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Archive for March 4th, 2009

I don’t know if you can learn it, but I know you can’t fake it.  That’s what was missing on so many of the hospitality endeavors and even in the first attempted fix for a bad hospitality experience recently.  Heart.  You can also call it sincerity or personal touch, but ultimately, we humans are looking for a heart-felt connection in our daily experiences.  When anything goes wrong in customer service, there may be many logistics or problems with that service.  But when it comes to fixing that problem, the only way to truly win back that customer…is heart.  You can’t just do your job…you can’t phone it in.  Here’s another version of a Customer Service ~  ooops! (from 1WineDude in PA)

heart2

We have all had an experience at a winery, restaurant or hotel where everything was technically right:  we were greeted, we were taken care of and served as expected…but were left feeling flat.  It was hard to put my finger on what was missing, but a conversation with a winery friend that makes hospitality the cornerstone of their customer experience put the word to it for me.  It is the difference between just doing your job and creating a sincere, personal and heart-felt connection.  Heart is what elevates the experience from good to great.  The kind of great that makes you send your friends and family back for the same experience.  The kind of great that makes you go back over and over as well.  Chino Yip had it at First Squeeze when he owned that restaurant on First Street in Napa.  You couldn’t help but know he cared.  Greg Cole has it at Celadon.  The folks that work at the Roger Smith Hotel have that heart in their hospitality too.  You don’t have to be the owner, you just have to have ownership in your work.

Heart.  I say it is easier said than done.  Others think it is very easy once you know that heart or sincerity or the personal touch (whatever you call it) is the answer.  I wonder how much the people who train staff in hospitality talk about heart. What has made the difference in a customer service experience in your world?

Photo courtesy google images.

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