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It’s well-known that hospitality is one of my favorite industries. As I’ve frequently written, the hospitality industry holds, over many others, an edge in customer service so strong that nearly any other industry would do well to use it as a benchmark.

Having said that, let me take just one (I could have picked any one of several) of the great hotel companies of North America. A company renowned for its commitment to its guests. And point out that, in at least one sphere, it’s making a tragic mistake common to so many companies, in so many industries: it’s limiting that commitment only to the level required by local statute.

Let me tell you what I mean. The most gorgeous of this chain’s U.S. properties has no lifeguard on duty. Ever. In lieu of a lifeguard, there’s an elegant ceramic-tiled sign by the pool that reads:

No lifeguard on duty.

Call 911 if there is an emergency

or someone stops breathing.

You see, there’s no local ordinance requiring a lifeguard in the west-coast city where the property (a $400+ per night property) is located. No ordinance, so no lifeguard.

The same chain, however, has lifeguards at every hotel in the modest suburbs that encircle the city where I grew up. Why? Because those municipalities require them.

Again, this is a company that prides itself on great service. And yet, in my view, great service means more than being well-staffed for check-in, and having a knowledgeable concierge. An unmanned pool is, per some statisticians, more dangerous than an unlocked firearms cabinet (not that either one is a good idea). Dangerous to whom? To the very guests you’ve committed to care for.

. . . . . . . .

It’s unfortunate that so many companies, in every industry, do only what’s required by law. Thank goodness we have, at least locally, municipalities brave enough to do what is right. Company leaders need to remember to do the same–in every area of their operations. Worker safety isn’t just about “keeping OSHA off our asses.” It’s about keeping our workers safe. And caring for our customers isn’t just about appearances, it’s about addressing realities.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Micah Solomon
Micah Solomon is a customer service consultant and trainer who works with companies to transform their level of customer service and customer experience. The author of five books, his expertise has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, NBC and ABC television programming, and elsewhere. "Micah Solomon conveys an up-to-the minute and deeply practical take on customer service, business success, and the twin importance of people and technology." –Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder.


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