Friday, April 20, 2007

"Hoaxpitality" or fake Hospitality

Recently I went into a bank in Smyrna, Tennessee and found something that I have seen in to many places. I found hoaxpitality and I wasn't happy about it because it isn't real or genuine which means they really don't care. Companies today seem to think that if they give us the biggest smiles with their eyes open as wide as possible that we will feel like we had such a great experience.

I didn't have a deposit slip with me when I went in so I went to the counter to get a blank one to fill out and use. While I was filling it out I had a lady walk by and ask if she could help me, which I appreciated, but she did it with this smile that looked like it was those big wax lips. It was over the top and not natural and before I could finish filling out the paperwork another lady walked by and did the same exact thing. They both asked if I needed help or if I wanted to order any deposit slips to which I told them both no thank you because I still had some at home.

Once the paperwork was complete, I walked over to the teller and she had the same plastic smile and the big, bug eyes and the sing-song "Can I help you?" I told her yes and that I needed to make a deposit and gave it to her. She checked the date and found that it was dated for the next day. She looked up and gave me the bug-eyed look with the big super-sized plastic smile and in her best sing-song voice told me that she could not help me and handed the check back to me. I swear steam came out of my ears.

Now I have made deposits at different branches of this banking company before in the same way I did that day and never had any problems or weirdos to deal with. I know it doesn't go through until after midnight and saw it really shouldn't be a problem and I would have been okay if they would have told me the same thing or whatever in a very nice way but had been real and not trying so hard to be the perfect people.

I much prefer someone not give me a huge smile, be over-the- top in how the deal with me but rather be nice and genuine in how they serve me. I work in a hotel and consider myself an amabssador for my city and yet I think that "hoaxpitality" does more to annoy people than make them happy with the service we provide.

The hotel I work at is far from perfect and there are plenty of times we get frustrated and wish things were different or we struggle behind the scenes to make things happen and actually pull of a need or request but we always put on a game face for our guests. Through all of this we try to be "real" with our guests and our guest surveys reflect our passion and our dedication to our guests and people see it and we are always getting comment cards, surveys and letters that let us know how much they appreciate our level of service. We do smile alot but we put service and satisfaction before a phony smile or laugh that will make us "look" good. One of the things I like to say about our hotel is that a room is a room and a building is a building but it is the people who make the difference. Don't try to impress with fake smiles, laughs, big eyes or offering a service I don't need, just give me good service and show me you care.

My advice is to be yourself but also care about the person that you are working with and put yourself in the shoes of the customer. That is how you give the best service. So be genuine and truly care and I will be very happy with the services provided.

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