There are certain authors that you know will consistently hit it out of the park. Micah Solomon is one of those guys for me. A prolific writer on the art of customer service, Micah is able to get to the core of the issue with stories of how to connect with people.
A personal example of this: a while back I encouraged you to order Micah’s Culture of Yes as a part of my Summer Reading List post. A reader tipped me off that the book was no longer available on Amazon, which led me to contact Micah. What happened next backed up everything he teaches: he sent me an email (within minutes) to let me know that Culture of Yes was being reworked into a new book called The Heart of Hospitality, and offered up an alternative title to satisfy readers in the interim.
So of course, I ordered both books, and recently sat down to read through The Heart of Hospitality: Great Hotel and Restaurant Leaders Share Their Secrets. No matter what line of service you’re in: hotel, restaurant, church, whatever…this book holds some gems and you should order it.
Here are the top ten quotes I pulled from the book:
- [Hospitality] can’t shine when delivered in an assembly-line fashion. It needs to be focused on one guest at a time.
- Six Flags prepares its employees systematically to watch for predictable stress points in a guest’s day and it has systems at the ready to turn those experiences into something positive.
- You don’t just “hire” people, you carefully select them. (Herve Humler)
- …even though the emotional skills that lead to hospitality are not really teachable, they are also not revealable until your employee has learned the systems, the technical side of getting the job done. (Danny Meyer)
- I say to any business leader, regardless of the size of the organization: unless your leg is broken or you have norovirus, get out of your office…and go talk to your new employees. They will only be new once.
- The goal is to hire really talented people and provide them with riverbanks, but not tell them how to row the boat. (Danny Meyer)
- Creating a wow experience – a “yes and then some” effort that goes well beyond fulfilling basic expectations – is a powerful way to turn the experience…into something unforgettable that will live on in a guest’ memories.
- The things that matter can’t be scripted. You can build scenarios for your staff, but you need to couple this with encouragement and training for your staff on how to read the customer and then do what’s right and appropriate. (Christopher Hunsberger)
- Hospitality has to be a dialogue. It cannot be a monologue. (Danny Meyer)
- What’s fabulous to a customer on visit one will likely be “fine but nothing new” on visit five.
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