Posts Tagged ‘hospitality’
New York restaurateur Danny Meyer defines a “51 percenter” as an employee who brings job skills that are 51 percent emotional and 49 percent technical. Having worked in the hotel industry for 10 years, I share Mr. Meyer’s contention that the art of delivering true hospitality often comes from your heart more so than from your head.
Meyer goes on to say that service is about meeting the technical expectation, while the “hospitality quotient,” as he calls it, surpasses mere technical requirements to the ability to demonstrate a sense of being on the customer’s side. This is something I look for when hiring for customer-focused roles too. In my own case, when I seek to delight customers by anticipating and meeting needs they didn’t even realize they had, I get as much joy from that process as they do in the outcome, if not more so. Meyer calls this the “jazz level,” or the extent to which those 51 percenters are “jazzed” by coming to work in an environment that calls for them to deliver outstanding hospitality each day. Rain or shine, pleasant customers or surly, Meyer’s definition of a hospitality orientation is a core behavioral requirement for everyone he hires to work in one of his 12 restaurants. No jazz…no job.
Now, here are my three questions for you:
How would you define the hospitality quotient in your office?
Do you consider yourself a 51 percenter?
If not, what would it be like for you and your customers if you showed up this way, starting today?
You don’t have to work in a restaurant or hotel to bring the art of hospitality to your workplace. You don’t even have to work directly with external customers who pay you or your organization a fee. Most of us have at least one internal customer in another department that we have to serve at some point in our careers. Being a 51 percenter does require that you operate from a point of view that puts you firmly on the same team as your customers, however. Customers know better when this isn’t the case. One trip to the Returns and Exchanges counter at your typical department store will show you the difference.
It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or time to bring a higher hospitality quotient to your office, either. The next time you are working on a customer request, challenge yourself to think three steps ahead of your customer. What else is possible beyond the initial inquiry or request they have made? What else can you do or say to demonstrate that you have their best interests at heart? Try it out, and tell me about your success!
For more about Danny Meyer and his philosophy about the art of hospitality, check out Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business (2006, Harper Collins).