During a recent trip in southern Italy, specifically on the beautiful island of Ischia facing Naples I had the pleasure of staying at Maison Twenty-Five bed and breakfast. The location is close to everything desirable, but the one element that stands out is service.
Service is so much about feelings, the good ones and the bad ones and the people delivering that service can direct and impact those outcomes. At Maison Twenty-Five, there are no specific times for breakfast. The host, Mario, simply stops serving breakfast when everyone has eaten! He also greets everyone with a smiling “Buongiorno” which is personal and authentic. In Italian we have an expression saying “Il Buongiorno si vede dal mattino.” It means that you can see and determine a good day from the morning. In other words those first impressions are the most important and set the tone for the day and in this case, the guests’ experience. And, in most cases, we never have a second chance to make a good first impression.
While he prepares each guest’s favorite coffee, latte, or whatever, he genuinely asks about their last evening. Then he adds what else there is to see in the time allocated and does that with each and every guest. Lastly he invites all the guests, once a week to the midnight bath which is in a certain private beach on the island, his little secret spot. This land is blessed with thermal water therefore even at midnight you bathe in very hot water which soothes your body and soul. Mario does not have to do this excursion for revenue. There is no charge. He just does it because he CARES about his guests’ experience and wants them to have a memorable time. Even if the guests will not return they will speak about this special spot to everyone they know because it was offered to them in an authentic and sincere way. Those are the ultimate ingredients for hospitality. His bed and breakfast will always have a waiting list with these ingredients. Insincere or indifferent service will do just the opposite. We know the difference, in fact, we FEEL the difference. That feeling will impact reviews and referrals, guest and customer loyalty, profitability and the bottom line.
Understanding the emotions involved in service delivery, how they make people feel and how sincere each gesture, each moment, each touchpoint will impact the final result is what AUTHENTIC SERVICE is all about. This is what I found in Maison Twenty-Five!!!