Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive

January 8

. .

5-Star Employees - Part 2

Written by: Bryan K. Williams

Recently, I called a well-known hotel and asked for the concierge desk. Although I was not a guest at the time, I previously stayed at this particular hotel chain several times prior and considered myself to be a loyal customer. The reason I called was to merely get some quick restaurant recommendations. The concierge advised me that since I was not a guest, she could not assist. Even after I advised her that I am a loyal guest that has stayed at the company’s hotels several times before, she repeated her stance. Sure she may have been doing what she was told to do by her supervisor, or perhaps she was unaware of how easy it would have been to make some recommendations (after all, she could have also recommended the restaurant in her own hotel). Maybe she just didn’t care.  That same concierge could have said she would be happy to assist and inquired if I was celebrating a special occasion. Then, she could have made a few recommendations and offered to give me the phone number of the restaurants.  The latter approach would have reinforced my expectations of the hotel chain and created more opportunities for me to refer others.

In 5-Star Employees Part 1, I wrote about four commitments that world-class service employees share.  Here is the fifth commitment:

Commitment 5: I will make you feel special, included, valued, and appreciated

The concierge that I wrote about did not understand that EVERY customer is priceless.  The provision of engaging service should be inclusive and be just as important for those who are “potential” customers.  Commitment 5 means that 5-star employees must look for every single opportunity to win the hearts of current AND potential customers.  Any customer who is in the vicinity of a 5-star employee should feel his or her passion to serve.

Let’s assume that  I go to a shopping mall and walk into a retail store. I then ask the store employee for directions to the food court. The eagerness of that employee to assist may cause me to return to that store to shop and possibly refer it to others in the future.
Here is another scenario to enliven commitment 5. If I accompany my uncle to the doctor’s office, and the doctor’s staff is engaging and kind to me as well, then I might return for personal services. If I visit a church with a friend, and the ushers, staff, and congregation are welcoming, then I might be more likely to return.
The point is that EVERYONE is a customer, because everyone has the potential to return and refer others.  So if you serve in a business that is dependent on tourism dollars, be just as service-oriented to the locals (if not more).  If you serve in a retail environment, be just as engaging to “window shoppers”; be kind to those who express no desire to patronize your business at the current moment…your kindness and engaging demeanor may eventually change their mind.

This particular commitment also has additional relevancy to the current economic climate.  I regularly see many businesses that are literally throwing money out the window.  For many businesses, revenue is not lost solely because of a recession; it may be lost because customers choose not to patronize those businesses.  That’s right…many times it’s a consumer choice to avoid certain businesses because the staff does not make consumers feel special, included, valued, and appreciated.

For example, over the last six months, most decisions that I’ve made to avoid booking a flight with a particular airline, dining at a certain restaurant, or staying in a hotel had nothing to do with a recession. Those decisions had everything to do with employees giving apathetic service.  The point here is that many businesses use “the economy” as a scapegoat for their organization’s woes, when all they may need to do is re-focus on the customer.

5-star employees understand this premise.  To them, every customer is priceless.   If you are a manager and you are reading this, please ensure that your 5-star employees are surrounded by other 5-star employees.  These employees yearn to work with team mates who care like they care…who push like they push…and who serve like they serve.  From a 5-star employees’ perspective, there is nothing better than giving 5-star service in a 5-star organization run by 5-star leaders.
In the next article of this series (5-star employees part 3), I will focus on the final three commitments of 5-star employees.

Updates: Join Bryan for a special webinar on September 1, 2009. It will be entitled: Serve…like a 5-star employee!  Registration to the webinar will also include a one-on-one executive coaching session with Bryan to discuss strategies to recruit, hire, orient, and motivate 5-star employees.
Catch Bryan live in the Poconos on August 27, 2009.  He will be conducting his acclaimed training course, 7 Principles to Fully Engage Your Customers. The training event will be at the Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort.  Click here to learn more and register!

’s new book is now available exclusively on the EngageMe online store. Order your copy today!

About the Author
Bryan K. Williams is the Chief Service Officer of B.Williams Enterprise, and the author of Engaging Service: 22 Ways to Become a Service Superstar. Bryan’s passion is world-class customer service, and has facilitated workshops and delivered keynotes all over the world for various companies.  He speaks on a variety of topics related to service excellence, employee engagement, and organizational improvement.  As a consultant, Bryan works closely with companies to design, develop, and implement sustainable service strategies. 

Order Bryan’s new book at:

Engaging Service: 22 Ways to Become a Service Superstar

Find more resources relating to service excellence at

Also on the website, you can subscribe to the official B.Williams Enterprise emailing list.  You will receive announcements, newsletters and other excellent resources.

New! Follow Bryan & B.Williams Enterprise on Twitter:

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


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

EngageMe…the voice of your customer 


Also See: 5-Star Employees - Part 1/ Bryan K. Williams / July 2009

Engaging Service: 22 Ways to Become a Service Superstar / Bryan K. Williams / July 2009

Complimentary tele-seminars with Bryan K. Williams in July! / July 2009

Building a Team of Living It Employees / Bryan K. Williams / June 2009

World-Class Service: What if every employee served like a concierge? / Byran K Williams / March 2009

5 Star Leadership: What Does It Take to Be a 5-star Leader? / Byran Williams / February 2009

5 Stars vs. 4 Stars: What’s the Difference? / Byran Williams / January 2009

Complimentary training with Bryan Williams / January 2009

The 7 Principles of EngageMeTM is now available! / Bryan K. Williams / November 2008

Hiring and Engaging a World-Class Team / Bryan K. Williams / October 2008

Great Ideas for National Customer Service Week 2008 / Bryan K. Williams / September 2008

Delivering World-Class Service Part 3: Company Service Standards / Bryan K. Williams / September 2008

Delivering World-Class Service Pt. 2: Personal Service Standards / Bryan K. Williams / September 2008

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

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch
Home | Welcome| Hospitality News | Classifieds| One-on-One |
Viewpoint Forum | Industry Resources
Please contact Hotel.Onlinewith your comments and suggestions.