By Mike Green, Customer Impact President

Over 10 years ago, Bain and Company came up with a customer service measurement tool called The Net Promoter Score. With the tool, you asked your current customers on a scale of 0-10 how likely they were to recommend that company. The thought was that you could have the best training and service staff in the world, but if a customer would not recommend you to others, then you failed. Nothing else really matters.

Customer Service vs. Hospitality is a very similar argument. You can train your staff to follow your 25 core customer service steps 100% of the time, but if they are not connecting with the customer and providing hospitality at the same time, you have lost the battle. More is not always better.

People can confuse customer service and hospitality. A simple way to think of it is that customer service generally requires training. Open the door for the customer, greet every customer within 10 feet, upsell, mention your frequent buyer program, educate them on a new product, etc. Hospitality is not something the employee can easily check off of a To Do list. Think of a friend coming over to your house for dinner. Do you have to be taught to smile and make eye contact when you greet your friend at the door? You likely shake their hand and use their name several times during their visit. During the visit, you connect and communicate freely about recent events. You serve your meal promptly, offer refills, and ask if they liked the meal. This comes naturally to you and does not have to be taught. You are being hospitable and friendly, and you are connecting with your guest.

Just like in your home, customer service must also include hospitality for it to be a successful visit. Some training departments have become so burdened with their ever growing list of service steps that the visits have become mechanical and honestly a burden on the staff to remember and execute.

Hospitality should be top of mind to your staff, and then the steps of service should be designed to enhance that personalized hospitality experience – not the other way around.

Remember – keep it simple!