Is there a feeling that takes you back to a specific memorable moment in your life? We’ve all experienced a sight, smell, or heard something that makes us remember a pleasant moment. It could be something as simple as a fond greeting, a small act of kindness or how you felt after visiting a new place.
In service, we all interact with a variety of guests on a daily basis. From maintenance to cashiers to sales, we encounter guests and guide them through a journey. It is essential to make sure guests leave us with something that goes deeper than just a transaction in our industry. We need to take time to make them feel welcome and comfortable, like an extension of home. But how do we make sure to connect with guests on a deeper level?
- Be Human: We all experience emotion on different levels, we feel joy, disappointment, excitement, and surprise. How can you use emotion to your advantage? Try bringing emotion to the forefront of your guest’s experience. Think about the things that make them feel good. Be compassionate and empathetic. Speak openly with guests and learn about them. Find things you have in common and use that as an opportunity to engage them on a deeper level and create an emotional connection. At the end of the day, people like themselves, so identify that point of emotion and use it accordingly.
- Create a Comforting Environment: Making guests feel comfortable goes beyond just leaving a mint on their pillow or simply asking how you may assist them. The guest experience begins before they step into your establishment. It starts with the brand and goes beyond their departure. How is the overall appearance of your business? How does it smell, what colors are used throughout? Are your products and services clearly defined and forward facing? And most importantly, is your team in tune with the different methods to communicate and engage guests? We must craft unique experiences that you can’t get anywhere else to leave that lasting impression.
- Ask Questions: Take into account your guest’s preferences. Ask them specific, open-ended questions and take note of their responses. Practice the 80/20 rule of listening 80% of the time and speaking 20% of the time. Use these details to ensure that you are offering the appropriate product or service. Soliciting feedback from guests is essential to improving service. It also reinforces that their feelings matter. Use active listening when fielding complaints and resolving issues. Your guests will walk away feeling like their issue was addressed to their satisfaction and that you really cared about how it made them feel.
As I often say, guest feelings are fact. Their satisfaction is an accurate reflection of your business and brand as a whole. That’s why it’s so important to make those emotional connections. You can take these practices and add them to your business and personal relationships as well. The more effort we take to make a connection with someone, the better the outcome. Whether it be a job lead, acing a presentation, or connecting with someone new, take the time to make those around you feel special.