I just got back from a fabulous weekend in Las Vegas for HRevolution. I am always energized by HRevolution; so full of HR people who have insight and like to have fun. I have loads of take-aways, and intend to share them over the next few weeks.
Sure there is a gritty side to Las Vegas. Drive a few blocks off the strip in any direction and this becomes immediately clear.
That said, I can’t get over the people who live for customer service there.
I mean live for it!
I’m not that nice or that patient of a person. While I like to engage, I don’t like to engage all that much, especially not for a living.
Case-in-point: our limo driver for our helicopter excursion. Within 5 minutes, he knew we were from Toronto, that we were American, that we liked Mandalay Bay and saw KA and took a drive out to Red Rock Canyon and that we are frustrated by the closures due to the Congressional fiasco. We also learned that he’d only been in Las Vegas for six weeks, that he was from San Diego and he followed his girlfriend who was a dental hygienist (or something like that). Not only that, but he brought us some champagne and helped us get to the front of the line at the helicopter place and told us all about what to see and do in the city. He got a nice tip.
Then there is the server at one of the restaurants who when John told him he planned to go to a firing range replied that he carries a concealed weapon. Wow, that’s a lot of personal information! But the exchange helped us to get free drink refills, or that was the impression we were left with.
Canadians are not quite as enthusiastic about their engagement with strangers.
No, I do not think that Americans are more naturally inclined to this notion of engagement and customer service. HOWEVER, and this is my point, Americans are a heck of a lot better at training people to provide good customer service, to engage the customer as a way of starting a transaction. Don’t think I was fooled. I know that these people are well-trained and that this isn’t all natural. After all, nothing in Vegas is natural. But the employees do seem to drink the Kool-aid and like it.
And this is a good lesson for anyone in HR.