GLS gems–understanding the value of Customer Service


A leadership Summit gem– from Horst Schulze:

Today, at the Global Leadership Summit, there were so many powerful lessons on leadership. I will be sharing many of those insights and teachings over the next several weeks.

One of the powerful messages today came from Horst Schulze, (the President and CEO of the ultra-luxury international hotel company, West Paces Hotel Group, LLC, and former President of Ritz Carlton). I appreciated very much his focus on the importance of pursuing excellence in Customer Service. In fact, he stressed that every organization needs to prioritize their customer service, and their appreciation and respect for each and every worker and job in their organization.

Here is a link to Horst’s company employee worker standards. These principles are fantastic. I love the specificity of them. I appreciate seeing how empowered their employees are to provide the best customer experience possible. I also am stirred by the level of expectation of responsibility for each employee. If a worker comes across a problem or safety situation, it falls on their shoulders to deal with resolving the problem. There doesn’t seem to be any room for an attitude of “that’s not my problem”. Horst’s employees seem to be challenged to not just meet satisfactory standards of performance, but to exceed them.

My wife and I will go out occasionally as mystery shoppers. Primarily we will go undercover at restaurants and evaluate their levels of service, and facility cleanliness, and food reviews. Having been at many places now, let me just say that a whole lot of eating establishments can learn a lot by following the standards set in the standard operating procedures and expectations set out by Horst and his management team.

Let me give just two common observations from my mystery shop experiences: 1) is how often a server will come to our table as though it was a punishment for her. Customers have a lot of options on where to go out to dinner, so appreciate them when they choose your restaurant. Satisfy and exceed their “dining with you” expectations 2) although my server might convey some enthusiasm, most of the time if I pass other restaurant employees, they will not even acknowledge me. To fully impress a customer, their experience should not be based solely on how one server treated them and how their food tasted. It should be a team effort. Everyone should be conveying appreciation that a customer has chosen to dine in your restaurant. (By the way, this point has immense relevancy for churches as well. Churches should be places where regular attenders make others feel welcome. Sure, in larger churches, you will often not know who is a regular and who is just visiting, so why not be friendly to all. Make eye contact with many people and say “good morning””.

In fact, all of can learn a lot by reviewing the principles stated in this list. After all, these expectations really boil down to the general principles of loving our neighbor, looking to count others as more important than ourselves.


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