“Exceptionalise your service,” that was the call from Internationally Acclaimed Motivational Speaker and Best Selling Author Kevin Kelly in his recent keynote in Slovenia.
Citing research from Columbia University which highlighted that 88% of breakthrough companies were the result of “exceptional execution of an ordinary idea;” Kelly claimed it is now time for hotel’s and businesses to exceptionalise their service.

So how does one do this?
By breaking down your service into all the contact points with the customers, setting standards for each interaction, and then actively working at exceeding these standards at all times.
The service industry needs to create a compelling buying experience – deliver an authentic “wow” at every interaction with the client so that these clients in time become advocates and friends. Remember all research shows that even satisfied customers leave – however if you develop friendships, you will have customers for life.
“A new mindset is definitely required,” claimed Kelly.

Take for example the whole area of complaints handling – oftentimes complaints are seen as an unnecessary inconvenience when what they actually represent is a unique opportunity to strengthen the relationship with the client. If your team are empowered to solve the problem at source, you immediately exceed the customer’s expectations and move them along the continuum from customer to friend. Many of the top hotels have standards in place to allow the team member to spend a few thousand dollars to solve the complaint at source – this is the correct strategy.
In the context of exceeding customer’s expectations, how many organisations have thought of how they can get business for their customers?  This new mindset will help build sustainable lasting relationships.
Another important angle to explore is people development if you want to truly develop a memorable experience for your client. The more people are bought into the values and the vision of the organisation, the more motivated and energetic they will be in the delivery of your service. It is no surprise that Stanford Business Advisory Committee in 2007 cited self awareness as the most important attribute a leader should develop. Working on the development and motivation of your team will help to up the WOW in your service delivery.
Furthermore companies are operating in an attention deficit society in which people are being inundated with different stimuli. One study by Yankleovich said the average city dweller is being hit with 3,000–5,000 messages a day. Another study done by the University of California claim people are interrupted every three minutes, five seconds. All in all it is very difficult to get your message across. To do so organisations need to think and do different – certainly one way is to exceptionalise their service as outlined.
With respect to Slovenia, Kelly is very impressed by the warmth and generosity of the Slovenian people: “I genuinely think the Irish and Slovenians are very alike. Even though Slovenians are a little more reserved to start, when you get beneath this veneer, they are extremely warm and friendly. When you add in the diversity of the product range, Slovenia is indeed a very marketable tourism product. I definitely felt Slovenia and for me Slovenia was ……..so much more!”

The feedback to Kevin’s keynote was using his own language a definite wow!
Kevin is a very special and positive speaker who motivated and inspired me by his approach on how to be exceptional, use our own potential and bring back creativity to our daily routine. He gave us opportunity to think out of the box and use energy, passion that is already in all of us. Offered answers on how to get rid of all those things which are standing in our way to reach the final goal and how to observe, learn from the best and use opportunity when it comes. All things come at the right time; we just have to be patient and positive. Right energy brings right people into our lives.  We connect with those similar to us.  For me his visit in Slovenia was just at the right time.
Azra Botonjič, Marketing Manager at Slovenian Convention Bureau

Just a quick note to say thank you for the outstanding lecture you held in Slovenia two weeks ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially your down-to-earth views and personal experiences you gave as examples to illustrate your opinion.
Petra Čuk, Director / Hotel Manager
 
I have to say, thatwas »The best couple of hours« for me, really a life changing experience. I still carry around the business card with the question: Do I believe everybody could be my teacher today? And yes, I now know that everybody can be my teacher.
I read your book the next day so, THANK YOU.

Mateja Seničak, F&B Manager, Hotel Astoria Bled

The presentation was one of the best that I listened to till now. When Kevin walked in and started to talk the room was immediately full of energy. I think he has a positive energy which he can spread on us (listeners) and give us a reason to follow our dreams and make us believe in ourselves.
Dejan Hojnik, Marketing and sales

I was inspired at the very beginning of lectures by his style of delivery which I hadn’t experienced before. The very first impression let me know that Mr. Kevin has a very positive personality and truly the lecture unfortunately went by very quickly.
Some contents and technique I heard about at lecture had already been known to me – I was already using them at work. But he gave them his own significance on which I’ll put more emphasys in the future. I would like to attend more similar lectures.

Primož Križnar, Jezeršek Catering

I do not like people who talk a lot. Even if it does not seem at first, Kevin Kelly can talk for quite some time. The difference is that his words carry special energy and exquisite meaning. Which is why I could listen to him for hours. I am very thankful to be reminded that small stories have value and do cause big stories at the end.
Kristina Jurjevec, Project Manager, Conventa