H.A.G.S. and other shortcuts

H.A.G.S. and other shortcuts

My kids just finished school and brought home their yearbooks that had been signed by their friends. On almost every message, there was the wording “H.A.G.S.” Being the cool dad that I am, I thought for sure that I could guess the meaning behind the initials. “Hope, Attitude, Generosity and Service” was my best guess. To the amusement of my kids, my answer was nowhere near the correct meaning.

“Have A Great Summer” was a shortened version of wishing your school buddies a great summer. When I went to school and walked a mile in snow to first grade, we didn’t abbreviate special meanings. Perhaps it is the world of texting that we live in that encourages our children to communicate this way. Although it is a shortcut, the intent is sincere. In our hospitality world, are you taking shortcuts?

  • When was the last time you wrote a handwritten note to send to a client?
  • Do you schedule only breakfast appointments because they are shorter?
  • Are your customer events centered around activities that you enjoy to make the time pass more quickly instead of focusing on customers’ interests?
A few weeks ago I traveled to San Francisco to meet with a client and visit with the hotel sales team. When this particular VIP client was in town, the director of sales and marketing essentially cleared his calendar as though he was not even in the office. He and his number two colleague would take three-hour increments of spending time with the customer onsite. Each meal, each break and each free moment was covered, and they were at the client’s disposal for the entire three days. Their spouses knew that they would be working late every evening by having dinner and then drinks with the customer. They did not take any shortcuts, and the customer adores the service, respect and appreciation for their time.  

Does your competition take shortcuts, and how can you capitalize on this?