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5 Stars vs. 4 Stars: Focus on Five Star Service in 2013!
By Bryan K. Williams
As we begin 2013, I've decided to put together a compilation of my articles about the 5-Star service experience. Hopefully, they will help to re-ignite your commitment to provide consistently engaging service. Wishing you and your team continued success in 2013!
5 Stars vs. 4 Stars: What's the difference?
Key point from the article: The true test of 5-star establishments is not whether they can create a single memorable experience. It's whether they can create memorable experiences repeatedly every day.
What are the best ways to implement a 5-star mindset? First, recognize that 5-stars is not about an award or designation. It's about a mentality...a way of working...discipline...and most of all, a healthy disdain for anything mediocre. Whenever you find yourself thinking, "Well that's ok" or "It's not that bad" or "It'll be perfect next time", then you're drifting away from the 5-star mentality. Let me be clear, you don't have to work in a 5-star establishment to have a 5-star mentality. I've seen 3 and 4 star establishments with the 5-star mindset. I've seen grocery stores and airlines with the 5-star mindset as well. 5-stars is about excellence and striving to be world-class in whatever you are doing...all the time.
I recently stayed at the Wynn Las Vegas, and had a 5-star experience. One of the true testaments of a 5-star experience is how well the staff takes ownership and follows through. Shortly after checking in, I ordered room service. When the order came, the server was refined, yet very personable. She asked me where I would like the table to be set up, and I told her in front of the television. She then asked about my television station preference, turned the channel to the desired station, and placed the remote control right next to me. After uncovering my food and describing each dish, she asked if there was anything further she could do to assist. I had forgotten my lint roller at home, so I asked if the hotel might have one for me. She said that she'd be happy to take care of it, and I would have an update within a half-hour. Less than 15 minutes later, someone was knocking at my door. It was a laundry attendant with a silver tray and 3 lint rollers for me to use. Click here to read the rest of the article!
5 Star Leadership: What does it take to be a 5-star leader?
Key Point: There are many employees who want to work for a leader who has high expectations and believes in them. Know that your team can be great, and never stop believing in everyone's potential. That is the true mindset of a 5-star leader.
Five-star leaders share many of the same qualities. One such quality is to believe that their team CAN be great. Low expectations promote average and low performance, while high expectations promote high performance. I've heard many managers of low-performing teams blame their staff for the teams' low performance. "Oh, we can't find good people", "we don't pay high wages, etc." All of those excuses are surmountable. I've seen businesses in the same city or even on the same street, providing the same product, hire from the same labor pool, and yet have vastly different service experiences. Most times, the only difference is the caliber of leadership in the building. I've even witnessed a 5-star hotel go from exceptionally high service ratings to mediocre ratings. The staff was the same, the labor pool was the same, the tools were the same...the only difference was the change in senior leadership. The hotel initially had a general manager who believed in the infinite potential of the teams' service ability and subsequently treated the team like world-class professionals. The subsequent general managers didn't, and the hotel has not been the same ever since. Click here to read the rest of the article!
5 Star Employees Part 1
Key Point: Being well prepared is the first step to serving with excellence. 5-star employees are consistently well-prepared, purpose-driven and passionate about their work.
One of my previous articles was about "5-star leaders", and those types of leaders are committed to only one standard: Excellence. They expect nothing less from themselves or from their team. While it is important to describe excellent leadership, it is also important to describe another key piece of the service excellence puzzle...the "5-star employee". 5-star employees are equally passionate with excellence and take great pride in engaging their customers with purpose-driven service. I can still remember the exact moment when I realized that there was a difference between an employee and a 5-star employee. At the time, I was a banquet server in a luxury hotel and was given a tray of hors d'oeuvres to serve the guests. The chef stopped me before I served the first guest. He asked if I knew what the hors d'oeuvres were and how they were prepared. It became immediately clear that I only had a vague idea of how to describe the items. The chef then looked at me directly in the eyes and said, "You are NOT a professional". Those words forever changed how I viewed service delivery. After that one-sentence from the chef, I went back to the kitchen and thoroughly acquainted myself with each hors d'oeuvres' name, ingredients, and preparation. When I returned to the banquet function, I saw the chef, pulled him to the side and thoroughly explained each hors d'oeuvres. He then said "Now, you are a professional".
Being well prepared is the first step to serving with excellence. 5-star employees are consistently well-prepared, purpose-driven and passionate about their work. Click here to read the rest of the article!
About Bryan K. Williams
Both of Bryan's books can be purchased at http://shop.bwenterprise.net/ .
About B. Williams Enterprise, LLC
B. Williams Enterprise, LLC is a consulting, training, & auditing company which focuses on service excellence. The goal is to assist organizations to enhance their levels of customer service to world-class levels. This can only be achieved by focusing on service excellence as a way of doing business, rather than an "initiative of the month". Service excellence must be weaved throughout the organization...at every level.
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