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Honor Your Customers

by Bryan K. Williams, D.M.
October 24, 2011

The more I think about it, the more I realize that serving is about honoring. Hoteliers and spa professionals honor their guests…healthcare professionals honor their patients…educators honor their students and so on. To fully understand what this article is about, let us first define “honor”. A quick review of any dictionary will find that it means to show high respect or to hold in high esteem. No matter what industry you are in, each of your customers deserves to feel honored, regardless of who they are or whether they have been classified as a VIP or not.
Be Present
When our computers malfunction, many of us press “Ctrl-Alt-Delete” to refresh the screen and start over. Wouldn’t it be great if we all had Ctrl-Alt-Delete buttons on our bodies to refresh ourselves before serving each customer? Every customer should get the best version of us at any given time. However, it can become difficult if you are serving dozens or even hundreds of customers per day.
I recently came across a blog post by The Domestic Life Stylist. In it, the author wrote, “Commit to yourself that whatever type of day you have, you will commit yourself first to be present.  Be present in your mind, in your space and in your spirit.  Be present in your thoughts as you spend time with your kids, be present if you only have 15 minutes to exercise, be present even if you only have five minutes to yourself in the shower.” Half of your attention just will not cut it. Either give your full attention to what you are doing or nothing at all.
Honor Your Customers
If service is about honoring others, then the assumption is that people, in general, are worthy of being valued. Imagine that there is a banquet next week to honor a philanthropist from your community. The purpose of the event is to show appreciation for the honoree. That philanthropist should feel elated and never forget that moment for the rest of his/her life. Honor your customers by finding out what they want and earnestly strive to meet and exceed those expectations. Honor your customers by thanking them for choosing your business over others. Honor them by doing something as simple as giving a sincere smile (consistently).
On a recent flight from London to New York, the flight attendants executed every service detail with military precision. Virtually no mistakes were made, yet not one of them smiled. Not one…for the entire 7-hour flight! It is very possible to serve your customers and not engage them. Those flight attendants did everything right, yet I felt like I was being served by robots.
If you are committed to honoring your customers, you should be happy to:
  • Show and communicate your appreciation for their patronage.
  • Show your utmost respect.
  • Give your best self, regardless of your personal trials that day. 
Honor Your Role
Honoring your role means that you strive to add value to your team and your organization. Do not take for granted that you have a job in the first place. Don’t view that job as a form of entitlement or something that is owed to you. Instead, honoring your role is about being thankful and grateful that someone thought highly enough of you to give you the chance to be in that role. Now it is up to you to re-earn that chance every day, with every customer.
Adding value means that you are not satisfied with merely having a job and performing your duties. You desire the team to be better because you are on it. Those who honor their role strive to leave a legacy for their team, their company and their profession.
I realize that honor is used and practiced in some parts of the world more than others. I acknowledge that. At our best, however, we all know how to make others feel honored. We do it in our romantic relationships, to “woo” a potential client, or even to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday. So my challenge to you is to be present, honor your customers and honor your role. Genuinely practicing those three principles will inevitably bring honor to yourself, your team and your organization.

B.Williams Enterprise Updates
* Bryan's new book is now available! Work Like You Own It: 20 Ways to Go From Meeting to Exceeding Your Customers' Expectations.

Be sure to read our new Work Like You Own It! WOW story. This new entry features the new PUBLIC Hotel Chicago.

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Recent Testimonials
"Bryan is an amazing, charismatic and knowledgeable speaker. He was able to keep our employees, from all levels of the organization, completely engaged. His passion for service is evident." --Nourbese Joseph, Director of HR, Trump International Miami
"Bryan Williams is masterful in his articulation and presentation about his experience and expertise in world-class customer service. He is engaging and entertaining!"
--Jorge Haddock, PhD, Dean & Professor, School of Mgt, George Mason University

About the Author
Dr. 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 and Work Like You Own It! 20 Ways to Go From Meeting to Exceeding Your Customers’ Expectations. 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. His company’s online store includes a growing collection of customer service products that are well-suited for your training library.

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Also See: Work Like You Own It! 20 Ways to Go From Meeting to Exceeding Your Customers' Expectations: New Book by Dr. Bryan K. Williams / October 2011

Service Excellence 101: Be Welcoming / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / September 2011

The Three Ingredients of Engaging Service: Humility, Reverence & Professionalism / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / August 2011

Service Excellence: The MOST Important Thing To Create a Service Culture! / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / July 2011

Service Excellence 101: How to Serve a VIP / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / June 2011

The 1st Step of Service: Be Eager to Serve / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / May 2011

World-Class Service: The Double-Platinum Rule 2.0 / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / April 2011

Customer Problem Resolution: The 100% Principle / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / March 2011

World-Class Service 102: Be memorable / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / February 2011

Take your service to the next level: Only BIG WOW’s…No bow-wow’s / Dr. Bryan K. Williams, DM / February 2011

Service Excellence: Inspect What You Expect / Bryan K. Williams, D.M. / November 2010

Work Like You Own It 2.0; Energize it. Recognize it. Celebrate it. / Bryan K. Williams, D.M. / September 2010

World-Class Service 101: Know the difference between meeting and exceeding expectations / Dr. Bryan K. Williams / July 2010

Service Superstars Part 2: Treat them like they own it! / Dr. Bryan K. Williams / June 2010

Make each touchpoint memorable: Cha-Ching! / Dr. Bryan K. Williams / April 2010

Service Superstars: Work like you own it! / Bryan Williams / February 2010

Complimentary resources from Bryan K. Williams and B.Williams Enterprise! Begin 2010 with a focus on world-class service. / January 2010

Service Ambassadors: The Key to Providing World-Class Service / Bryan K. Williams / November 2009

5-Star Employees - Part 3 / Bryan K. Williams / September 2009

5-Star Employees - Part 2 / Bryan K. Williams / August 2009

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

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