In one of my recent boxing exercise classes my instructor Luiz greeted each student individually as he always does. He was also asked about a recent competition for one of the boxers he coaches over and over again. Each time he had to retell the exact same story to each person who asked, all within a very short period of time. What amazed me is that each time, he told the story as if it was the first time, with the same enthusiasm and energy. He did not get frustrated from having to say the same thing over and over and was completely genuine with each conversation. He really cared about the person who was listening and respected their genuine interest in what he had to say. He also valued their interest and recognized he was building an emotional connection and relationship with the people in his class.
Luiz is a great role model of service excellence and an authentic example of really caring about the people that are his customers. How many times do we or our employees have to repeat the same information to our guests or customers and how are we delivering that information? Do we get exasperated or bored after the 10th time or are we valuing the interest and relationship behind each question asked?
When I worked for Disneyland in Guest Relations, we had to answer the same questions about parade start times, attraction updates, weather reports, and many other basic questions over and over again. It was completely repetitious for us but it was the FIRST time for each guest that asked. It was not easy but we knew we were part of that guest’s experience, even in those few inquisitive moments.
Keeping our comments fresh and inspired with the same genuine enthusiasm that Luiz uses with his customers each day is what service excellence is all about. Valuing the interest and relationship behind each question is key to delivering that value back. Exceptional service is not something that happens once. It’s only exceptional when it happens over and over again and when each repeated time sounds like the very first time.