Having returned from two weeks’ vacation at The Leela Palace in Bangalore, I can tell you that my wife and I enjoyed exceptional customer service from the beginning to the end of our stay.
It was an honour to also have the opportunity to train the hotel’s senior team during our visit. It was a great time of training, engagement and interaction for all. Good training not only leads to knowledge but also to action. As a hotel chain, The Leela are always looking for actionable ways to meet their clients’ needs and desires.
Not surprisingly, the hotel business is a very competitive market. Competing to be the best demands the very best from the team. It is becoming increasingly challenging for businesses in the service industry to build and retain their market share. These businesses need to relentlessly discover and rediscover their clients’ desires and take action on them. Otherwise, someone else will.
Understanding the Client’s Needs and Desires
Tony Lynch and Pratik Vashisht, Front Office Manager at The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts
There is a difference between a need and a desire. Let me give you an example: When I stayed at The Leela Palace, my need was for a safe location, a bedroom to sleep in, good food, and a swimming pool. My desire, however, was for a magical experience – to be welcomed, well looked after, acknowledged and made to feel special. Therefore, when I look back on my time at The Leela, I remember an experience where not only were my needs met, but my desires, too.
Hotels are under pressure to ensure that they are not just competitive on price but also to offer a level of service that causes their customers to stay longer and also to return again. Like any other business, hotels need to aim to build their income and profitability.
We live in a world where our customers’ desires are often growing and changing. Therefore, if you’re delivering a service that your client desired last year, guess what? Today they likely want something different or more. To build a sustainable business, you must build on your clients’ desires of tomorrow, not yesterday. To stand out, to lead in your marketplace, you need to be constantly rediscovering your clients’ needs and desires. Be ahead of the curve.
Having stayed at numerous hotels around the world, I have found that hotel chains such as The Leela in India often offer terrific customer service – and an exceptional customer experience starts with their leadership team. Strong leadership and training ensures customer attention and satisfaction, which is fundamental to building a sustainable business.
“We had Tony Lynch from Keep Thinking Big in England train our senior team at The Leela Palace in Bangalore, India. Tony engaged with our team immediately as he presented his training on – ‘How to create Leadership Excellence, 7 steps to transform your leadership, business and team’. Tony is a very competent speaker. He delivered a great training session with much content and passion. Through the power of questions Tony helped us to understand leadership and customer care at a new level. If you are looking for an experienced, competent trainer, speaker and coach for your company or team, I would highly recommend Tony Lynch. He has also been featured in Inc. in the ‘100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference’ as well as being a TEDx speaker.”
Pratik Vashisht, Front Office Manager at The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts
Leadership is Key
As a business development training coach, I often see areas where savings can be made and then redistributed toward improving different parts of the service line. As a result, improvements can be made to cater toward customers’ growing needs.
Whenever you see great customer care and attention, you can bet that the leadership team of that company is committed to be the very best. They are investing in training and developing the talents of their team and they are actively building a culture of excellence.
If you are in the service industry and you want to build your market share, focus on increasing your customer attention so that they will buy from you again and again and will recommend others to your company as well.
Here are some important business building questions to consider:
- How can you discover your clients’ needs and desires?
- In what ways can you be constantly rediscovering your clients’ needs and desires?
- What process do you need to build to engage your clients’ for a longer period?
- How do you move from being transactional to being relational?
- What is the one thing that is stopping you from achieving a greater customer experience?
Entrepreneurs, business owners, and those who have influence over a team do not look just to satisfy the needs of their customers, but also to satisfy their customers’ desires. They connect with their customer base and they listen and learn from that feedback. When you listen, you learn, and when you learn you can lead the charge to stay ahead of your competitors.
Creating a culture of excellent customer care takes time, effort, desire, and a financial investment, but delivers great dividends, helping to build a sustainable and profitable business. Learn more here about my Creating Customer Care Excellence workshop in which I dive deeper into these concepts.
Do not rely on yesterday’s experience, achievements, and rewards, but constantly challenge yourself to go from good to excellent because your service level will determine the success of your business.