I live and breathe Service Excellence. I would definitely drive out of my way to receive service that I know will match and hopefully exceed my expectations. Recently however, I have purposely visited places knowing full well that in the past, I have been on the receiving end of poor service and gone back for a second helping.
This is down to the fact that I am so obsessed by Service Excellence, that I need to see and feel the opposite to get my creative juices going, which by the way does not take long if I am experiencing even ten seconds of poor service.
I start my day by leaving my house at around 6.30am. Normally, down to the fact that I am a last minute type of gal, I buy petrol in the morning. My local petrol station opens at 7am, so I have a choice of a couple of others. For me there is only one choice however, and that’s to visit Della….
Della is Service Excellence, at 6.30am she is in full make-up, hair perfectly coiffured, and personality to match. She knows how I take my coffee, she is genuinely interested in me, her personality is zesty, a proper Irish lass in her late 60’s I would say but with boundless energy and unfailing effervescence. She is swift, does not beat around the bush, never flounders and makes me feel special.
Special by the way is what it’s all about, genuine smiles, contact but not over familiar, smiling eyes, knowing your name and preferences like how you take your coffee. I eye the queues every morning; Della has always the longest one, unlike her mate – another story.
It does not matter where you work and of course I realise that in five star hotels or when buying luxury brands one pays a premium for Service Excellence, however for me service Excellence starts with a kind heart.
I know, and am aware that I have a five star background with training to match, but actually it starts with the heart, and mine beats with kindness, warmth and genuine affection for all that I meet. I know when people say that they are people person or foodies, its a cliché and said to raise their profile because that’s what folk want to hear. Deep down there is a lot more to the art of service obsession. It’s like being a stick of rock and having it engraved though you from birth.
As a raw 19 year old student who worked part -time to fund my Hospitality career, I had it then and its been built on ever since. At that age I mentored others in the art of Customer Service.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it can be taught, but will only be fully embraced if its a non- opt out career necessity or if it comes naturally or if the person is genuinely happy and fulfilled at work.
Those that display kindness are poo pooed and described as soft, fluffy, walk overs, submissive -but actually for me kindness MUST make a come back, and kind people should be celebrated and snapped up….
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”- Richard Branson.