Service oriented people and “hospitalians”

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Customer orientation puts the customer at the beginning, center and the end of every transaction. According to the CSM website, this is one of the most important service qualities.

The ones who have it not

Often, we only realise how special service-oriented people are when we encounter those who are not.

We have all come across situations where a salesperson was trying to get rid of a customer, not even a cumbersome one at that, with the minimum personal investment possible, or no investment at all. In a shop and asking where a much-wanted product can be found, the reply comes “…over there…” without even a glance at the customer. The hand gesture that accompanies it is vague enough to encompass the whole shop.

These shop assistants are obviously remaining at the center of their work at the cost of the customer. If the shop is large enough, the loss of one or two customers will not make any difference. The manager will not even be aware of it.

The ones who have it

When speaking with people who are customer-oriented, and telling them how satisfied we are, the reply generally is: “…I am just doing my job…” while happily providing the needed assistance. Where does this come from? These people obviously do not feel they themselves are the core of their work. The client is.

So, is it all a question of inner-attitude?

Service orientation and hospitality

Bobby Stuckey pushes the question much further, recognising two kinds of service orientation.

For him, there is simply service orientation, which targets service generally, and another that creates emotional change. He points out that while service orientation consists of “looking in”, hospitality consists of “looking out”. A secret weapon, ready for use, for any company or service provider.

This latter kind, that he names “hospitality service,” targets making a change in the customer’s feelings, making them feel welcomed, relieved, important, or happy.  Comparing a multi-star restaurant in Paris and a small Tuscany restaurant, he found in the first one perfect service. In the latter, perfect hospitality; it was this restaurant that won his heart all the way.

Besides, it does not cost much…

All in all, we have a feel for good service or we do not. So would it be really worth it to provide training to the ones who are not service-oriented naturally? Altruistic people seem to have it in them, and they do not expect anything in return.

…maybe it is these people that should be hired for the job and be put in the right place.

It is that simple.






Francoise Baroffio Francoise Baroffio

I am an accomplished assistant with over 30 years of experience in various fields, including finance, for fiduciaries, banks and asset management companies - biotechnology and internal control.

My natural curiosity drives me to learn about the responsibilities and roles of a position in depth, so people can fully rely upon me. At the same time, it also means there is nothing I like more than meeting new people and immersing myself in new cultures, something which has lead me to not only master English, but also to spend over 10 years learning Chinese!

There are three main sides to my character :

- As an altruistic person, I am a team player and client satisfaction is paramount for me.

- I strongly believe that the key to good communication is to listen attentively and to provide clear explanations. This is another strength.

- At the same time, I can see the big picture. If given specific directives, I can foresee the problems which could arise and suggest or bring alternative solutions autonomously and pro-actively to my manager so we can have the best results possible.

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