Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pour Your Heart Out - Servicape & Charleston

Last week when I was in Europe one of the biggest differences I found in relation to my home in Charleston was the level of service.  In particular, there was an air that service was just that, a job to be performed.  In Charleston, southern hospitality rules and service is taking care of a guest.  I think performing a service is more than just a job.  It is an opportunity to make someone's life a little bit better. As a professor, I could just teach my classes, do my research and perform the duties to task but something would be lacking.  At the heart of service is to care.  Care about others, care about providing the best experience possible, care for your profession.  A true service professional provides an entire experience - not just lip service.  True service, is about creating and maintaining relationships.  It is about connecting to your clients.

Those who only look at it as a financial transaction lose something in creating the overall experience for the guest.  It is akin to going to a prostitute for sex versus making love with someone you care it.  Yes, the acts may look similar but the feeling is totally different.  Hospitality and tourism services are about creating genuine moments and relationships.  They should be based on authentic experiences.  At the heart of creating those experiences is a genuine wish from the hosts to make their visitors feel like guests.

Last week Charleston was named the best tourism destination in the world by Conde Naste travel.  While Charleston has a good product it doesn't have an Eiffel Tower or an iconic feature.  So what makes this place special compared to New York, San Francisco, Paris, London etc. etc. etc.?  The difference here is that you are our guest.  It is a pleasure to have you come to visit us and we let you know it.  You are not just a profit center to us - you are a person who needs to be welcomed and treated with respect.  This is the Charleston difference.

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