I don’t know many people who don’t love a good a magic trick. Though I know there are books, YouTube videos and even DIY’s on how to deconstruct a slight of hand, I have never wanted to know if Abracadabra worked or not. I prefer to think it does.
Choosing a career in the hospitality industry allowed me to enter a world that is quite magical and needless to say I learned a few tricks. Most of us know what makes a dining, hotel or vacation experience exceptional is the service. Though, we all have different definitions of exceptional service I would bet, and I am a betting gal, that your definition includes knowing your name, preferences, likes/dislikes, and a bit of personal information. Am I right?
So how does the service staff know this information about you? I hate to say it but they are not magic but rather excellent observers and listeners. They simply write down information you give them voluntarily by reservation, in conversation, and what they observe and enter it into a computer. A great example that happened to me is the Room Service Wait Person noticed that I ordered cheesecake every night with my dinner and I was working hard on a presentation. The third night of my stay when I called down for dinner the operator offered me a small cheesecake sampler on the house, a special coffee, and wished me luck on my presentation. I was shocked, impressed and told everyone I knew about it. It is not rocket science, not information to be sold and it is not so they can spy on you when you leave. They do this so those who come into contact with you can greet and interact with you as a guest and not a “male in room 214 who prefers a non-smoking king”.
Okay, so the big secret is out and you may be asking, “What does that have to do with my everyday life?” A lot. Each day, you greet and interact with people. Some you may know better than others but more often those you rely on the most you don’t know at all. Think back about how you felt when you were in the restaurant or at the hotel and were given the exceptional service. How did you feel? How much happier were you? Imagine doing that for someone else.
How do you do this? It just takes 4 easy steps; 1) create an index card for this special individual 2) write down the categories Observe, Look and Listen 3) write down what you learn 4 ) take action. Here are some ideas of what to look for;
- Observe! What type of drinks do they like? Do they bring in coffee or tea in the morning? Purchase some morning beverages to share and catch up.
- Look! Look at the pictures on their desk? Ask about them. Once I asked if I could have some art for my office. It was great.
- Listen! Do they talk about a favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or place they like to go? A gift card for a job well done is a great idea.
So go make someone’s day. Oh yeah, I forgot to ask was that your card?
(picture by http://www.giantbomb.com)