Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, did not mince her words recently when she opined about the state of global affairs – they are a mess. John Kerry ventures from one crisis and outrage to the next. We, the public, tap our news sources and cringe, many turning a deaf ear as the news is really the same day to day. The topics cover the spectrum – insurrection in the Ukraine, shelling in the Middle East, deadly disease in Africa. In the US we have the humanitarian plight on the US/Mexican border, severe drought in the West, and the CIA spying inward. We feel numb, frustrated, nervous, tense and anticipatory (what will happen next?).
As Gary Samore, a former national-security aide in the Obama Administration so aptly summarized in the August 4, 2014 New Yorker magazine, “You name it, the world is aflame. We always have a mix of complicated interests. That’s not unusual. What’s unusual is there’s this outbreak of violence and instability everywhere.”
Citizens take heart. We in Hospitality can offer you succor. This is kind of a new application to an old word, defined by Merriam-Webster as: “something that you do or give to help someone who is suffering or in a difficult situation”. That really is the state of our guests when they arrive at our doors. If traveling, they have been beset with delays, crowds, noise, clash and clutter. They are exhausted and seek a haven to nurse their bruised psyche and body. We in Hospitality are that respite, that ambassador of good will, care and attention. That is our craft.
We know our guests also seek a memorable experience. But, that starts with a few of the fundamentals established. They want a safe, clean and comfortable environment. They want some respect. They expect some courtesy. If the bathroom is dirty, the meal unsatisfactory or a desk clerk is rude, we cannot possibly create that atmosphere of care and consideration. The basics have just not been met! The experience has been marginalized.
As we open our doors to the day’s business, remember who we serve and why. We have the opportunity and ability to transform and delight, and that becomes memorable.
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog, focusing on anything and everything about customer experience. LRA Worldwide is the leading global provider of Customer Experience Measurement services for multinational companies with complex customer interactions. For over 30 years, LRA’s innovative brand standards audits, quality assurance inspections, mystery shopping programs, research, and consulting services have helped ensure our clients deliver consistent, memorable, and differentiated experiences to their customers. Many of the world's preeminent global hospitality brands, as well as companies in the gaming, dining, healthcare, sports and entertainment, real estate, retail and travel industries choose LRA to help them measure and improve the customer experience. For more information, visit www.LRAWorldwide.com.
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