The more I think about it, the more I realize that serving is about honoring. Hoteliers and spa professionals honor their guests…healthcare professionals honor their patients…educators honor their students and so on. To fully understand what this article is about, let us first define “honor”. A quick review of any dictionary will find that the wordit means to show high respect or to hold in high esteem. No matter what industry you are in, each of your customers deserves to feel honored, regardless of who they are or whether they have been classified as a VIP or not.
When our computers malfunction, many of us press “Ctrl-Alt-Delete” to refresh the screen and start over. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had Ctrl-Alt-Delete buttons on our bodies to refresh ourselves before serving each customer? Every customer should get the best version of us at any given time. However, it can become difficult if you are serving dozens or even hundreds of customers per day.
I recently came across a blog post by The Domestic Life Stylist. In it, the author wrote, “Commit to yourself that whatever type of day you have, you will commit yourself first to be present. Be present in your mind, in your space and in your spirit. Be present in your thoughts as you spend time with your kids, be present if you only have 15 minutes to exercise, be present even if you only have five minutes to yourself in the shower.” Half of your attention just will not cut it. Either give your full attention to what you are doing or nothing at all.
Honor Your Customers
If service is about honoring others, then the assumption is that people, in general, are worthy of being valued. Imagine that there is a banquet next week to honor a philanthropist from your community. The purpose of the event is to show appreciation for the honoree. That philanthropist should feel elated and never forget that moment for the rest of his/her life. Honor your customers by finding out what they want and earnestly strive to meet and exceed those expectations. Honor your customers by thanking them for choosing your business over others. Honor them by doing something as simple as giving a sincere smile (consistently).
On a recent flight from London to New York, the flight attendants executed every service detail with military precision. Virtually no mistakes were made, yet not one of them smiled. Not one…for the entire 7-hour flight! It is very possible to serve your customers and not engage them. Those flight attendants did everything right, yet I felt like I was being served by robots.
If you are committed to honoring your customers, you should be happy to:
- Show and communicate your appreciation for their patronage.
- Show your utmost respect.
- Give your best self, regardless of your personal trials that day.
Honor Your Role
Honoring your role means that you strive to add value to your team and your organization. Do not take for granted that you have a job in the first place. Don’t view that job as a form of entitlement or something that is owed to you. Instead, honoring your role is about being thankful and grateful that someone thought highly enough of you to give you the chance to be in that role. Now it is up to you to re-earn that chance every day, with every customer.
Adding value means that you are not satisfied with merely having a job and performing your duties. You desire the team to be better because you are on it. Those who honor their role strive to leave a legacy for their team, their company and their profession.
I realize that honor is used and practiced in some parts of the world more than others. I acknowledge that. At our best, however, we all know how to make others feel honored. We do it in our romantic relationships, to “woo” a potential client, or even to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday. So my challenge to you is to be present, honor your customers and honor your role. Genuinely practicing those three principles will inevitably bring honor to yourself, your team and your organization.