Here’s the bottom line principle when it comes to designing processes for guest services:
An organization needs to think like a customer (or in this case, a Guest)
Put yourselves in the shoes of the typical guest coming to your campus this weekend. Walk through (literally) every touchpoint and interaction that your guest might conceivably encounter. Develop a process or system that will anticipate their need and meet it before it becomes apparent to the guest.
Need help working it out? Try this six-step continuous improvement cycle from Xerox:
- Identify and select the problem to be worked on
- Analyze the problem
- Generate potential solutions
- Select and plan the best solution
- Implement the solution
- Evaluate the solution
Once you have identified a solution and find that it works, continue to use it, evaluating it periodically as needed, replacing it completely when it no longer works.
Here’s a real world situation as an example:
I serve as a Guest Services Team Coordinator for Elevation Church’s Uptown campus in Charlotte, NC. We meet in McGlohan Theater in Spirit Square (the former First Baptist Charlotte campus, turned into an entertainment venue in the 1970’s when the church relocated).
Problem: Almost everyone attending the Uptown Campus drives from somewhere else in Charlotte – which means lots of cars.
Analysis: The theatre only has about 40 parking spaces associated with it. Wanting to reserve those for VIPs (first time guests) and families with small children, we had to locate other parking.
Potential Solutions: Everybody for themselves (no way!); utilize street parking (not enough, and used by businesses or not available many Sundays); negotiate favorable rates with surface parking lots (not so favorable rates, it turns out); negotiate the use of a parking deck 1 1/2 blocks away (good rate, but a little far)
Select the Best Solution: Utilize the parking deck because it puts the majority of cars in one place, allowing maximum efficiency of guest services teams; helps with security; gives a sense of “place” to everyone coming Uptown
Implement the Solution: Determine the traffic patterns of cars coming Uptown and design appropriate signs and locations to maximize impact; develop a checklist of the different types of signs and their locations; negotiate with parking company to insure staff is on site or nearby in case of mechanical problems; promote the “how” of the parking deck through website videos, print materials, and live announcements as needed; plan for inclement weather; coordinate Parking Team, VIP Team, and Greeters to insure smooth transition from parking deck to theater
Evaluate the Solution: Every week the parking team notes hits and misses, and adjusts the process to eliminate them
That’s how we do it at Uptown!
Now, take the principle and apply it in your context.
Efficient processes can transform your Guest Services Team
My favorite post from August, 2012