We Are All In The Hospitality Business

By Kevin Vitale | Sep 30, 2019

In today’s competitive market, it is a very real possibility that the service your company delivers is being replicated in a similar way by other competitors in your field.

The reason for that is simple, with all the information accessible nowadays companies can find what is resonating and work it in to their offering. Additionally, most businesses within the service industry are making the shift toward a subscription/reoccurring retainer model contract. Main reason for this from a financial perspective is that this contract model offers you the ability to control cash flow and budget accordingly. Also, this type of model gives you a bump in the customer lifetime value and higher valuations of your business in the eyes of investors. If delivered correctly, this model reduces customer churn and raises retention. Sounds great, so what’s the catch? The catch is that the need to provide service at a high level consistently has become especially important with this reoccurring model. Keeping customers engaged on a reoccurring basis is the only way to make sure they are happy with the service they are getting. Considering this reality, businesses are looking to stand out from one another by how they are making their clients or customers feel on this journey when these services are being delivered. This, by definition, is HOSPITALITY.

Hospitality is all about the art of entertaining or receiving guests. It is a key part of setting your brand apart from your competition and building a culture to be proud of. At its core, hospitality is built on empathy. This is not just an overused buzzword in the business world! Empathy is the ability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing within their frame of reference. Or more simply put, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Any successful business leader will tell you how important it is to have a pulse on the feelings of your internal team as well as your clients/customers. Can you see the benefit of seeing through both your team and your client’s eyes? Not surprisingly, this will guide you to deliver your services in a way that people want.
Proof of this shift in the customer-centric ecosystem are the creation of new roles like Chief Heart Officer, Customer Success Manager, and Client Relationship Manager that have become influential roles within high performing companies. All built on the premise that building stronger relationships with the internal team and clients/customers within a company is a vital piece of service delivery. To explain the power of hospitality and relationships, I think back to childhood.
Coming from a big Italian family, the home is the central hub for all activities, the HQ if you will. This hub housed all events from personal one on one life lessons to action packed holiday dinners that would have the entire family packed in the dining room like a can of sardines. It never mattered where our visitors were coming from; a sports game, a funeral or just felt like dropping by, all I knew was that our house was the place to be. As I got older, I began to understand that the reason people loved coming over so much was because my family had a way of giving people exactly what they needed at the time. Sometimes that just meant listening to people’s problems after a rough week and figuring out how to make them smile, other times it was laughing and eating until you forgot what time it was. Regardless of what issues had followed these visitors in the door, my family knew how to make people feel comfortable/fulfilled and made sure their problems never followed them back out the door. For this reason, they always came back to visit. This was simply creating an environment that people constantly wanted to be a part of, and that environment changed to fit each individual’s needs. It is simple to see how this idea translates to a high performing business. Your house is your business and it is your job to give your customers/clients exactly what they need when they use your services. It is also the responsibility of business leadership to understand how their client/customers want to be engaged so that you can effectively service them. This does not go unnoticed by your customers/clients and typically creates referrals and new relationships.
A common theme from listening to great business-minded professionals like Gary Vaynerchuck, Tony Robbins, Faisal Sublaban, Ellen Latham, Danny Meyer, Tilman Fertitta and many more is the understanding that hospitality is the key differentiator that gives you a great reputation in the market place, helps you retain your current clients/customers, develop new ones and attract top-level talent to your company. Put all these benefits together and you have GROWTH and isn’t that what we all want?

To learn more about Kevin, connect with him here on LinkedIn.

 

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