DAVID RUSH
Writer
THE SECRET OF SERVICE

Sample Chapter

CHAPTER TEN:  The Gospel According to Sam

 

            My last lunch with Sam was bittersweet .  I had to catch my plane.  It had been a very busy week, and my notebook was filled  with ideas, "Fun-Damental Service Secret," stories, and quotes. I knew I'd have a lot to think about, and enough stories to tell my husband for weeks to come!

            As we ate, I tried to express my gratitude to Sam.  "Don't mention it," she said, as I knew she would. "Just be sure you understood it all. How about a little quiz?"

            "Great idea!" I said. "You ask me questions and I'll see if I remember what you taught me?"

            "Okay. Here goes:

 

"WHAT IS THE SECRET OF RUNNING A GOOD BUSINESS?"

            "The secret of running a good business is remembering what SERVICE is all about. Using the letters of the word to help, let's remember that:

S - means to be SOCIABLE;

E - means to be EFFERVESCENT;

R - means to hold the customer in high REGARD;

V - means to maintain high VALUES;

I - means to dig down and get INVOLVED;

C - means to be CREATIVE in your exchanges;

E - means to be ENERGETIC!"

 

"WHAT EXACTLY IS A CUSTOMER, AND HOW SHOULD YOU TREAT HIM OR HER?"

            "A customer is a guest. Treat him with all the hospitality he deserves. But at the same time, customers are unique creatures who think in a special way. They have needs to be satisfied."

 

"WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT NEED A CUSTOMER HAS?"

            "To feel good about spending money in your business."

 

"IF A CUSTOMER LIKES THE SERVICE YOU GIVE, HOW WILL THAT HELP YOUR BUSINESS?"

            "They will spread word of mouth advertising that's worth its weight in gold!"

 

"HOW IS CUSTOMER SERVICE  LIKE A CONTEST?"

            "That's a trick question, because providing good service

is NOT a contest, where somebody wins and somebody loses. The best service is when everybody WINS."

 

HOW DO YOU AS THE SERVICE PROFESSIONAL 'WIN'?"

            "By remembering, and putting to work for you, the three

important principles of winning:

• What's In It For You?

• You Are The One In Charge!

• What Goes Around Comes Around!"

 

"THESE ARE GOOD THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND IN THEORY; BUT HOW DO YOU PUT SERVICE TO WORK ON THE FLOOR?"

            "By putting to work the three R's:

• Readiness:

Get READY for your customers as soon as you

prepare to go to work;

• Recognition:

RECOGNIZE your customers as valuable, important

and unique human beings;

• Responsiveness:

RESPOND to them, to their needs, and to their desires."

 

"WHEN THE PROCESS WORKS PROPERLY, YOU AND YOUR CUSTOMERS CAN HAVE A PLEASANT EXPERIENCE. BUT WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG, WHAT DO YOU DO?"

            "Understand that you have to turn an angry customer

into a friend. Employ several important techniques to defuse your customer's  anger and then work with himto find a satisfactory solution."

 

"AND WHAT ABOUT THE CUSTOMER WHOM YOU CAN'T SEE?"

            "Three- fourths of your customer contacts will be over

the phone. These customers are just as important as your

customers who are in person, and demand the same treatment.

So you must put a smile in your voice!"

 

            By the time we were through with our quiz, we were almost through with lunch. As we finished, Sam gave me some partingwords to take home.

            "I think you'll agree that the hospitality industry is not just restaurants and hotels. It's as big as we can imagine; even bigger. Any business that deals with people in some way or another is in the business of hospitality. "I think you now understand what the idea of HOSPITALITY is. But remember, take it all the way. Treat everyone you come in contact with in business with respect-like a guest in your own home. Understand how important they are. Realize that you're providing for their needs. Anticipate those needs. Exceed their expectations. Imagine how great you would feel if everywhere you did business you were treated this way. Imagine how much more enjoyable and rewarding work would be for you and others in such a world.

 

            "And that, my friend, is the gospel according to Sam."

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