My dad was a “people person” of the first order.
Among his proudest possessions was the official photograph of Army Unit 1102 in which he served as Corporal during World War II. The photo was shot on a rainy September day in 1943, days before the men shipped off to France. On the picture’s front, my dad numbered many of the men and on the back of the glossy photo he wrote amusing notes about them. Here’s a few examples:
-”The man who kissed the wrong woman.”
-”The gunner of all gunners.”
-”A hell of a guy…the bugeler.”
-”The best damn baker in all the outfit.”
-”Had much rather be in Tennessee hills having cornbread and water with no puffed wheat.”
Only a true “people-person” would search out such funny and kind-hearted observation and record them. His humorous, light-hearted tone left no mistake—he was deeply fond of his fellow soldiers and, no doubt, was a better Corporal because of it.
This week I had the privilege to address “Women in Lodging” at their annual convention in Houston. I shared the wise words of Barbara Talbott, EVP of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts who I quoted in my newest book, Taming the Search & Switch Customer. Says Barbara:
“Whenever the topic of customer service is broached, people always ask us about our training. We respond by talking about recruitment. There is an aspect of good customer service that’s un-teachable. It really comes down to how we select our employees. We believe that there are certain attitudes that some people bring to their job that predispose them to being an effective deliverer of service. [Those include] kindness, helpfulness, a genuine desire to see other people happy and taking pride in doing things well.”
Loyalty lesson: Get the right person with the right temperament and clients (and co-workers) will notice.”