I just got back from a great leadership seminar. Our staff had the opportunity to go down to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel and learn from General Manager Kerry Ringham. Kerry spoke to us about several facets of building a powerful brand, as well as how to deliver on the promises our organization makes by simply living out and executing the brand.
Perhaps the greatest thing I took away was that, at NorthStar, we should always remember that each interaction is personal, and it has long-lasting effects on how we are preceived (and how Christians, God, Jesus, etc. are perceived).
There are a couple general "rules of thumb" that Kerry shared that help his associates to make sure each of their guests feel special, and also to build brand loyalty:
(1) At the check-in desk, those working need to mention the guest by name at least twice.
(2) Those same associates who are checking guests in need to look up from their computer screens periodically and make eye contact with the guest.
(3) All hotel employees (associates) have the "10 and 5" rule. If a hotel guest is within ten feet of you, make eye contact with them. If they are within five feet of them, they need to speak to them.
What is the bottom line here? Acknowledgement. People want to be noticed, and when organizations take the time to greet people warmly and genuinely, they are likely to walk away with a positive experience.
These are great lessons to implement in any business or organization, and I will be working to apply them personally in the very near future.