The “-pathies” of Guest Service – Apathy, Sympathy, Empathy

Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Perception is each person’s own reality. Therefore, good impressions are vital in creating positive perceptions in the personal and professional world. Can you think of a time where you could not recall a specific memory, but instead were left with a lingering emotion or impression of a person or place? Impressions and perceptions are very powerful.

One of the best ways to create positive impressions is through positive interactions and relationships. Guest service needs to be structured and treated the same way as a relationship. Service can be broken down into three categories; apathetic, sympathetic, and empathetic.

Apathetic relationships do not exist, nor should apathetic guest service. Apathy is defined by the lack of feeling or emotion, lack of interest or concern. It is impassive and indifferent of a person or situation. Relationships cannot be built on apathy.

Sympathetic relationships, in contrast, are successful. Sympathy is described as the feeling of caring about and feeling sorry about someone else’s trouble, grief, or misfortune. Friends and guests want to be understood and know that someone cares about them. Therefore, showing genuine interest in bettering their situation creates trust, and that trust generates positive experiences and perceptions. This predominately is the most common type of guest service technique and is associated with meeting a guest’s expectations.

Empathy, however, is the feeling of understanding and the ability to share another person’s experiences and emotions. Cherished relationships are filled with empathy. It’s shown by genuinely going above and beyond to accommodate, recover, understand, and feel for that individual. This technique revolves around not just meeting expectations, but exceeding them. Organizations rated the highest in guest care have built guest relationships and rapport by empathetically communicating with their guests.

Guest service is closely tied with ‘moments of truth.’ Moments of truth are every moment a person has the opportunity to obtain an impression of an organization or person. The amount of moments of truth combined with the type and level of guest service provided will determine the perception a guest has of an organization. Companies win one guest at a time, but can lose them a thousand at a time.

If perception is reality, then what realities have been formed by the perceptions guests have about your organization?

 

616 Development 10-10-13

 

by Jenna Affholter

Jenna Affholter is an important piece of the puzzle as our current 616 Apprentice. While gaining a well-rounded understanding of the world of 616, Jenna’s role is to assist with all things residential. From connecting with prospective residents to leasing apartments to assisting with community creation, Jenna is an exciting addition to 616 Lofts.

 

 

Are you happy with how you are spending your time?

“Are you happy with how you are spending your time?”
Meg Crofton – President of Disney Parks and Resorts in the United States and France.

 

A small group of people and I had the privilege of hearing Meg speak about her life and career journey. One of the most altering moments in her career was when one of her bosses had asked her the question: “Are you happy with how you are spending your time?”

In an attempt to climb the corporate ladder, she had been working an excessive amount of hours and stretching herself thin. Her inspiring boss challenged her and held her accountable to upholding a personal life. This valuable lesson has molded her into the strong, successful, well-balanced leader she is today.

Meg challenged us with this same question. Could I be more intentional with my time? The answer is absolutely. I then began to contemplate why businesses don’t push this concept. After all, low employee turnover and high satisfaction levels are often a direct reflection of an employee’s happiness and work-life balance.

Harvard Business Journal recently published an article along the same topic, stating: “Leaders can and do engage meaningfully with work, family, and community. They’ve discovered through hard experience that prospering in the senior ranks is a matter of carefully combining work and home so as not to lose themselves, their loved ones, or their foothold on success.”

Businesses that want to create leaders, reduce turnover, and have higher morale should start investing in their employees; starting with holding them accountable to this balanced life style.

Being intentional about how you spend your free time is proven to create better work performance. Yet, why is this concept so quickly pushed aside?

An increase of educational institutes and business leaders are starting to teach this revolutionary idea. As a soon-to-be grad, job hunting for myself has become more than looking for a paycheck. I look for businesses that value work-life balance while challenging me to grow personally and professionally.

