5 Steps to World Class Customer Service

Every great service organization aims to train associates to develop magic, or as we call it in the hospitality language “WOW” service. Service oriented organizations that are constantly growing, evolving and succeeding are focused not only on the customer service per se, but in creating a culture where associates deliver consistently “wow” service.

They realize that it is not a one off experience but a way of life to deliver consistently to each and every guest that they come in to touch with and all this starts with the culture that has been built within the DNA of the organizations.

My experience in the industry has given me great insights, which I am going to share so that it benefits the community.

If you want to develop superior customer service here is a 5 point game plan to help you achieve your customer service goal.

  1. Create a structure for your training function.

To keep the culture alive you need to permeate your training philosophy through every level of the organization – right from the leaders in management roles to the newest recruit. Every new recruit needs to be informed on the 3 basics:

a)     Traditions – educate associates on the company history and its legacy of superlative guest service.

b)     On the job training which consists of basic skills and technical skills.

c)     Principles on how to exceed guest expectations.

  1. Let associates find a purpose not job.

For great leaders and great companies, people just do not show up and do what is asked of them. They want to be there, they are proud to be there and they reach above and beyond, constantly raising the bar of excellence. Do your associates come to work because they want to be there or because they have to be there?

  1. Communicate consistently:

It is said “feedback is the breakfast of champions”. Superior organizations have always kept communication at the forefront of their customer service. How you do it will depend on your communication strategy. The best organizations use different tools – newsletters, bulletin boards, briefings, pre-shift meetings and one-one’s to communicate with their teams. Irrespective of what method is used, keep your communication simple for it to be effective.

  1. Prepare your associates for the unexpected by teaching through examples:

Your associates need to be able to anticipate the unexpected events. Teach the associates to look for magic moments – moments that will blow away the mind of your guests.

One effective method is to train your managers and associates to write down all the surprises that tend to crop up in his or her line of work. By drawing from their own experiences, managers and associates usually come up with quite a comprehensive list.

What you do with this list is important:

a)     Think with awareness of the situation.

b)     Put response guidelines in place.

c)     Role play and dress rehearsal to train your associates.

  1. Teach the principles of great service:

Make teaching principles of great service a consistent activity. Share stories, encourage associates to share their experiences. Guide, mentor and coach them. Every one of your associates needs to reflect the core values and philosophy that you want your guest to know; after all they represent the brand to your guests.

So, what we have is a simple 5 steps strategy to uplift your service standards. The more you follow the steps, the easier it will be for your organizations to create those “wow” moments for your guests.


Uday Nayak is a Training Manager for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. He is currently responsible for training and development at Sheraton in Dubai Mall of Emirates.

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