Met with the director of the renowned hotel NIMB in Copenhagen, Iben. She is a remarkable example of what service is about. Since she was very little she knew she wanted to be a hotel director and has trained the best places. But it was evident that her expertise on the field service mainly came from her upbringing.
· How to put yourself in someone else’s spot
· How to genuinely want to give someone else the best experience
· How to focus on the solution rather than on the problem
You can learn many things and gain tools on how to serve others but real service lies within one and one’s inner wish on wanting to surprise others positively. The challenge for many leaders/managers is to develop this wish over time. But it can be done when staff feel involved, appreciated and feel empowered to do what’s right for the custome. It was evident that she gives NIMB a very homely feeling and that no detail is left unattended. The staff know that they have the flexibility to adapt to the customers’ needs and they follow her example and you feel naturally at home at this esteemed hotel. A regular guest came in and Iben immediately jumped to her feet and opened a beer for him which he could bring to his room. Something she knows he likes. She is the perfect hostess. Meeting and understanding her guests wishes and exceeding their expectations is a mission. It was a pure delight seeing service practiced at such a high level. She gave numerous examples from the hotel which all put smiles to my face. She told me the story about a couple celebrating the wives 75th birthday at NIMB restaurant and the food had not been satisfactory. Off course everything can’t be perfect every time but it’s how you deal with a customer’s disappointment that matters. Iben dealt with it by inviting them back for her 76th birthday for a new dinner. I am sure they left feeling understood, valued and happy to return.