Learning Customer Service From TV

I am currently in the middle of a great book by Will Guidara calledUnreasonable Hospitality: The Remarkable Power of Giving People More Than They Expect.” And yes it’s about my new favorite subject: customer service…exceptional customer service and how it can affect not only the way your business is run but what your customers think about you and most importantly it is a clear and sure path to success.

If you can give your customers a reason to love you, to love what you do and how you do it, you will keep your customers for life.

Maya Angelou is credited with saying that it’s not what people do that makes you appreciate them, it’s the way they make you feel. And that is what customer service is all about.

Mr. Guidara is one of the leading restaurateurs in the world. His restaurants rank among the very best in the world and in the end although everything is important the most important lesson in the book is how the service in his restaurants make people feel.

He tells the story of a family from Spain dining at one of his restaurants in New York and their two children being fascinated by looking out the window and seeing snow falling for the first time in their young lives. So he arranged for one of his team to go buy them some brand new sleds and a limo to take them to Central Park to go snow-sliding. Yeah, it’s that kind of service, which represents “The remarkable power of giving people more than they expect.”

It is always amazing to me how much I can learn about business and customer service from what you can find on television. Check out a show called Inside Claridge’s, which documents the daily life of one of the absolute best hotels in the world. The attention to detail that those hotels pay to their customers is amazon and telling. There is a reason their basic rooms start at about $2,000 a night!. Just watching this program gives great lessons in what customer care and creating a great customer experience really means. There is another similar documentary about the Sherburne hotel in Ireland

TV shows about restaurants and hotels, such as “The Sherburne” and “Claridge’s,” as well as reality shows like “The Bear,” can offer valuable insights into customer service in the hospitality industry. I love the show “The Bear” which is about a world class chef taking over the family’s Chicago Italian Beef restaurant and turning it into a best-in-class restaurant. Forget all that JIT and Six Sigma anti human malarky and instead watch season two, episode six of “The Bear” and you’ll learn everything you need to know about running a successful business by delivering the ultimate customer experience.

Just to summarize, here are some of the lessons I have gleaned from my curated TV watching:

Importance of Attentiveness: These shows often highlight the importance of being attentive to guests’ needs. Observing how staff members anticipate and fulfill guests’ requests promptly can emphasize the significance of attentiveness in customer service. In the Bear they talk about watching their customers to determine what they need even before the customer realizes she needs it!

Effective Communication: Communication is key in providing excellent customer service. Watching how staff members communicate with each other and with guests can offer insights into effective communication strategies, including active listening and clear articulation. In The Bear you see how the staff members pass notes to one another about a specific table needs.

Personalized Service: Exceptional customer service often involves personalizing the experience for each guest. Observing how staff members tailor their approach to meet individual preferences and needs can demonstrate the importance of personalized service. In the Bear they show how one of the waiters in training runs out to get “Chicago’s best Pizza” for one of their customers.

Problem Resolution: In the hospitality industry, issues and complaints can arise unexpectedly. TV shows often depict how staff members handle such situations professionally and efficiently, offering lessons in problem resolution and conflict management. Great relationships are always made by the way problems are resolved.

Teamwork and Collaboration: Successful customer service in restaurants and hotels relies on effective teamwork and collaboration among staff members. Watching how teams work together to deliver seamless service can highlight the importance of teamwork in achieving customer satisfaction. “Yes Chef!”

Attention to Detail: Providing exceptional customer service often requires attention to detail in every aspect of the guest experience, from cleanliness to presentation to small gestures of hospitality. TV shows can highlight the significance of attention to detail in creating memorable experiences for guests.

Cultural Sensitivity: In today’s diverse world, cultural sensitivity is crucial in providing outstanding customer service. TV shows set in various locations and featuring guests from different backgrounds can offer lessons in cultural awareness and sensitivity.

Continuous Improvement: The best hospitality establishments are always striving to improve and innovate their services. Watching how successful restaurants and hotels adapt to changing trends and feedback from guests can underscore the importance of continuous improvement in customer service. The organizations are always, and I mean always searching for perfection.

By observing the interactions and practices depicted in TV shows about restaurants and hotels, viewers can gain valuable insights and inspiration for providing exceptional customer service in their own organizations.

So, when you’re sitting down in front of the TV at night. Turn off “The Bachelor” or some other waste of time nonsense and head to shows like “Inside the Claridge” and “The Bear” and sit back and learn something about improving your company’s customer service and delivering the best customer experience in your niche. It’s only common sense.