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It’s time to change the way we think about customer service. For so many years, we’ve heard phrases like “treat the customer with respect,” “put yourself in the guest’s shoes,” “customer service is just about being nice,” or “the customer is always right.” In Josh’s new book, The Hospitality Mentality, he offers a fresh perspective on customer service that aligns more with guest experience and loyalty instead of traditional customer service. While the concepts apply to all business types, the book was written with the attractions industry top of mind. In this episode, Matt and Josh explore The Hospitality Mentality, covering topics that include working with people, how hospitality is for everyone, and how our guests don’t need us.
Working with people
The hospitality industry, including attractions, requires a desire to work with people as a requirement for the job, and therefore isn’t for everyone. However, even if you are a people person, without a proper understanding and implementation of the Hospitality Mentality, an organization won’t be able to deliver the fantastic service standard they want to provide to their guests.
To add context, Josh reminisces about a restaurant he visited, noting that it was staffed with excellent employees who believed they were well-suited for the hospitality industry due to their kindness and authenticity. However, despite their admirable intentions, the lack of a hospitality mindset made the overall experience frustrating for visitors, despite the fact that the employees were “nice,” and the restaurant ultimately closed.
Hospitality is more than an industry
Josh shares that hospitality is a universal language that extends beyond the leisure industry. Connecting the dots of Josh’s ideas reveals the simplicity of applying these principles to any context, but mostly those involving human interaction.
Throughout the process of publishing his book, Josh has shared many stories on how these ideas have gone beyond the walls of the attractions industry. A manager at a child support call center found value in adopting multiple ideas that not only enhanced the service provided, but also positively impacted their team. Furthermore, a member of a homeowner’s association shared that they wished the association had the Hospitality Mentality to make the experience even more enjoyable and swiftly resolve issues for its members.
Guests don’t need us
Josh shared a simple principle in his book that centered around one idea: guests don’t need us. However, Josh uses this as an opportunity, and breaks it down into a simple three-step idea that helps build the hospitality mentality.
First, it’s important to know that guests don’t need us, which leads us to Josh’s second point; guests’ alternative options are limitless. Alternative options can span from direct, local competition all the way to streaming services and at-home entertainment. Knowing this, Josh shares that we need to show our guests that we know that. Guests come to an experience expecting it to exceed all the direct and indirect competitors, and we need to prove them right by providing the best possible experience they can ask for.
To learn more about The Hospitality Mentality (and to purchase a signed copy), click here. As of December 5th, 2023, The Hospitality Mentality is available at your favorite bookstore and online.
This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of our faaaaaantastic team:
- Scheduling and correspondence by Kristen Karaliunas
- A/V editing by Abby Giganan
- Summary written by Mason Nichols