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Editor's Memo: The "People" Business

We don't have to be in the hospitality business to recognize that our interactions with others can make or break us.

April 1, 2014
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I’ve been doing a fair amount of traveling lately, and I had a somewhat below-average experience while checking out of one hotel. The desk clerk wasn’t rude or anything like that; in fact, she was friendly, and we even chatted for a while. But she was clearly not happy with her job, and her distinct lack of enthusiasm rubbed off on me, leaving me with a ho-hum feeling about my stay and the hotel in general.

As I was riding to the airport, I realized that prior to checking out, I’d enjoyed my stay and had been feeling pretty good about that hotel. Instead of leaving me with positive feelings toward the hotel, which might entice me to go back the next time I’m in the area, my interaction with her unfortunately had the exact opposite effect.

As business travelers, we can all grow somewhat numbed (if not outright jaded) by frequent hotel stays. The rooms all start to look the same after a while, and the faces of the hotel staff often blend together. But positive interactions with the staff could be the one factor that makes an impression, leading us back to establishments we might have forgotten about otherwise.

I came to realize that we don’t have to be in the hospitality business in order to recognize that our interactions with our customers can make or break us. In fact, we’re all in the “people” business—maintaining positive relationships with customers and colleagues alike inevitably makes our business more successful. When given the choice between Company A, whose employees seem unmotivated or perhaps disinterested, and Company B, whose companies are engaged and enthusiastic, I’m going to be much more inclined to work with Company B. It’s simply human nature for us to want to interact in a positive way.

 Do you agree? Are we all in the “people” business? Please contact me at (330) 336-4098 or suttons@bnpmedia.com to share your thoughts.   

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