There are many aspects of my work that I love, but some more than others. The favourite part of writing for me is the research, the reading and experiencing, before the joy of crafting words. Something else that excites me is good service, and I believe we need to raise the standards of service in our country. Whilst planning one of our current courses on brand and service excellence, I visited a few top class companies to compare their service and brand experiences. One is in a class of its own. Every interaction with their staff, from those who greeted me at the entrance, to those who merely walked past me, was positive and happy. Everyone smiled, making me feel really welcome.
Dinner at Nobu, at the One&Only Hotel, the world-renowned Japanese restaurant, showcased culinary innovation and again, I experienced sterling service. Linda, my waitress, hails from Zimbabwe, so I was rather surprised that she could answer my every question about the menu and ingredients. I allowed her to guide me in making good choices. When I asked how she knew so much about the cuisine, her response did not surprise me. “We are trained within an inch of our lives…and then we are trained again!” No room for error.
Not once was I referred to by my room number, it was always by name. After checking out I waited at the door and chatted to the gentleman in charge of valet parking, who was able to answer the last of my questions effortlessly. He was able to tell me what proportion of guests are leisure and business travellers, what nationality visits most often, and give me other useful bits of trivia. To me, a sign of excellent team-work, inter-departmental training and leadership, that combine to ensure service excellence.
In the hospitality sector one weak link in the chain can result in a guest leaving and giving a bad review online, or by word-of-mouth to friends or family. It is as important in every industry, not just hospitality, to ensure that each and every member of your team understands their value in building your brand. Every interaction, regardless of how seemingly insignificant, is important. Staff will only know how important they are if you tell them, they will only get better if you train them. There is One&Only way to provide good service – a team that is mastered in brand and service excellence is a team that excels.