Word Of the Week #33: Hospitality

April 21, 2009 by  

Hospitality:  the cordial and generous reception and entertainment of guests or strangers; either socially or commercially.

Welcome Back Hospitality

Welcome Back Hospitality

What’s the first thing you do when you have company coming? Clean your house, right? Your house has never been cleaner! And I figured out that the farther that your company travels to see you, the cleaner your house gets. My friend Chrissy was coming from England and I had to recover my couch!

What’s interesting about the word hospitality, is that it applies to both work and home. Let’s take the definition and break it down. Cordial means a warm and often hardy friendliness. Generous reception means to receive with open arms. Entertainment is providing for the needs of someone, and a guest is a recipient of hospitality.

Are your customers, guests, and members received with a warm and hardy friendliness? One of the most effective training tips I use when working with staff, is to tell them to think of their customers, guests, and members as guests in their own home.

When I ask them, “What’s the first thing you do when you have company coming?” They will fill in the blank with numerous answers. Why not ask your staff to fill in the blank. When I was a waitress, I used to think of the dining room as an extension of my home and all the people were my personal friends or friends of my friends!

Can you picture what your operation would look like and feel like if all of your staff were exhibiting real hospitality? This week focus on the warm and hardy friendliness. Notice how it makes you feel and how your customers, guests and members respond.

Reader Responses

“I really enjoy receiving your “WOW” Words of the week. It is like having a friend out there who understands our business. The thoughts you share are a continual reminder of the way service and hospitality really should be. We both know that when things get tough and customers / members get irate (for no reason at all) it is difficult to deliver the finest/friendliest level of service with the best attitude. However, when those moments pass, one begins to reflect on the evening or situation and soon realizes that most people are really appreciative of what we do. It is only a small portion of members / guests / customers that act like an ass. So don’t change your attitude or don’t let those people change your attitude, because what we do in the service industry is something to be proud of. “We are Ladies and Gentlemen, Serving Ladies and Gentlemen” and regardless if you are a doctor, attorney,etc., we are all serving one another.” — Don Vance

“To me, hospitality means warmth, camaraderie, friendship, and a willingness to make your “guest” feel comfortable and at home. That is something that I try to incorporate in both my personal and professional lives. One of the things that is important to me when establishing a new client/VA relationship, is the ability to be comfortable with each other and develop a friendship. That old saying about not mixing business with pleasure doesn’t fit in my life. If I can’t feel hospitable to my clients, and work with them on a level that includes warmth, camaraderie and friendship, then it doesn’t really feel like a good fit for me. Much of what keeps that passion alive in my business is due to the relationships I have with clients, prospective clients, other VAs, etc., and those relationships are built by being hospitable.” — Terry L. Green

“Thanks Susan, I have family coming over and guess what I don’t have the hospitality thing going on. I never thought about this, I usually have guest entertain themselves when they come over to stay, I am not really good in this area but it doesn’t mean I can not start today working on this. I will get on it, as I have family coming over first week of June. Thanks I continue to look forward to these, keep them coming!” — Brenda Moreno