Hotel Online  Special Report

Delivering World-Class Service Pt. 2:
Personal Service Standards

by Bryan K. Williams

Escort guests rather than pointing out directions…Never say “it’s not my job”...Answer the phone with a smile…These are all examples of service standards.  Companies use them to train their staff.  Even while having service standards, for service to become truly a way of life, such standards must be embraced by each individual on the team.  I must want to escort guests...I must want to answer the phone in 3 rings, and I must want to offer assistance if a customer appears lost.  So in addition to your company-wide standards, challenge your individual employees to think of ways they intend to contribute to your company’s service mission.  These “personal” service standards are unique to the individual, should reinforce their strengths, and permit them to address their opportunities for improvement.

A few personal service standards I’ve seen are, “I will always think of ways to exceed expectations, “I will follow up with all customers within 30 minutes”, “I will make each customer feel truly unique”, and “I will find out something interesting about every customer in order to personalize the service”.  Like goals, it’s good to write personal service standards down, look at them daily, and share them.  Communicate the personal service standards with your co-workers and manager.  They can help hold you accountable to meeting those standards and vice versa.

If you are a manager, I recommend you do the following:

1.  Begin with yourself.  Write your own personal service standards.  This is a critical step.  As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.  Plus it can seem hypocritical to ask your staff to do something that you are not doing.

2.  Lead a meeting or training session on service excellence and why it is important for the team.  Explain that providing engaging service is what each employee should commit to doing everyday.

3.  Share your own personal service standards with your team, then ask them to help hold you accountable for meeting those standards.  Explain that you will do the same for them.  After all, service excellence is a team effort.

4.  Instruct your team to write their own personal service standards. Encourage them to write specific behaviors.

5.  Key Step: Have your employees share their Personal Service Standards with you (their manager) or their immediate supervisor.

6.  Keep a file (paper or electronic) that contains each person’s personal service standards.

7.  In daily interactions, ask individual employees to share their personal service standards with you.  Also ask them how they intend to use at least one of the standards that day.

8.  During your routine one-on-one meetings (which you should have), review your employee’s personal service standards, and provide feedback regarding their performance against those standards.

To assist you, I have developed a pocket-sized card for you to easily write your personal service standards.  There is also space to write the “purpose” of your role.  Please refer back to the Function vs. Purpose article to refresh your memory.  This card also features personal commitments that have been adapted from EngageMe…the voice of your customer.

As you finish reading this article, commit to writing your own personal service standards.  Even if you already provide exceptional service, your personal service standards will serve as inspiration for everyone else.  A great hotel executive once told me that success is not something you do in the future…otherwise one would never get there.  Success is what you do today, in this very moment, and everyday thereafter.  Writing your personal service standards today will assist with your commitment to excellence, and your commitment to engage every customer with your service.

Also in September (2008)
"The EngageMe DVD and Poster have provided me with an easy and effective manner in which to convey the importance of delivering service excellence every day. The impact of connecting with your customers on every level is delivered in a brilliant message that is easily grasped by all." 
Nancy Martinez, PHR 
Training Mangager 
The Beverly Hills Hotel, A Mobil Five-Star Hotel
“I am thankful for knowing Engage Me.  It really opens my pupils' heart that service is not about what we want to give; it's about what customer wants; that as a hotelier, we have to be able to focus on details, read customers' minds to know what they want and adjust our service accordingly.”
Tedi Irawan
Hotel Training Manager
The Park Lane, Jakarta
About the Author 

Bryan K. Williams is the Chief Service Officer of B. Williams Enterprise, LLC.  He is a seasoned service expert who has facilitated workshops and delivered keynotes all over the world for various companies.  Bryan speaks on a variety of topics related to service excellence, employee engagement, and organizational improvement.  As a consultant, he works closely with companies to design, develop, and implement sustainable service strategies. 

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 every level. 

We exist to serve others so they may better serve the world. SM


B. Williams Enterprise, LLC 
Phone: 240-401-6958 

EngageMe…the voice of your customer 


Also See: Delivering World-Class Service: Function vs. Purpose / Bryan K. Williams / August 2008
Guest Problem Resolution 101: Power of the Follow-Up / Bryan K. Williams / June 2008
7 Principles to Fully Engage Your Customers – Part 2 / Bryan K. Williams / May 2008
7 Principles to Fully Engage Your Customers / Bryan K. Williams / April 2008
I Am a Service Professional™ / Bryan K. Williams / March 2008
Engage Every Customer…One Touchpoint at a Time / Bryan K. Williams / January 2008
Engaging Service Part 2: It’s All About the Culture / Bryan K. Williams / December 2007
Engaging Service Part 1: Not Just for the Chic / Bryan K. Williams / November 2007
Service Excellence: A Destination or a Journey? / Bryan K. Williams / October 2007
National Customer Service Week is Coming Soon - October 1-5, 2007 / September 2007
National Customer Service Week is Coming Soon - October 1-5, 2007 / September 2007
Engage Me…the Voice of Your Customer / September 2007
Customer Engagement: Where do we begin? / Byran K Williams / August 2007
Engage Me…the Voice of Your Customer / / August 2007
B. Williams Enterprise, LLC Launches Engage Me…  the Voice of Your Customer / August 2007
To Engage…Listen to the Voice of Your Customer / Byran K Williams / August 2007
To Engage the Guest, You Must Engage Those Who Directly Serve the Guest / Byran K Williams / July 2007
Three Service Rules: The Golden Rule, Platinum Rule, and Double Platinum Rule/ Byran K Williams / June 2007
The Greatest Bellman I Ever Met… / Bryan K. Williams / April 2006
Sorry to Say…But Some People Should Not be Serving Other Human Beings / Bryan K Williams / October 2006

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