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Want Better Reviews? Forget your building, its all about your people!

Our plane touched down on a beautiful little island in the Caribbean. Having never been to this country before, our excitement and anticipation swelled as we taxied toward the terminal. After a quick run through customs and short taxi ride we arrived at a sleepy little resort on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

We chose this resort because of the amazing reviews and ideal location. But how can this resort live up to the wonderfully huge expectations that we had? With such high ratings and so many verbose testimonials, were we doomed to be disappointed? Comments we had read included names of specific staff members! Many were credited with being personally responsible for their guest’s fantastic experiences.

Was Stevenson (not his real name) a real person? Was he really that amazing? Could one hotel bartender make such a difference when you are already in paradise?

YES.

We found this fabled bartender, drying glasses and smiling widely as we approached the bar top. While the service was amazing and the drinks were tasty, it was the way in which he served us that struck me as truly extraordinary. This person approached every task and interaction with authentic passion! He was enthusiastic about mixing a drink, opening a bottle, giving directions, or even discussing guests plans during their stay. He absolutely loved his job! The excitement he had livened up the atmosphere and spread to every guest he greeted. He took so much pleasure in serving the people around him that it would be impossible to miss.

This is the sort of attitude that could turn a mediocre hotel into an exemplary model for hospitality.

The question becomes: How can an organization create an environment that exceeds high exceptions? How can you replicate the ‘Stevenson Effect’?

If you want better reviews forget about your building, its all about your people.

  1. Encourage authenticity from your employees. Give them permission to be less stoic. Making the work environment fun for your staff can do wonders for your customers’ experience.
  2. Rid yourself of perpetually negative people. Don’t allow gossip or complaining from your staff. Yes, this means releasing people that don’t have the necessary personality.
  3. Incentivize the extraordinary! Reward your employees that go above and beyond… publicly. Do something so large other staff members gasp. You want this to serve as an example for where you want the new bar of expectations to be set.

Doing these few things can help you exceed the expectations of your guests. The interactions they have are more important to extraordinary reviews than anything else. The best way to serve your clientele is to be enthusiastic in every task.

A year later I returned to that sleepy little resort. Once again, Stevenson greeted me with a smile… and once again, he exceeded my expectations. This time he remembered what I wanted to drink.

Be consistent in the passion with which you serve.

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