How to do the magic? How to avoid "Carpe diem non protest"

Have you had this feeling? You are staying overnight somewhere, maybe you are on vacation. When the day comes to return home and the time of departure is near, you start thinking about traveling, home, You think about all the things and people who are waiting for you. All the things you haven’t done because you were away from your normal routines. You just want to quickly leave and get home instead of enjoying the last moments of the place you are in at that moment.
I’ve had that feeling many times. Especially when staying at hotels. And I can say that I really have tons of experience from hotels around the world for business and for pleasure. From hotels deaths to ones that makes you feel like heaven. Don’t take me wrong, I really love hotels and one of my dream jobs as a child was actually a hotel manager. But somehow this empty feeling always comes when time is running out at the hotel. 
Once I named the feeling: ”Carpe diem non protest”.
In this free translation (I don’t know how it should be put in Latin) my thought is that I can’t focus for this very special moment (even though I’m in some very cool place), I’m not able to live like ”Carpe diem” because I’m too aware that I need to leave. I think too much about the next place and I think in time to where I will be after this place.
When I stayed at Hotel Kämp in Helsinki early this October
I didn’t get ”Carpe diem non protest” at all. I would’ve wanted to stay there almost like forever.
Afterwards, I’ve thought about the experience many times. Why? What was so different in that hotel for an experienced hotel guest like me? Why did I not want to leave there? It's very wonderful hotel but it wasn’t the most luxurious hotel I’ve ever been in, the breakfast was excellent but not the best one I ever had. Finally I solved it.

The main reason for my extra positive feeling was: Excellent customer service by the whole staff.  Typically, when I have stayed as a hotel guest, and looking at things for that perspective, there are maybe one or two good customer service people who really stand out. This time I didn’t encounter the brightest stars but I remember the overall excellent customer service and the atmosphere they made. It stuck me like a million volts.
So, afterwards I contacted the hotel to ask ”How are they doing this magic?” I reached Tina Kaikkonen, Hotel Assistant Manager. I was very happy to hear that this young lady is responsible for delivering customer service training for all staff.  (The training concept is from Starwood, Luxury Collection). I asked questions like ”What is the foundation of your customer service/overall service concept?” ”What kind of training does your staff get?”, ”How do you ensure the quality of service?”
These themes were repeated in her answers:
  • Interaction with individuals with individual needs
  • Respect and engagement
  • Common emotional connection
  • Talking to find a connection
  • Communication is the key for everything, at all levels.
  • Communication must work effortlessly between departments.
  • Team is everything.
  • Make the effort to talk with everyone you encounter and get to know them.
  • The work becomes more fun and stimulating when you are happy to work with your colleagues, the guests benefit above all.
  • When the communication between departments works, the guests stay is ensured as smooth, effortless and memorable.”
Yes,  if thinking these thoughts, it’s so obvious: 
Interaction. Communication. Common emotional connection. Individuals. Team. Team spirit. 
If you interact and communicate more with your customers and your staff and especially if you are willing to find a common emotional connection with the person, it’s hard to go wrong.
I wanted to know more about emotional connection and interaction so I called to Markus Talvio who is a Ph.D. (Educational Psychology) researcher and supervisor of work. Interaction is one of his main research areas. You can find more about Markus from here
Good at interaction? 
Talvio said that there are two main things: attitude and skills, then willingness to respect and appreciate others. Trying to understand differences. Listen! Remembering to use our unique gift: ability to empathize makes the difference between humans and other mammals. 
What is an emotional connection? 
”An emotional connection is a state of mind where a person steps out from his/her own emotional mode and trys to genuinely reach the other person’s emotional climate. We need to understand that we all have our typical habits in interaction situations.
I would say that understanding and training your interpersonal skills for the better is a pretty good gift to yourself and all people around you. Not the mention the business.
Emotions are not just something less important. Step out from your own perspective and try to think and feel like others do. Design and build the business and your services as if you made them for the love of your life. You don’t want your sweet heart to leave. You don’t want your customers to leave. So start by loving your customers. Think about what makes your customers smile and glow. If you and your whole staff don’t know the answers, there will be the risk that your customer will find someone else. Someone who knows how to do the magic.  
Thank you Tina Kaikkonen, Markus Talvio and Andrew Martin


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