implement practices that invoke this same feeling of welcome. This is the the practice of prego in a service-driven organization; sending a message that your customers are not only welcome to come in, but are invited to return.
Bryan Horn is a customer experience and employee development expert who has authored The Customer Service Revolution: 8 Principles That Will Change the Way Companies Think About the Customer Experience and the Employees Who Work For Them.