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Words to serve by…

Susanne Axelsson
Susanne Axelsson
August 5, 2021
Words to serve by…

Most people would shudder at the thought of using their Yelp reviews in a professional presentation – so when Chris Bebo, Director of Operations for Provenance Hotels, took the stage at the Frontline Magic Local Event, and said that he wanted to talk about a recent Yelp review, the audience was intrigued...

When a Provenance guest made an unusual request for a hand drawn and framed picture of science icon Neil Degrasse Tyson; a star struck love letter and an extra mint on the pillow, a member of staff at the front desk saw an opportunity to make a difference. 

You’ll need to watch the video to hear the full story, but in short, a member of staff took it upon themselves to listen; hear the heart behind the request; and act. The gesture left the guest feeling “Completely validated, and at the same time completely ashamed...” (as all outrageous requests should! ☺). 

“Noone knew that the request had been fulfilled until the review came in, so it wasn’t someone who was driven by a day-to-day paycheck - this is someone who’s always looking for ways to put a smile on a face and finds joy in making someone else’s day.” 

The story is a wild one - but what Chris wants us to understand is that the simple act of listening and going the extra mile is what creates an experience to remember; it’s what leaves customers in awe. “Hospitality isn’t a science, it’s art; and it requires someone with a servant's heart”. 

Chris believes that too often, we measure success and make business decisions based on KPIs and data (and even meta-data)...yet, service has its roots in human connectedness. If we’re too busy looking in the wrong place, we could be missing out on key moments that create that connectedness. The review is a great example of what happens when we look to the person – not the data – and the powerful impact that can have when one person takes the time to listen to another.

“People do business with people, not with data.”

 If you’re looking to make a difference for your customer, here are some words to serve by:

  • Human connection over connecting the dots – Do KPIs, data and metadata really cut the mustard when measuring what our customer’s experience? Or should we be listening to their stories?
  • Listening is an art – Take care to listen, and then, take care to care. 
  • Hospitality isn’t a science, it takes heart – A servant’s heart means you’ll be feeling more excited by the thought of making someone’s day better and putting a smile on their face than a paycheck. 

Susanne Axelsson

About the Author

Susanne Axelsson
Susanne is the Frontline Community Evangelist as well as the author and researcher for Frontline Magic Handbook. She believes happy customers are born out of great experiences. Great experiences are delivered by motivated frontline people.
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