Tour Guiding the Guest Experience
By Roberta Nedry President & Founder, Hospitality Excellence, Inc. | July 29, 2018
Sometimes I just can't help myself! I see a darling couple, standing on the restaurant dock, taking photos of each other. I must leave my own meal and partner to offer to take a photo of them together. I just have to jump in and make sure their experience is as wonderful as it can be, even when I am not on duty. Or, no matter what state or country I am in, I seem to be the person people stop in airports or on the streets to ask directions or to ask for information I don't even know. And, whether it is a tour of my country, my state, my town, my neighborhood, my house or even my kitchen, I must make sure my audience (whether they want to or not) does not miss anything or any moment that might make their day or experience more memorable.
Once a tour guide, always a tour guide and I trained with some of the best. Thanks to the exceptional Guest Relations team at Disneyland and Walt Disney's desire for complete sensory engagement, this proactive experiential model and 'tour guide' standard I experienced from an early age inspires the mission and philosophy of my business today.
As I reflect on the incredible Tour Guide 'Cast" members that I worked with, their personal standards of service delivery and commitment to emotional engagement at every touchpoint are applicable in any industry or business setting today. Going beyond the obvious guided tour, mobilizing a 'guided tour' strategy that zeros in on each step or moment in a customer's journey can be a powerful training concept to deploy at every level of an organization.
Consider how a Guided Tour experience works and how that applies to orienting and training employees. First a tour guide candidate must learn the landscape of the 'tour' they'll be giving. They must not only know the facts and details but why the tour is important. They must learn the history of what they'll be guiding and the stories and nuances that will make the tour come alive.
What are the opportunities for hospitality leaders to take customers on a guided tour of daily business activities?