“Hospitality is a dialogue” – Danny Meyer
I love Shake Shack. On several occasions, I have walked for 45-60 minutes in the humidity and heat of Las Vegas, to get to the Shake Shack on Las Vegas boulevard while skipping many gourmet restaurants in the hotels of Vegas. I do like the Smoke Shack burger and the Crinkle fries, but I knew my love for Shake Shack ran deeper than the food. I did not know why. Till this weekend.
Danny Meyer on Hospitality
This weekend I had a chance to read Danny Meyer’s wonderful autobiography – “Setting the Table”. Danny is the founder and owner of some amazing restaurants like Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Tabla, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard and of course Shake Shack. In the book Danny talks about the difference between Service and Hospitality.
He says “Service is the technical delivery of the of a product. Hospitality is the how the delivery of that product makes its recipient feel. Service is a monologue – we decide how we want to do things and set our own standards for service.
Hospitality, on the other hand , is a dialogue.
To be on a guest’s side requires listening to that person with everyon sense and following up with a thoughtful, gracious and appropriate response. It’s about soul – and service without sould, no matter how elegant, is quickly forgotten by the guest”
Monologues vs. Dialogues
He uses the restaurant metaphor, to cite several examples of monologues and dialogues.
Being seated at the precise time of your reservation at the exact table is good service. Delivering the right food to the right person at the right time is good service. Decanting a bottle of wine with care and grace is good service.
Knowing the guest is here to celebrate a 10-year anniversary and congratulating them on the anniversary while greeting them is hospitality. Knowing the lady like her margarita extra spicy and discussing the ways in which a margarita can be made extra spicy is hospitality. The sum of all the thoughtful, caring, gracious things to the customer feel the restaurant staff is on their side is hospitality!
Choosing to Using to Loving
At Cisco, we have been working hard at building the world’s best Customer Experience team. We realize that as value shifts from purchase to the entire lifecycle, customers demand an awesome experience at every step – not just purchase but on-boarding, implementation, engagement, usage, renewal, etc. Several consumer brands have personified this lifecycle shift inclduing Amazon (post-purchase recommendations), Nordstrom (support and returns) and my personal favorite Dollar Shave Club (personality, engagement, renewals).
We want customers to go from choosing to using to loving Cisco. We are shifting the conversation from the monologue of service to the dialogue of customer experience!