I’ve heard it said, in a variety of ways, that the way to see someone’s character is to see how they treat those who have no influence over them. I don’t know how true that might be, but it sounds good when I hear it. In general, I’ve always considered myself a service oriented person. I think it is why I ended up in the hospitality industry, even if it was on the IT side!
Holding doors open for others, taking time to look at a passerby when they speak to you and you respond, looking others in the eye – those are all things that speak to me as being service oriented. This week, HITEC served me up two reminders of what service really means. The first was just an everyday encounter. As I was leaving my hotel for the convention center a member of the hotel staff was mopping the floor, as I approached, she smiled at me and let me know where the dry spot was. I thanked her and as I passed by she saw my HITEC badge, called me by my name and wished me a good day. I stopped, wished her a good day as well and thanked her for using my name.
The second experience, I have to admit, was more memorable for me. I don’t typically get too star struck. Famous people, athletes, etc… are people too. They just happen to be good at/famous for something that the general public values highly. I had the opportunity to meet Chef Robert Irvine at the Comcast Business both on Monday. I admit to being a fan of his. I thought the opportunity to meet him would be the simple shake of hands, nice to meet you and move on. After all, who am I to him? Instead I got nearly 20 minutes with someone whose work I admire and who didn’t need to spend more than 30 seconds with me. I walked away from the meeting practically giddy with excitement.
I think I know what you are probably wondering – why does this belong in a blog about HITEC? The truth is in hospitality technology we are barreling down on the concept that we are a critical component of the business. And that is true – we are. But I think sometimes we forget that we are a service component of a service industry. The person mopping the floor at the hotel has no influence over me, but she went out of her way to create an experience for me that I remember. I have no influence over a celebrity chef, yet he made me feel for 20 minutes like I was the only person that mattered. We need, as IT people, service providers, and vendors/partners to not forget ultimately what it is we are trying to do and try to create an experience that our customers will remember long after the transaction is over.
James Lingle is an official 2016 HITEC Guest Blogger and professional consultant. In addition to Interim CIO and CIO advisory service, he also does project management and information security work for his clients. Follow him on LinkedIn and visit his page: www.jameslingle.com