I had an interesting conversation over lunch yesterday with a lady whose career began in India, working for various hotel groups.
She mentioned that her background was in the “hospitality” sector and that really made me pause for thought. We throw the term “customer service” around all the time – requesting improvements from our dental teams. The term has become so over-used that when I ask for a definition at team meetings, the answers are many and varied.
Usually glib phrases about making patients happy.
Let me ask you a question – what does the term “hospitality” conjure up for you?
I arrived at Craigatin House in Pitlochry last night to be greeted with a warm smile and a handshake by Beryl.
The guest house is beautifully appointed, with bedrooms in a small courtyard and a wonderful guest lounge with complimentary iPad in front of a log stove.
Beryl engaged me in a conversation as she took me to my first-floor courtyard room – asking about my day, my journey and what had brought me to town.
There is no restaurant here, so she guided me through a list of local hostelries on the main street (just a few minutes away) and asked what type of food I was looking for.
Pub meal was good and so a recommend followed.
We had some problems with my wifi connection in the room – she explained that the owners would soon be back – and sure enough, Martin was climbing a ladder into the loft at the main building a few moments later, to reboot the router (success!).
My iron and board arrived soon after and I enjoyed a pleasant walk into town and dinner at The Old Mill.
Start to finish – hospitable.
My feelings:
•           Beryl cares about her job and is a great ambassador for the hotel
•           Martin and his wife genuine appreciated my custom and were keen to meet me
•           The rooms and common areas are beautifully decorated and cared for
•           My room and my bed were lovely – I feel rested and healthy this morning
The team here at Craigatin are well-mannered and conscientious.
We all need to learn a lesson from the “hospitality” industry.
Perhaps there is much more to “customer service” than just eye contact and a smile…


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.