Wednesday Words

To Go Where Your VisionPoints, a few inspiration points for you and your business.

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.
—Jeff Bezos

I know, I know. The tie to yesterday’s post about buzz-worthy Customer Experience is a little too obvious. Can I help it? Jeff Bezos lives and breathes Experience at Amazon.

But that’s not why I chose this for today’s inspiration…

I was listening to the radio the other day when I heard a hospitality-industry expert bemoaning the fact that workers in a certain tourism mecca “have to be servants to their guests to make a living.”

My parents own and operate a motel. They don’t think they’re servants. Nor do the people who work for them.

I’ve stayed in places at all price levels in a zillion locations, for business and for pleasure. I don’t read minds, but I don’t think many of them felt they were my servants. From management right down to the cleaning staff, most folks are glad to be making someone’s stay a little nicer. I’m not being naïve, I do realize that pay and how management treats the staff can influence pride in their work, but in the case of bad pay or bad treatment staff are a lot more likely to feel like they’re the servants of management, rather than blame the guests.

I chose this quotation because Jeff’s got it right. In fact that’s exactly what I yelled back at the radio: “Not servants! Hosts!” (The radio did not respond to my shout. Hmm. Never does.)

No matter what business you’re in, if you’re feeling like a servant instead of a host for your customers’ experience—or worse, if you’ve allowed your staff to feel like servants—then you have lost the joy.

And the point.

You need to stop right now, take stock of what you’re doing, and find your Vision again. Not only for your sake, though of course I wish you all the joy in the world; for your customers’ sake. Which means, for your business’ sake.

Customers know when you’re going through the motions… or resenting them. A customer who feels he or she is just part of your chores is not coming back any time soon, and that’s going to hurt… you.

So take stock, and then take Jeff’s advice. What do you do for a living? Yes, that. Host a [what-you-do-for-a-living] party for your guests, every day.

That’s Customer Experience worth buzzing about.

Are you a servant or a host?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson