Forbes article “Three Customer Service Secrets Of The Hospitality Industry That You Should Borrow Today” is great read for Customer Service Executives, and includes three valuable tips from three of the leaders in the Hospitality industry. Definitely worth the read, you’ll find it here. But it left me wondering how this wisdom can also be utilized by the Marketing and Sales teams within Customer Service industries? This week I’ll be borrowing the three expert tips and exploring how they may be made even more actionable using Corporate Video. Why video? Just in case you’ve been stuck under a rock, Hubspot has heralded 2017 The Year Of Video Marketing.
If you work in Hospitality or Customer Service, read on for three very real solutions to some of your marketing challenges:
1. Great customer service depends on empowering your employees, according Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company President and COO Herve Humler
At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, even hourly employees have permission to spend up to $2,000 per guest to solve any problem or dissatisfaction that may arise, “without needing to ask permission, without needing to involve management or worry that they’re going too far,” as President and COO Herve Humler puts it.
This example shared in the original article, highlights the important of empowering your employees, and a similar rule exists in the Marketing world. Great marketing of a Brand, Product or Service begins with enlisting your team as your ambassadors. The influence of word of mouth should not be underestimated and your team can be your best brand advocates. Your guests and customers may not ask their neighbors for their options as often (if at all), but they are still greatly affected by their friend’s opinions shared in any number of mediums; social media, texting, emails and more. The importance of positive reviews on 3rd party websites (TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.), is more proof of the importance of getting a second, personalized opinion before purchasing. So how does this apply to empowering your employees through Corporate Video? It doesn’t mean your team needs to be featured in the video (although sometimes this is an excellent direction to create an authentic telling of your Brand’s story!), but like all ambassadors you need to equip your promotional team with the tools they need to effectively communicate and sell the brand. Here Corporate Video provides value twofold ; 1. it can educate and guide your team with the language, essence and USP’s of your brand, and 2. it provides an online toolkit for your team to actively share, sort of like the modern-day version of passing on a business card! Empower your website, empower your team.
2. Great customer service depends on hiring for customer-friendly traits, according to Top Chef Judge & Restaurateur Tom Colicchio.
In a customer-focused field like the hospitality industry, it’s essential to hire the right people: employees with the necessary traits–empathy, warmth, and conscientiousness, to name a few–that equip them to serve customers successfully, day in and day out.
At Front Runner we talk A LOT about the “Heart of the Brand”. We focus so heavily on it because we passionately believe (and have proven time and time again) that the secret to great marketing content is authenticity, humor and heart. What values, beliefs and people are at the very heart of your brand, and how can you utilize both in your marketing efforts? Humans communicate most effectively physically - more than verbally, more than with written word. As much as we’ve evolved, humans are still fundamentally animals with innate, highly sensitive and intuitive senses. Whether we are consciously aware or not, we “read” a person’s posture, facial expression, tone, even smell, and it’s a combination of these elements in addition to what is actually being spoken that forms our opinion. As such, our purchasing decisions are influenced heavily when we are engaged with a sincere, warm and talking human-being in place of a still image, or paragraph of text. Your company understands the importance of the positive attitude and approach of the Customer Service professionals in your workplace, Corporate Video allows you to extend that into your website and social media. After all, it’s very hard to express empathy, warmth and conscientiousness in text alone, and it’s almost impossible to express heart. This is why video content has the power to change a consumer’s “maybe” into a definitive “yes”.
3. Scripted, insincere customer service is the ultimate turnoff for today’s customers, says Richard Branson, Virgin Hotels
Legendary businessman Richard Branson has built his new Virgin Hotels brand expressly on this principle, avoiding what he calls “Stepford customer service,” the rigid, phony, scripted service style that today’s guests find to be such a turnoff. Because Sir Richard knows that if you treat customers robotically, they’ll run, not walk, to somewhere that feels more “at home” to them.
Sir Richard Branson’s advice calls to mind the adage “A house is not a home”. Do you want your customers to experience your online presence, especially your website, as a cold, unoriginal and “off-the-shelf” house, or a warm, inviting, personal and unique home? What turns a house into a home? In two words: Personalization and (to harp upon my previous point in Tip #2) Heart! Corporate Video is perhaps the fastest and most effective way to create homeliness. It’s a method of communication that (when done right) expresses authentically and empathetically. Your guests/customers don’t want to feel like they are one of thousands or even millions (even if that is in fact the reality), they don’t want a standardized or scripted experience. Instead they are searching for “peer to peer” style of customer service. Creating video that truly encapsulates the highest level of heart-felt customer service that your company prides itself on, ensures that your guests are welcomed home even before they set foot in your business.
In conclusion, video is an essential part of any and every company’s marketing toolkit, but might prove the most valuable for those in a Hospitality and Customer Service industry. Even the author of the original article published at Forbes.com (Micah Solomon, customer service consultant, customer experience consultant, hospitality industry keynote speaker, trainer, and bestselling author of The Heart of Hospitality) understands the power of video. You can watch Micah's new customer service keynote speaker video here. If you want to know a little more about Corporate Video, our fearless leader (and Creative Director), Tyler shares more here, or check out our website watch some of the heartfelt Corporate Video we’ve created, or drop us a line below as we’d love to chat about your needs.