Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Recently, my awareness was raised about the great diversity of customer service experiences we encounter every day. During a recent hotel stay, my perception of exceptional service was redefined. Every staff person I met at this facility – at the door, at the front desk, in the restaurant, in the hallways and in a meeting room support role – shared a common purpose of sustaining their guests’ comfort and satisfaction. They were well trained and ever vigilant, consistently demonstrating these three behaviors.

  1. They were caring.
    Heads were up and eyes were focused outward, towards their guests. No cell phones were visible. They were conscientious, empathetic and humble, consistently demonstrating a strong sense of duty, shared accountability and reliability. Greetings were warm and genuine, almost as if we knew each other. A common phrase was: “How else can I assist you or make you more comfortable?” When working near the lobby, I was frequently offered coffee, tea, water or other beverage. The level of care and respect they exhibited to all guests, and towards each other, made it evident that each staff member wanted to make a difference for their visitors.
  2. They were curious.
    Curiosity is often described as a person’s hunger for knowledge and information. This team was ever alert for opportunities to serve, using nonintrusive inquiries to explore their guests’ unspoken needs and then reacting promptly once one was discovered. This behavior further personalized their service.
  3. They were committed.
    This staff revealed their clarity of purpose with guest satisfaction as their highest priority. Every team member was consistent in this behavior, aligned and bonded as a committed team. They were always searching and moving, without hesitation, even if all they could accomplish in that moment was to straighten the pillows on the lobby sofas. They seemed to understand that caring for their guests flowed from the care they shared for one another and for their facility.
How consistently does your organization’s customer service model these 3 behaviors?
How do your customers perceive your level of service?