THE SO­LU­TION

Hospitality 9ja - - Wellness - Doug Kennedy

What we re­ally need to be do­ing is train­ing our staff to be thank­ful for the VNPS out there and cel­e­brate them ev­ery day, and at the same time to be ac­cept­ing of our share of the NVNPS. Af­ter all, with­out the lat­ter we would not ap­pre­ci­ate the former.

Most im­por­tantly, we need to train them that it is their job to fo­cus on bring­ing out the best side of the per­son­al­i­ties of the 90% of us who fall some­where in be­tween. Catch us on the right day, say the right things to start guest in­ter­ac­tions, and you can bring out the best of our per­son­al­i­ties. Alternatively, make the wrong re­mark on the wrong day and you just might trig­ger a neg­a­tive re­ac­tion that makes us up­set, frus­trated and an­gry.

If we are hon­est with our­selves, most of us will ad­mit we fall into the 90% in the mid­dle; I know I do.

A per­fect ex­am­ple hap­pened to me re­cently when I had a prob­lem with my Mastercard debit card. I was out to lunch with my teenage son Adam at our fa­vorite Mex­i­can restau­rant that we go to nearly ev­ery Sun­day; as part of our rou­tine we go to the same place and or­der the same items, then we take time to talk about the past week and I catch up on his Instagram post­ings. The en­tire staff knows us by name and even mem­o­rizes our or­der. Can you imag­ine how em­bar­rass­ing it was when my card de­clined? Now this has hap­pened to me fairly reg­u­larly, es­pe­cially af­ter an in­tense pe­riod of travel when I of­ten find my­self in as many as eight cities in 10 days; I’m sure they can­not imag­ine a real per­son trav­els that much. Be­ing ad­mit­tedly up­set, I called my bank and I’m sure I sounded a lit­tle gruff and frus­trated when I barked out, “Why did my card de­cline?”

Yet, my ser­vice provider stayed on point. He main­tained his pleas­ant at­ti­tude and tone of voice. He pro­ceeded to calmly ask if I had taken out $500 at the ATM each day for the least three days, which I had not. My card had been skimmed! All of the sud­den I trans­formed back into the “VNP” mode and be­gan thank­ing him pro­fusely for look­ing out for me.

As in this ex­am­ple, when we train our staff to stay on point, to rise above the neg­a­tiv­ity and to al­ways make it their job to turn things around, our guests will have a bet­ter day that sets the tone for a bet­ter over­all stay. They will be more likely to give us pos­i­tive guest re­views and to make so­cial me­dia post­ings about us.

Yet, this is also self-serv­ing; when we bring out the best in oth­ers it also brings out the best in our own per­son­al­i­ties. Come into work with a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude, greet ev­ery­one you en­counter warmly and sin­cerely, ex­press em­pa­thy for and an un­der­stand­ing of what guests go through, and you will spend the vast ma­jor­ity of your day meet­ing nice, won­der­ful hu­man be­ings we call guests.

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