Anyone who works in the hospitality industry realizes that providing superior customer service is an essential way to build a positive reputation.
As customer service expert Shep Hyken once said:
Customer service isn’t a department, it’s a philosophy!
In this way, hospitality principles can and should infuse the business world. The result of this infusion is something that benefits both customers and businesses of all types. Consider these ways that techniques familiar to the hospitality world could be utilized in non-hospitality industries.
Catering to repeat customers
One of the most critical customer service lessons the hospitality employee learns is how to cater to repeat customers. After all, these customers are creating continued revenue for the company. Focusing on repeat customers can be very beneficial in other non-hospitality businesses as well. Think about an auto repair shop--by giving a little extra something or providing superior service and recognition to people who come back again and again; they can build a relationship with these ever-important repeat customers.
Offering basic and premium services
Something you'll find that occurs very often in the hospitality industry is that a business offers both a base level and premium level product and/or service. For instance, in a hotel, there may be several room types including a standard room, a junior suite, and a full suite with concierge service. By offering different levels of service, it makes it easier for the hotel to target several potential customer sectors. This technique can apply to other companies as well.
Adequately staffing for expected business
Another area of business in which the hospitality industry shines is in staffing. With a focus on front line customer service staff members, you can usually count on receiving the very best service in the hospitality industry. Nearly every other business could benefit from following this principle too. Consider how many times you may have had to wait to be acknowledged when going to the doctor, dentist or another professional service. Forrester Research states that 73% of people feel that valuing their time is the most important way a company can provide good customer service. Ignoring customers in this way is an easy mistake to correct.
Building brand ambassadors
There may be no other sector of business that knows how to build brand ambassadors than the hospitality industry. The goal here is to create such a superior customer service experience that customers not only come back time and time again, but they also post about your brand to friends and family. Going the extra mile makes the average customer into a brand ambassador. Nearly every industry can create positive relationships with customers that will lead to word of mouth advertising, but few do. Taking a page from the hospitality industry’s book may be one way that a company can improve overall satisfaction and performance.
Customer care is the backbone of the hospitality industry. That is why knowing this field is so beneficial to anyone who plans to work with the public.