Proper Wow

Picture the scene. I’m away skiing in the Alps with several of the Property Academy’s Trusted Advisors and friends, (we’ve had four days away each year since 2012 to catch up, reengage and discuss the estate agency and business landscape whilst having some fun too). And a few days before I leave, I catch a stinker of a cold which the minus17 temperature in the mountains exacerbates.

I’m doing all I can to hang in and a visit to the local pharmacy adds considerably to the variety of meds which are scattered about my hotel bedroom and bathroom. And on my return from an awesome ski in near perfect conditions, I find my room hasn’t just been serviced but properly tidied up, as if my Mum had been there. And all the various pills and cough mixtures have been gathered together in one place with a note saying: “Hope you feel better :)”

This is a proper moment of WOW, something that makes me feel fantastic, (despite the lurgy), and truly valued as a customer. And it’s made me think about why Maria, the young Portuguese woman who has cleaned my room this week, did this act of WOW off her own back and whether it can be developed into a system. And I conclude that yes it can be, but only with one thing.

And that’s culture.

I’ve developed a model called the “7Rs” which, if properly implemented will help to develop the right culture and they are:

  • Recruitment
  • Retention
  • Remuneration
  • Reward
  • Recognition
  • Responsibility
  • Review

Of all of these, the three most important are Recruitment – getting the right people on board, Recognition – catching them doing things right and Responsibility – giving them the opportunity to excel. And yet what I witness in many companies is that the emphasis tends to be on three others, Remuneration, Reward and Review, (and the seventh, Retention only happens after it’s too late).

I don’t think you could write into a hotel manual, “if you see that a customer has a lot of medications then please leave a note saying ‘get well soon’ “ but with the right culture the system becomes automatic as team members will seek out opportunities to delight customers and to make them feel highly valued and appreciated.

In March, several members of the Property Academy are visiting Tokyo to learn from a different culture that is renowned for it’s service levels and efficiency of systems. At the time of writing there’s just one place remaining – please get in touch straight away if you’d like to come to BlueSky Tokyo.

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