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September 22, 2010

It was the third weekend trip to Boston in a month as we settled our son into his new home at Boston College.  Late at night on the third weekend, the front desk clerk at a new hotel we choose greeted us with abundant energy and warmth. I assumed we looked like we needed it from the lack of sleep, hectic traffic and busy schedules we had been leading.  Since I’m always a skeptic of hotels I haven’t stayed in before, her welcoming personality made me relax thinking we picked the right place.

Early the next morning I got up to run in their exercise room. I was impressed to find a cool, comfortable environment, treadmills with personal headsets for music or television viewing, water with lemon slices, fresh apples and oranges, and clean white towels. Outside the window was a beautiful large pool with cabanas, beige wooden umbrellas, and hanging lanterns. Sometimes a morning jog can be difficult but the cleanliness and beauty of the facility inspired me. As I left the workout room, I passed free newspapers, fresh brewed coffee and soothing music, which made my morning even better.  To top things off, the price for this hotel was less than others in the area.

Hospitality means warmth, welcome, and generosity. In a world of many buying options, it’s nice to know some companies work hard to get and keep our business. It’s not a reach to think a hotel would create a relaxed atmosphere for their guests, but not all hotels do.  Not all businesses have an inviting waiting room or conference room for their clients. Some do. Many companies train their employees in the best customer service policies to ensure clients are treated well. Others don’t. Depending on your business or the type of client you are trying to attract, hospitality might get you noticed and really set you apart from your competitors.

Today’s post is meant to have you step back for a moment and drink in the hospitality your company portrays to the public and your clientele. Are there ways you should improve your office, surroundings, message, and training to deliver a more warm atmosphere for your valued customers. Would the investment in becoming more welcoming strengthen your customer relationships and sales figures.

Think about the atmosphere and messages that inspire, energize and relaxe you and work them into your company. Some added warmth and hospitality might be just what your company needs to get noticed in today’s marketplace.

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