About ten years ago, I worked for Starwood Hotels & Resorts as a Guest Services Manager and a Westin brand trainer. It was a lot of fun as the company not only talked the talk of customer service but walked the walk in their hotels across the country.
The company was very dedicated to a unique style of more hip and progressive brand of hospitality that was in major markets such as Chicago, New York and LA. They wanted to stand out and be the leader in hotel customer service. They created the W Hotels brand which created a lot of us in the industry.
One of the things that made a lasting impression about their company is their on-going dedication to the success of their employees and their customers. Whenever they spoke about customer service-employees and customers were mentioned.
I remember that we always walked the walk by focusing on training and honing the Brand promise to our guests and employees. As leaders, we were dedicated to develop and grow our brand ambassadors. After all, everyone can deliver and go out to make the customer’s day. We continuously sharpened our saw every day to find out how we can improve and WOW our internal guests as well as our external guests.
Great Leaders know that any brand success is a byproduct of how their people and their customers are treated. As they say, “Profit Is the applause you get for creating an inspiring environment for your people and taking care of your customers.”
How are you creating success for both employees and customers?
Happy employees love to come to work and represent your brand. They would do extraordinary things for the customer when they feel that their leader is taking care of them. Bill Marriott, the founder of Marriott Hotels and Resorts said it best, “If you take great care of your employees, they’ll take good care of the guests…and the guests will come back.”
I have a few practical strategies to help you as a leader, business owner and entrepreneur to implement on a daily basis to create a winning combination for your team and customers:
Strategy #1-Create value for your employees and customers
We live in an economy that tells us that average and satisfied is just getting by. It’s certainly not going to make you a winner in any competitive market. If you want to win, you have to create value for both your employees and customers. You need to get out of your comfort zone and think of ways to add value every day to the growth of your business. If your employees are not growing and creating magical moments for your customers, your business will stay behind.
Strategy #2-Listen to your employees and customers
Nothing is more critical to the success of your business both for employees and customers than listening. When you really listen, you take the time to engage and open the space for a meaningful dialogue both with your employees and customers. Why is it so critical? You may learn new things about your business and how to serve the employees and customers better as you listen deeply to what their hearts say.
Strategy #3-Focus on relationships to build future success
Employee and customer loyalty boils down to relationships. Strong relationships with employees and customers creates lasting partnerships and success for everyone. As a leader, business owner, and entrepreneur our lives are busier than ever, but great leaders understand that the quality of those relationships is a direct result of the amount invested in people and their growth.