Some of you might remember the movies about the adventures of Ma and Pa Kettle. Although made in the late 1940’s, they were riotous stories of the hapless, taciturn Pa and the boisterous, blustery Ma along with their brood of unruly children. The films are a rare catch in our world of cable.
One such movie took the family on vacation to Hawaii, which included a tour of a pineapple packing factory. Pa stopped by the Superintendent’s office to fill his pipe and fiddle with a transistor radio, while Ma busied herself with the tour group moving through the plant. Pa finally found a band he liked on the radio and started tapping his toes and puffing on that pipe. By happenstance, he had placed the radio next to the loud speaker, which relayed the music out to the plant. You can imagine what happened next – the workers who had robotically plopped pineapples in cans, were now swaying joyfully to the music, moving their hands quickly - product was conveyed, employees were motivated, production increased, revenue was skyrocketing. In short, Pa was a new management guru. What a stroke of genius with a touch of Hollywood .
We in Hospitality have the same issues as that pineapple factory; we have become mechanical rather that innovative. We have the product, service and facility to meet and exceed our guest’s expectations. How do we get our brand to “hum” and deliver. Each brand has its protocols and platforms. We should always be asking how we are performing, establishing those benchmarks and advancing goals. We need to reach out to that audience we hope to influence. That same old safe approach simply no longer works in this current market environment. We need to be adventurous, try something new, be audacious.
Much of our business is homogenized, not easily differentiated. Our goal is to be distinct. Our employees deliver that message for us. Yet, those very same ambassadors have been pretty well battered for the last seven or so years. We have some work to do in order to regain their loyalty as well as energy. One step would be to get them involved, participating with the brand outreach. They live the brand every day; they know your customer base. Particularly, they know what works and what does not. Bring them back into the fold and let the ideas and concepts flow. Maybe, even throw in some music.
John Hendrie is the author of the LRA blog 'A Guy Walks In'. LRA is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability. We have built a range of quality assurance, mystery shopping, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so.
Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, servicing our clients from offices and resources in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions and helping clients such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the National Football League, Avis Budget Group, Madison Square Garden, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit www.LRAworldwide.com.
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