I want to be the best person I can be in all facets. That means that my personal life and professional life will, at times, overlap. Up to this point, this has been an unacceptable practice in the business world. We have all heard the phrase, “leave your problems at the door” from an employer. A business that embraces the overlap and challenges employees with balance and personal growth creates stronger and happier individuals, both inside and outside of work.

The catch is that the responsibility of work-life balance falls on the employer and the employee. As a dedicated employee, I owe it to myself, and to my employer, to be intentional about how I spend my free time. After all, it is a win-win scenario.

How about you? Are you happy with how you’re spending your free time? Do you have a healthy work-life balance? Are there changes you need to make?

Do yourself a favor; step back so you can step up!

 

616 Development 10-10-13

 

by Jenna Affholter

Jenna Affholter is an important piece of the puzzle as our current 616 Apprentice. While gaining a well-rounded understanding of the world of 616, Jenna’s role is to assist with all things residential. From connecting with prospective residents to leasing apartments to assisting with community creation, Jenna is an exciting addition to 616 Lofts.

 

 

Jenna Affholter, Apprentice

We are excited to introduce our fall apprentice at 616 Lofts — Jenna Affholter. Jenna will be sharing her perspective as a millennial with us on our community, the city of Grand Rapids and the field of development. Look forward to future writings from Jenna in our blog.

Tony.Headshot

Likes: organic, vegan, and local products
Dislikes: dishonesty
Likes: dogs, concerts, camping, fashion
Dislikes: excessive “liking”, being hot, working out

role

Jenna Affholter is an important piece of the puzzle as our current 616 Apprentice. While gaining a well-rounded understanding of the world of 616, Jenna’s role is to assist with all things residential. From connecting with prospective residents to leasing apartments to assisting with community creation, Jenna is an exciting addition to 616 Lofts.

origins

Jenna was born and raised in Rochester Hills. After moving to Grand Rapids to attend Grand Valley State University, she fell in love with the city and its culture. The soon-to-be graduate is very passionate about revitalizing not only buildings but also communities in Grand Rapids. Her diverse experiences give her an insight into many different parts of the business. The past few years she has focused on creating lasting, memorable relationships and events for various organizations, including Walt Disney World.

jenna + 616

With a shared passion for Grand Rapid’s revitalization, Jenna observed 616 Development’s growth over the past few years. As graduation approached, she contacted The Tribe inquiring about any employment opportunities. Soon after, 616 launched their Apprentice program an opening did present itself and Jenna was invited to join the Tribe. With a focus on guest service, she assists fills a vital role in connecting with potential residents and supporting the existing 616 Lofts community.

Tribal Thoughts: The apprentice

 

“You’re FIRED!” – Donald Trump

 

Over the years at 616, we have received numerous requests for internships from extremely dynamic individuals. Unfortunately, as a growing company, we never took the time to slow down and create an internship program.

As we’ve matured (a little), some bandwidth has freed up to think about it, and we landed on an Apprentice program in lieu of a traditional Internship program.

Why?

The word mentorship kept coming up as we internally brainstormed about this part of our business. We didn’t see value in someone merely getting our coffee. Rather, we had a clear vision of someone apprenticing into a full-time position as our Tribe grows. We figured the best way to accomplish this was to mentor an Apprentice in lieu of just assigning tasks to an Intern.

Were we right?

We don’t know yet, but I can promise you one thing: After pouring energy into our apprentice, we will not replay the cliché boardroom scene and yell “you’re fired!”

Inward. Onward. Upward!

– derek

derek_coppess

by Derek J. Coppess

Derek J. Coppess is a developer, designer, community advocate and the founder of 616 Development & 616 Lofts. His mission: to inspire community by rehabilitating underutilized urban spaces. Derek and the 616 Tribe have developed notable projects such as 1 Ionia and the Kendall building.

Currently, Derek Coppess is working with local city planners and developers to achieve critical mass downtown. He also sits on the board of directors for Sunny Crest Youth Ranch in his hometown, Lake Odessa. Derek is happily married and lives in East Grand Rapids with his family of four.

 

 

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