Buckle your seat belt. I am about to make a bold assertion that I believe to my core!
In all of my years writing, speaking and consulting on this topic, this assertion was always the foundation of everything I taught.
⭐Here goes: EVERYONE already knows how to provide exceptional service.
I’ve always felt that but here’s an example to illustrate my point:
One year ago, I was on a business trip and went to a restaurant for dinner. The place had decent reviews and was close to where I was staying. The food was good but the service was mediocre at best. Hardly any smiles from the wait staff. I regularly had to call someone over for basic things like refilling my water or bring utensils to for me to use. No sense of urgency or hospitality whatsoever.
But then, something interesting happened. A gentleman walked in, and several servers ran over to him and gave him the warmest welcome you could imagine. They inquired about how he and his family were doing. They promptly got a table for him (close to where I was).
They proactively told him about the specials for that evening (no one else got that). They offered menu and drink suggestions (no one else got that). They were genuinely attentive to him without being obtrusive. As a former fine dining server, I can attest that the staff nailed every detail imaginable…to perfection.
So, what happened? Did they all magically learn how to deliver outstanding service when this one guest came in? Of course not! They already knew how to do it?
So the next question is…if they knew how to do it all along, then why didn’t they give everyone great service? The answer to THAT question is what separates the good from the great…and the great from the world-class.
Here it is…
The staff PERCEIVED the guest to be important; therefore, their treated him as such. Everyone knows how to make someone feel special…IF they perceive the person as special. You will go out of your way and strain yourself to make another person feel special if that person is perceived to be special.
The point is…World-class service is mainly about assuming that EVERYONE you serve and care for is WORTHY of the best you have to offer. Assume that everyone you serve is a VIP and treat them that way. That goes way beyond service tactics and special amenities. It’s really a matter of humanity and the worth we bestow on people…regardless of their demographic or socioeconomic status…or whether they think you like or not…or even whether they share the same values as you or not.
Takeaway: To truly give great service, assume that everyone around you is worthy of the best you have to offer.