Golden Rule applies to hospitality people

Laurie Guest uses a bottle of Bling Water, which costs $40 per bottle, to demonstrate a point about how businesses should have “bling” or an offer or special that makes them unique from other businesses. It’s important to deliver on those promises, however, she said.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how the traveling public deserves to be treated. Just put yourself in their place. What kind of treatment do you expect when you are traveling or on vacation? Do you expect to be acknowledged when you enter a motel, restaurant or retail store? Of course you do. We all want to be noticed.

That’s why it’s so important for those of us in the hospitality and tourism business to treat our visitors exactly the same as we would want to be treated. It’s called the Golden Rule and it’s been around since the beginning of time.

It’s not just business people and their employees who need to follow the Golden Rule. Our “locals” can either leave a positive or negative impression on our visitors by the way they interact with them in stores, on the sidewalk or in their vehicles. The worst thing we could do is honk our horns or make an unruly gesture at a confused visiting driver. We’ve seen it done and it’s totally uncalled for.

How many of us have been in a situation where we are driving in unfamiliar territory and unsure of where we are or where we are going? We may slow down to take a better look around and try to figure out our next move. A little patience goes a long way in situations like these.

Laurie Guest, professional speaker and trainer, made the annual customer service presentation last week to members of the hospitality business in and around Custer.  Her message was that our visitors want to be treated like celebrities and stars and we need to make them feel that way. They spend a lot of time and money getting here and we need to make them feel special so they will never forget their positive experiences in the Southern Black Hills.

Guest’s presentation was aptly titled “Managing the Red Carpet; a Show Business Guide to Customer Service.” Her message was that no matter how great the Custer area is with all its natural attractions, poor customer service  will ruin an important part of a visitor’s experience.

The Custer Area Chamber of Commerce does a great job in promoting this area in order to attract more and more visitors every year. When they are here, the least we all can do is to make them feel welcome. They will have a lasting impression of this area and the people who live and work here. We want that impression to be a positive one. We want them to tell their family members and friends what a great experience they had here.

It’s pretty simple. No matter what kind of a day you may be having, let’s make sure you are treating other people exactly the way you would want to be treated in the same situation. We can’t go wrong then.