No Room for Mediocrity

Yesterday I posted part of a Service Lesson Plan I used to call No Room for Mediocrity. It thought you might want to see the rest of it.

It was inspired by an interview I had read at one time (I’m afraid I can’t remember where I read it now, sorry) with Ali Kasikci, General Manager of the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel. Among the things he said:

Good service is memorable service. You have five senses. Good service is the sixth.  You can’t describe it, but you know it when you experience it.

Do you want to know the biggest problem in business? Too many people have copied too many other people’s best practices. That’s a sure route to mediocrity.

This was done for the staff of a residential resort community with a Five Diamond hotel, however I think you will easily relate to it for many different customer service settings.

There is “No Room for Mediocrity.”

Lesson 1 ”“ What do our guests ask of us?

“Be Flexible.”  They hate it when we say no, and are unwilling to bend the rules.   Can we be different and be more flexible?  Do we need so many rules?

Question the rules you have in your operation ”“ Are they really necessary?  If so, how can service be provided to take the bite away?

Lesson 2 ”“ What do our guests ask of us?

“Make it easy.”  To do business with us needs to be hassle-free.  Can we build systems to eliminate the hassles?

Look closely: is it easy to call you?  Is it easy to book a reservation, make an appointment?  It is easy to “go shopping” ”“ no matter what the service that you provide in your department?

Lesson 3 ”“ What do our guests ask of us?

“Don’t nickel and dime us.” It already cost a pretty penny to stay here, whether a resident or a hotel guest, and they assume it’s a package deal ”“ they want a package deal.  Are there inconsequential charges in our operations that bug our guests unnecessarily?  Can we be more creative?  Should we simply be more reasonable?

Lesson 4 ”“  What do our guests ask of us?

“Don’t make us wait.” We know they’re coming; be ready for their arrival and be ready for the moment of truth when you can “deliver on the promise”.

Do a reality check: track a full hour today ”“ any hour at random ”“ and determine: how many minutes are actually spent with guests, and how many are spent “doing business with ourselves” on processes and procedures?  When guests arrive, is it easy to break away from whatever you are doing and greet them immediately? 

Lesson 5 ”“ What do our guests ask of us?

“Make us dependent on you.”  They want us to give them things that they had never thought of, that they didn’t even know they’d love to get.  They want us to be creative, and provide them with innovative products and services.

What will stimulate this kind of creativity in your department?  What can you do to tap into the everyday mechanics of your operation to generate new ideas? 

Lesson 6 ”“ What do our guests ask of us?

“Anticipate our needs.”  How do we do this?  By simply sitting up and taking notice.  Watch, listen, and learn what the guest “in hand” is happy with, and then deliver it to the next guest before they have to ask.

Make it an exercise today: assign it.  Have everyone write down what it was that made the guests’ eyes shine today.  Post a large sheet of flipchart paper on a wall, and have them write it where everyone can see it.

Lesson 7 ”“ What do our guests ask of us?

“Let me be the star.”  Guests want to feel they are the only ones that are important to us.  Be there for them.  Be present.  Be in their moment, and make it an experience for them.

In your pre-shift meeting today, teach your staff how to do a Daily 5 Minutes ”“ with the guest!  Make their day.  “Be There: If you’re not there, you’ll miss something!”

More on how we used this Service Lesson Plan for pre-shift meetings was explained in my post yesterday.


  1. says

    Great post! Very insightful.
    “Too many people have copied too many other people’s best practices.”
    Authenticity is essential if we are to avoid mediocrity. Thanks for making the point so well.