It’s the return of my weekly Monday Motivation series. After a hiatus of a few weeks I am back with some thoughts on service, prompted by some recent experiences and articles.
Recently I walked into the local branch of my bank. Having just moved into the area I am a new customer for this branch. I was surprised to be met at the door by a charming young man in a sharp suit who greeted me, checked what I needed done, asked if I was happy to wait and sat me down in the waiting area, advising how long the wait would be before someone would be with me. I had to check I was actually in a bank and not some parallel hotel universe. On checking the guys name badge it got even more bizarre – he wasn’t a Customer Service Agent or Personal Concierge, he was THE BRANCH MANAGER … smiling and greeting customers at the front door.
I checked later with the staff if this was a new corporate project forced on branches by Head Office. No, it is the initiative of this one young manager, to give his time to his customers, to make them feel welcomed, valued and connected.
Would I have felt the same way if it had just been one of the tellers out greeting me?
At qualia I endeavour to personally greet every guest on arrival. It’s the most simple task, to open a car door, smile and shake hands. Anyone could do it…or could they. There is something special about having the Branch Manager or GM take the time to acknowledge, and listen. What do I offer that special…a secret handshake, my charm and good looks..no, it’s my time. Giving guests my time, nominally the most expensive in the hotel, is a concrete representation of the investment I am prepared to put into the relationship with each guest or customer, ahead of any other priority or demand. To give my most valuable commodity – TIME.
If payroll, performance and productivity are the controlling factors there’s never going to be time enough to make guests feel valued.
It’s always a balance, and to me, if the guy at the top can find time to shake my hand, then I’m in the right place.