You don’t have to be in the hospitality business to really focus on the business of hospitality.
But what is hospitality? It is “the art of making a personal connection with someone.” If this is true, then aren’t we all, first and foremost, in the hospitality business?
The challenge today, however, is that we wouldn’t know it—not by how most people treat others today when it comes to customer service. But I think it goes deeper than just service. It encompasses leadership as well as our actions and behaviors.
So what do we do it about? We need to go back to being in the people business first. How we make our customers, prospects, and employees feel about us—and then our services—carries a lot of weight. Our people want to invest in us, but they need to know that we care about them and the experience that we need to provide. And this is true for almost any industry or product we sell.
That’s why after years of experience in the hospitality industry, I have developed 8 principles of Black Tie Hospitality. If we want to get back to really making that connection with our people, then we need to start with the power of hospitality.
8 Principles of Black Tie Hospitality
B-Being present. How do show up when you are with your people? By being truly present, you are showing them the respect, consideration, and consideration they deserve. What you’re not showing them is your face buried in the screen of your smart phone.
L-Listen. How well do you listen to your people? There is so much you can find out about them if you just take the time to listen to them. When you listen, you make it all about them, and not about you.
A-Active. Are you proactive or reactive? Both words use “active,” but when you add each prefix to it, it completely changes the meaning. Proactive means you are anticipating your customers’ needs. Reactive means you may be on your heels and apologizing for something. Which action makes a better personal connection?
C-Class. This principle needs to be the norm, not the exception. Act, be, and speak with Class. You will be amazed at what happens. How do you become classy? Start by carrying yourself with confidence and making sure your character is strong. Class will follow.
K-Knowledge. It equals confidence. Never stop learning how to be better at what you do, how you do it, and offering essential services. Then, train and mentor others to do the same.
I-Invisible. At times, this principle confuses people. But let me explain. When you become invisible, you do your job so well that the experiences are seamless for your customers. Also, you are never calling attention to yourself saying, “Look what I did for you! Aren’t I the greatest?” If you need to do this, you’re not. The best out there are invisible. They let their actions speak much louder than their words.
What do the first letters of each of these words spell?