What’s your service philosophy?

Whether you’re an executive or a frontline employee, you need a “service philosophy” that guides your interactions with guests.

Last week I wrote about Ashley at our front desk. I noticed that she ends her  interactions with guests by saying, “Come back and see me if you need anything else!” I told her that I liked that, instead of something generic. (ie, “have a good day” or worse, “enjoy your day”.)

I sent her an email one afternoon and asked why she used that particular expression. Her response:

“As corny as it sounds, I really want to help these people out. I think it shows them that you’re open to giving them more information and willing to take your time with them.  I don’t want to treat people like they are a burden holding me up from dealing with more people. I know that long lines are difficult to deal with, but I want to treat each customer like they are the only thing that matters in the world.” (emphasis mine)

Did you catch her service philosophy? (Hint: I bolded it)

Like Ashley, we all have a “service philosophy”. I define a service philosophy as your “values and priorities of what is important when interacting with guests”. Most of our companies have a service philosophy. Some of us have a service philosophy, and many of us have one that we preach and a different one that we actually use. (Or, a philosophy we follow when our leaders are around and another we follow when they’re not.)

A great way to get to know your frontline team is to find out what their personal service philosophy is. I’ve found that the employees who provide the best service are those who are most clear about their personal service philosophy. This is no accident—it has everything to do with training, experience, and a professional commitment to their jobs.

Now ask yourself–and tell us here–“what’s your service philosophy?”

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3 Responses to What’s your service philosophy?

  1. Pamela says:

    I think that not only having a great outlook on your job is important but also feeling as though you own your career. Meaning, people who come to work everyday just to get a paycheck have no desire to succeed in their daily work activities. However, people who come to work everyday because they truly enjoy what they do, will strive to succeed. I find it rather difficult to change the way people view their careers. The desire has to be self driven and if it’s not, the ones who ultimately pay are the guests who come into contact with them.

  2. Nick says:

    Great thoughts, Pamela and I agree with you that it is difficult to get people to change how they view their careers. However, there are several ways I’ve found to have a team that is self-driven and motivated to be professionals.

    1.) Be sure your people are in the right jobs. The employee I wrote about in this post was previously doing a different job on the property and requested to be switched. It was a good move for her and the organization.

    2.) Hire right. This is the easiest way to have a committed team. Find the combinations of skills, experience and strengths that your previous successful employees have had. Take time and hire right; we so often hire too fast and fire too slow.

    That being said, sometimes we have the wrong people in the wrong roles. This is where leadership comes in to be certain the guest experience doesn’t suffer as a result. Are we being crystal-clear about expectations in guest service, and enforcing our expectations? Are we rewarding good behavior in appropriate ways? Have we built a workplace culture that is positive, fun and motivated?

    Finally, when we have employees that aren’t making the cut after lots of encouragement, training and time, we’re not doing them (or us) any favors keeping them in a job they don’t enjoy.

    I like the new HI Express logo, by the way…

  3. terribell85 says:

    thank you for this post. I have a service philosophy and didn’t even know it so when I was asked this question on an application I had no idea what they were talking about, so thanks for being so informative.

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