Welcome Back to Soupfly!
This is the 3rd installment of the interview I did recently with my friends, Eric and Yvette Auger. I am again honored and grateful they chose to use our interview in their weekly business newsletter.
I hope you find value in our conversation.
Yvette and I just got back from a quick week-end trip to Palm Springs where we stayed in a small boutique hotel: “The Parker”. I recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to experience service at its finest!
From check-in, to housekeeping to room service, dining experience and pool staff everything was absolutely perfect! The level of personal attention we received was absolutely remarkable. It was so perfect that minutes before checking out and even though we were ready to go, I had to get my laptop out and write a Yelp review. They did not ask for it but I was so pleased with everything it would have been unfair for me not to! Click here to read my review.
What made our stay so memorable? It was not the facility even though it was impeccable, It was not the drinks even though they were tasty, it was not the food either even though it was 5 star fine dining and it was not the room either even though it was spotless and very comfortable…
It Was The People!
And that leads me to the next segment of our interview with Christoff J. Weihman, customer service expert and author for the book “Getting to WOW! Everybody Wins with 5 Start Service”:
Eric: I have often heard that “being average is the death of a business” because it becomes unremarkable. You dedicate a chapter on this subject in your book. What is your take on this?
Christoff: Here’s what I’ve realized. The subtitle of my book is “Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service.” I believe that 5 star service can turn into 5 R’s. With 5 star service you will end up with, star #1: repeat business; star #2 is referrals that you get from those repeat happy loyal customers; star #3 is an increase in the positive reputation in your market, your town, your geographic location; star #4 positive reviews, and star #5 is revenue.
There’s no industry where you’re the only one. In a sea of others, if you are just mediocre, and you’re not going to stand out
In my trainings, I ask, “What are the 5 R’s?” 90% of the time that people say, “Revenue of course” or maybe they’ll say, “Repeat customers,” because they’re the ones who bring the revenue. If you give mediocre or average service, you are lost in the sea of other people competing in your industry… There’s no industry where you’re the only one. In a sea of others, if you are just mediocre, and you’re not going to stand out, you’re not going to build a great reputation, your business is going to fail, or you are just going to flounder and kind of bob up and down and not really go anywhere.
The great thing is, for companies, business owners and entrepreneurs that do have the right mindset and a desire to deliver excellence, I think it’s pretty easy to set yourself apart from the sea of mediocrity. It really, really is, because if you go just a little bit above average people take notice. In my book, “Getting to WOW!”, if you notice, I don’t talk about, “You’ve got to give champagne and free caviar.” It’s none of that. It’s only about the interaction with the individual. All the other things on the outside, the location, the ambiance, the décor that I’m talking about in a restaurant, but in any business, all those other things, all those do is enhance the experience, but if the interaction is not happening on a positive tone with the service professional, none of those other things matter. The event will become mediocre and unmemorable.
“How was the experience?” “Eh, it was okay. We’re not going back.”
People walk out of a location, whether it’s a hotel, a restaurant, a resort, or whatever, and if they didn’t have that perfect interaction … not perfect, but that great positive interaction with the service provider, they say, “Eh, it was okay.” “Yeah, but wasn’t it beautiful?” “Oh yeah, it was a great view. I was able to see the waterfalls or the mountains or the city, the skyline. It was beautiful.” “How was the experience?” “Eh, it was okay. We’re not going back.” It’s all about the interaction with the individual. Mediocrity is not okay. It’s not okay, but it is commonplace.
It’s not about everything being outlandish and extravagant. For example, when I worked in a restaurant, it’s about being creative, for one thing. I had a customer who liked to smoke cigars and loved wine. I remembered he had a favorite wine, and we were out of it, and I knew he was coming in with his wife for his anniversary. I knew that we were out and we weren’t going to have it delivered. I went to the store and I bought two bottles of wine, and I brought them in. He knew we were out of it, but I told him, “Hey, Ron, I know that you love this, and so I decided to go and get it for you. It’s on me.” Okay, it was a 20-dollar bottle. It would have been 60 dollars on the menu. I didn’t charge him for it, and it enhanced the experience.
One of my favorite words and most powerful words in any service interaction is “welcome.”
It could be anything. It’s remembering a birthday, it’s acknowledging. When somebody walks into the place of business, just acknowledging information that we already know. It’s their birthday. They’ve been here before. How many times have you been to a place where you’ve been there many times, and every time you walk in the conversation goes something like this: “Hi, have you been here before?”, “Yeah, don’t you remember?”, “Oh, yeah.” Instead of just saying, “Hi, welcome back.” To me, one of my favorite words and most powerful words in any service interaction is “welcome.”
How often do you look at your interactions with the world through the eye of the other person?
And if you did what would they see? This is a fascinating exercise to conduct and there is a lot to learn from it.
At the end of the day, what you think does not matter nearly as much as how you make your clients, friends, family members feel.
Don’t be the average unremarkable guy who gives caviar and thinks he is amazing! Instead, focus on the experience as perceived by the people you come in contact with.
Eric & Yvette Auger
Thanks Eric and Yvette! Also thank you to all my Soupfly Readers from around the world! I appreciate every one of you. Please feel free to share your comments below.
Cheers and God Bless You!
Elevating Service and Hospitality,
Christoff J. Weihman
Las Vegas, NV
702 848 8955