Most hotels today provide some type of breakfast that helps its guests get nourished quickly and on the road. On a recent trip to Alabama, I stayed at a Hampton Inn. I’ve stayed here several times and have always enjoyed observing one of the breakfast servers. On this visit, I decided to talk to her. If your organization sells ANYTHING, you need to learn from this woman.
Meet Mona. One thing is certain with her. You will never have to introduce yourself to her. She’ll beat you to it. She saw me as soon as I entered the breakfast area and made her way to me as soon as I sat down and said good morning. The Lesson: Your customers should never have to speak first. Make them feel welcome and make the first move.
After Mona said hello she asked if I had ever stayed at the hotel. When I said yes she responded, “That’s wonderful. Let me tell you why I’m here. My job is help you get your day started. Enjoy your breakfast. And if there is anything at all you need, see me and I’ll take care of it.” With every word, she smiled, looked me directly in the eye and spoke with confidence. I thanked her and went about my breakfast.
As I sipped my coffee, I watched her interact with other guests in the lobby. Mona was the real deal. She exhibited the same warm welcome and offer to each guest she met. The Lesson: Mona ensured I knew she was there for me and the way in which she told me communicated her belief in her role. It wasn’t a script for her.
I spoke with Mona before I left that morning. I learned she has been employed with Hampton Inn for 23 years, nine of those years at this particular location. She spoke with such pride about her service. And before we said goodbye she asked me such a great question, “You are planning on visiting us again, right?” To which I said, “Absolutely.” And I will. The Lesson: An employee who believes in his/her company and service will naturally encourage customers for repeat visits. Their goal is sincere. They want your business because they believe in what they do.
Three lessons learned during a 15-minute breakfast at a hotel. I’m curious. If a customer spent 15 minutes with your team, could they share a similar story? Do you have employees like Mona on your team? If not, I’m betting your competition does.