Your Brand Throughout the Organization
|By John R. Hendrie, July 2006
The last two years has presented distinguished and lengthy discussion on Brand through a variety of forums and sources. Unless you live atop an Alp, where you really are the Brand, many Hospitality businesses get it. They have spent untold monies to engage high priced gurus or merely took a long, hard look, defined their story and tried to market their differentiation. We know that we are not all Kimptons, Krispy Kremes, Lexus, Starbucks, or Harley. But, an assumption might be made that we are now ready to “enculturate” our Staff – those folks who have the Guest/Visitor/Customer contact and represent our esteemed values. One might move a step further and recognize that these very people should be fully motivated to represent that Brand we have worked so hard to establish. Our Staff would be well compensated, respected and fully supported by Management, but that may be too big a step, although it would make sense. But, let’s stick with the topic – how to share and imbue our Brand Story with the folks who will deliver it. The operative word is alignment, providing a Brand dynamic, focused upon skills, attitude, culture and support to enhance the Experience. Service is the differentiator.
What drives this process is action and a program plan which has educational components to fully arm ourselves and staff to effect change: change in our behavior, our performance and our relationship with that circumspect Guest/Visitor/Client. Of course, the charge must start at the top with Senior Management the Champion for this process.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION. We cannot make any assumptions here or half hearted efforts. Management creates either the compelling dynamic or the vacuum. Change starts with a Service Culture Transformation, and this is a strategic evolution. Your Exceptional Service Delivery model and understanding of your Leadership Style will be key for this transition to Excellence. The next step is creating a Positive Change model, which further defines your Brand/Vision and specifically identifies the Values you wish to permeate the organization. Values surface behaviors and applications/practices, as well, with a suggested “feedback” mechanism in place to validate the results. Next comes the A.C.T.I.O.N model, focused upon Customer Care, and finally the creation of the High Performance Service Teams, which will drive the change dynamic throughout the organization.
Providing that Management has performed their share of the equation, we move to the people who deliver the Brand.
STAFF IN ACTION. Service has been identified as the differentiator in the Experience, so it makes sense that key philosophies and skill sets for success through remarkable Customer Service be a major component in this educational mix, just as an appreciation of our individual W.O.W. factors, our ability to influence. Communication skills, specifically interpersonal, dramatically reinforce, or not, effective interaction. We need to understand Relationship Management, why we act like we do and how to optimize any exchange. Our individual style, our strengths and weaknesses, impact our effectiveness as Brand Ambassadors. Lastly, the worst words to be spoken, “Not my job” or “I don’t know” fly right in the face of Service. Ownership, responsibility and role, with a “feedback” mechanism will right this attitude.
There are simply no excuses any more to effect a transformation to “being
the Brand”. Training is now blended, either through workshops, classroom,
DVD and computer application. All programs can be reproduced in other
languages. Savvy and skilled facilitators are at the ready to help
move organizations, associations and destinations to the forefront of the
Experience Era in Hospitality, and even affiliated industries like Heath
Care. It is all about elevating our care and attention for the Customer,
creating that memorable Experience, and prospering from our investment
in Excellence. Care to inspire!
The author, a Principal in Hospitality Performance, believes that Remarkable Hospitality is the Portal to the Memorable Experience. Learn more and visit: www.hospitalityperformance.com
|Also See:||When Looking for that Brand ‘Differentiator’, Don’t Overlook the Obvious / Milton Velinsky and Steven Belmonte / March 2006|
|We're Not In Kansas Anymore; Differentiating your hotel through technology / Mark Haley / January 2004|