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?
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.