The “What Have You Done For Me Lately” Industry

Service Keyboard

…yesterday’s service awards won’t help your upset customer today![su_spacer]

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]T[/su_dropcap]HE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY is the most unique in the business world because we don’t sell a product. We sell “service.”

Whether it’s the hotel rooms, the soothing spa, a great Olympic-sized pool or multiple fantastic restaurants throughout a resort, they mean nothing to the guest if the overall experience is lacking.

Today’s hospitality industry is not about numbers, at least to the guests, it’s all about how we make you feel, what the experience is like. When you take your hard-earned money and spend it in a hotel, you wish to be taken into “another world” where the troubles of your day melt away. Think Disney World…

We expect those tending to us have anticipated our needs and planned properly for each interaction we will have.

The level of professionalism is usually higher in the hospitality industry and proper etiquette is at the forefront of what we must use. The words we speak have a different meaning. We don’t say “no problem” to a person that says thank you to us, we say “it was my pleasure” or “I’m happy to help” or of course “you’re welcome”.

Any negative phrases must be replaced with those that nurture a positive atmosphere.

A guest isn’t concerned about the issues we face, example: if the shirt we wish to purchase from a clothing store is not available in our size we will either do without it or look elsewhere for something similar. But as a guest in a hotel that can’t dine in one of their busy restaurants because they are over-booked, understaffed and not able to feed the throngs of guests that are entrusted to them, they will not have that option.

We must anticipate each and every detail of the needs wants and desires of the guests we host. When we don’t, we fail. This is a very unforgiving industry.

[message type=”custom” width=”100%” start_color=”#F0F0F0 ” end_color=”#F0F0F0 ” border=”#BBBBBB” color=”#333333″]

Two key points to remember:
• For someone to be successful there must be a conscious desire to serve others.
• Having a one-call resolution attitude is a must!
You must:
• Be unwilling to “pass on” an unhappy guest to another employee for fix the issue
• Ensure you will see the issue through to its satisfactory end.[/message][su_spacer]

We all speak of the “WOW” service that should be provided but what that means to one is different to another.

It can be as simple as helping one with their bags as they walk to their car, or the unexpected turn-down service in their room. It can be providing a behind-the-scenes look at the kitchen after a guest has enjoyed their fantastic meal or as little as using their name 2-3 times during an interaction.

But all of your great plans are meaningless when one, just one, customer has a bad experience. Your past great deeds are not taken into account. Your service awards are just a plaque on the wall and your wonderful letters of recommendation can’t soothe the disappointment of the customer, your guest, that is now upset.

What have you done for me lately? No…what will you do for me today, right now, to make my stay better?


Steve DiGioia
Steve DiGioia
With 20+ years in the hospitality industry and a lifetime of customer service experience, Steve DiGioia shares real-world tips and tactics to improve your customer service, increase employee morale, and provide the experience your customers desire. As a certified trainer, author & speaker, Steve has been recognized as a 4-time “World’s Top 30 Customer Service Professional” by Global and a “Top Customer Service Influencer” by multiple industry-leading sources. He is also a featured contributor to the leading hospitality and customer service websites. With a tagline of “Finding Ways to WOW Your Customer”, Steve continues his pursuit of excellence on his award-winning blog sharing his best strategies on customer service, management, and leadership. Follow Steve on Twitter @Steve DiGioia.

CHECK FOR TICKETS / JOIN OUR WAITING LIST! It's not a virtual event. It's not a conference. It's not a seminar, a meeting, or a symposium. It's not about attracting a big crowd. It's not about making a profit, but rather about making a real difference. LEARN MORE HERE



  1. Steve: good points, as always. For anyone that thinks it is easy, consider this. Last week a court awarded a woman $55 million because a desk clerk gave out her room number to a stalker who filmed her through the peep hole in the door. A single employee took a single action, which would financially wreck most hotel owners and management companies.

    Another point is that it seems to be getting harder and harder to get employees to use “appropriate” comments and responses. I suspect that part of the problem is the rise in the use of acronyms and slang so popular and common now on social media sites.

    • Ken, our industry is being ruined by the “Twitterization” of society. Too many short, cutesy phrases without real meaning. Hospitality is more than just a hotel room or a great spa, it’s the way we make our guests feel. But, of course you know all about that. Far too many don’t.