Have you ever experienced service so pure that you could literally feel it? Service that is unpretentious, unrestrictive, unscripted, yet seamless and professional all at the same time. Even as a service consultant, it would have been difficult for me to imagine that such a caliber of service could exist so flawlessly and naturally. I am referring to a recent memorable experience during a trip to the Ayana Resort & Spa in Bali. I wish that I could pack up a few of the staff and take them around the world with me so they can show everyone what excellence, humility and professionalism look like. Everything from the shuttle sensual massage driver offering chilled face cloths, to a framed photo (of my family) in the villa, the attention-to-detail was inspiring. Here are four quick lessons that anyone, in any industry, can learn from them.
There is no question in my mind that the staff at Ayana is very proud of their property and the service that they provide. Since the team has so much pride in what they do, it makes sense that, for them, good is never good enough. Even if 99 out of 100 guests have a stellar service experience, the staff will listen, empathize, fix, and follow-up to ensure that the disappointed guest is happy from that moment on. Striving to be perfect is not a disappointing activity (that some cynical observers may label as “pointless”). On the contrary, there is an obvious difference in how diligently one prepares, when the goal is to score 100%. Think about students who are studying for a test. Those students who have made up their mind to get every question correct actually score 100% more often than students who study just to pass. In fact, students who study for, and expect to receive a 100% are actually quite disappointed (even shocked), if they receive anything less.
*Takeaway: Develop the habit of preparing for and expecting a 100% flawless service experience every day, for every customer, at every touchpoint. You and your team might be astonished at the results.
To understand the Ayana Resort & Spa’s service quality, it is important to appreciate the “thankful” nature of the Balinese culture. Balinese people are used to giving thanks multiple times per day for such things as food, shelter, health, and life. Most people I know take those things for granted and have a sense of entitlement, as if such things are owed to them. I believe that there is a strong linkage between being thankful and delivering great service. I am not inferring that being thankful is the ultimate panacea to cure the world’s customer service woes, but I do see a strong relationship between the two.
Start your day (everyday) by being genuinely thankful for life, food, shelter, and clothing. Being thankful and appreciative removes the entitlement factor that can dilute the ability to genuinely be of service to others. Entitlement is a selfish characteristic because the focus is on yourself. It is difficult to be focused on yourself AND give engaging service to others at the same time. So, regularly ask yourself, “What am I thankful for?” and “What would life be like if I did not have those things?