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.