Hospitality includes many industries such as hotels, restaurants, and catering. It is also having guests in your home. In hospitality, there are certain things we can do to create an elevated environment for our clients or guests. We are continuing our series on hospitality with the next lesson: be predictable and consistent. For more ways to create an elevated environment, check out my previous posts in this series.
As a business leader or anyone in hospitality, it is crucial that we are predictable and consistent with our clients and employees. There aren’t enough people in Birmingham to serve a person one time. We rely on referrals and repeat customers to grow our business. Being predictable and consistent creates trust and an environment that feels safe and comfortable for your clients. Here are some practical ways to make that happen.
Meet Your Deadlines
You want people to know they can count on you. Be early. When you show up early you give yourself margin so any last minute changes don’t cause a great deal of stress. If you have something come up or something unexpected happens, make sure to call well in advance. And on that note, call when you say you are going to call. This gives people confidence in you and they will know you are on top of things. You will build trust with your team and with your clients. If you can follow through with your deadlines you will be able to keep things moving. Hospitality is a fast-paced business and with most events you must keep a strict timeline to be sure you handle everything on time as expected. If you are consistently late meeting deadlines you will not be able to keep up and that is not going to set you up for success.
Things can get heated and frustrations can arise really quickly in this industry, really anytime you are dealing with people. My wife, Jackie, is a volleyball coach and she tells players and parents to use the 24 hours rule. If there is an issue she tells them to take 24 hours to calm down, and they will be able to respond more appropriately to the situation. It’s a great principle to live by. Sometimes it isn’t possible to give a full 24 hours in hospitality, but try to give yourself some time to calm down before you react out of anger or frustration.
Have A Process That Is Repeatable
Sustainability is the only way to stay consistent. People expect you to make mac n’ cheese the same today as you do 5 years from now. The only way to do that is to have a repeatable process. By creating systems and processes, it will help you not forget things. Making lists is a great way to do this, such as prep lists, packing lists, quotes you want to remember, communications with clients, etc. If you have it in your head you need to write it down.
Confirm Before an Event
You don’t want to be blindsided with issues at the last minute when you are preparing for an event. You always want to call, text, or email in advance to confirm the details. We had an event scheduled for a client and when our lead planner confirmed two days before the event, it was discovered that the client didn’t have some of the items that were in the contract. By confirming ahead of time, we were able to come up with a plan and get the items needed for the event. Had we not confirmed, we would have shown up for a nice dinner event with no plates!
Remember Every Client is Different
We want to make sure the process is predictable and repeatable, but always keep in mind that everyone is different. We have to be flexible to meet the needs of our clients so that they will share their positive experiences with others and we can provide our services to more and more people. The more consistent we are, the more effective we will be and we will be able to provide excellent service and an elevated environment for our clients, staff, and families!
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