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Thinking outside the box

Thinking outside the box

First of all, where is this box, and why is nobody looking inside of it? When it comes to service, I think we should be looking inside this box. 

We are an industry that provides the simplest thing in its most authentic form: service. This is not something that can be purchased or attained; it is something that we all possess. We possess the power to provide excellent service. Some are more gifted at the delivery than others, but it is something we all CAN do. We generally don’t like complicated things, so why make service complicated? Just do it! Authentic Hospitality (our company mission) is what brings people to our hotels. Just like the clothes and the jewelry that our guests wear are not their greatest assets, our flatscreen TVs and fancy restaurants are not ours. Our people and our guests are our greatest assets. 

Hospitality starts with the basics of human emotion. I feel that the people who go far and the companies that succeed understand that. Sure, thinking “outside the box” is great, and by no means am I knocking creativity, but creativity needs to stem from somewhere. In our morning meeting last week our assistant rooms exec said it best: “We need to get back to basics.” 

We need to get our customer service surveys and contact the people who respond to them and ask why they scored us the way they did. What could we have done better? At a recent training I attended, our instructor read some guest surveys with negative comments relating to our facilities. To our surprise, the guest still gave us 5s (the highest rating) on customer service. Even though things went wrong, we provided excellent service, which results in delighted guests. Sure, not everybody will like their room, but we have the opportunity for everyone to enjoy their service.  

Try thinking back to something that was your best ? your best pizza, vacation, flight, anything. What made it your best? My best burger was not in an upscale restaurant ? it was in a hole-in-the-wall Irish pub. My best steak was not at Ruth’s Chris ? my father made it. My best vacation was Beaches Turks and Caicos when I was 10 years old. It was the most amazing place I have ever visited. Besides the natural beauty, I could not believe how genuinely kind everyone was. Yes, I noticed this at age 10. They were delighted to help you with anything at any time. Can I tell you what the room looked like? No. Do you see my point? Simplicity is underrated.

So, next time you’re looking for the next best service initiative, try starting inside the box, and see what you find.

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