(Time to read this Blog article is about 60 seconds)

As a business speaker and coach I spend over 100 nights a year in hotels and resorts around the world.  And, I often speak and coach in the tourism industry.  So, I understand the Hospitality business pretty well.

Last month I checked into the Hyatt Regency in Montreal to speak at a Conference.  There was a 22 minute wait time to check in (I timed it).  They knew exactly how many customers they would have that afternoon, because every customer had made a reservation weeks before.  Since Hyatt been in the hotel business for 60 years, it’s also likely that they know how many minutes it takes to check in each customer. 

They should also have a Hyatt company service standard as to what is an acceptable check-in wait time that would make customers feel welcome, important and special (hint…it’s much less than 22 minutes).  Finally, using that info, they should have staffed the front desk appropriately.  This is called ‘doing the math of customer service’…and the Hyatt failed miserably.

But, really, we’re all in the hospitality business.   We’re all in the business of making customers feel welcome, important, appreciated and special at every touch-point.  We’re all in the business of delivering extraordinary experiences by anticipating our customers’ needs and desires and proactively being there for them. 

Years ago, as a retailer of ladies fashions, I anticipated the need for 4 hooks in the change rooms, a choice of 7 free drinks, electric massage chairs for husbands and boyfriends, a Pirate Ship Play Area for kids and customer washrooms with change tables complete with 3 sizes of free diapers, diaper wipes and cream for young mothers and babies in distress.  These were all ‘acts of hospitality’…and customers loved them.

So, what can you do to be more hospitable in your business?  What specific acts of service, joy, kindness, or proactive stress removal could differentiate you from your competitors?  What facilities, amenities, policies or acts of gratitude could make strong human connections and give you a huge competitive advantage?  Sit down with some of the best hearts and minds in your business, make a list of things you can do to be more hospitable and then document what will be done, by whom, by when, measured how.      

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