I just got back from a week in Hawaii. Wow. I’m one lucky person.
One of my favorite clients invited me to present a program on Positive Leadership at their 50th Anniversary Conference in Maui. They also invited me to stay the week, participate in their activities, and to rest and relax, that is, if I wished. Wow, Maui. I’d been wishing for a long time.
Feeling grateful and blessed to be included in their special celebration, of course I said yes. I blocked the week on my calendar and looked forward to the experience.
I enjoyed designing and writing my presentation, worked on my timing and thought about what my experience with this wonderful group of people would be like – what I didn’t really think about what was what my experience as a customer might be like in the land of love at a Four Diamond Award winning resort – the Grand Wialea.
Everyone I met at the conference was happy to be there – most were with spouses and many had whole families with them. In the restaurants and on the beach there were honeymooners galore, some renting private cabanas by the pool, some kissing at the grotto bar. Many of the couples I met at the conference were picking up on the glow of love – a few even took advantage of the trip to renew their vows.
A lot of smiling happy people. I loved it. Within a day we were all greeting each other with the word “Aloha.” It’s used to say both hello and goodbye.
As the days went on and I learned more about the island, its people, customs and language, I began to understand how Aloha is so much more than a greeting. In Maui, Aloha is a way of life, it’s a practice, a connection to the spirit of the land. It’s an invocation and a blessing. It’s an honoring of one another’s highest presence. It’s a joyful sharing of life and of love.
When people live Aloha, you can feel it. Positive energy and emotion flow with Aloha. The spirit of Aloha puts the other first, and like the golden rule, suggests that when we deliver good unto others we bring goodness back to ourselves because we are all connected. Aloha recognizes that each person’s contribution to the whole is important.
I learned quickly that when in Maui, one should travel with tote bags since plastic bags have been banned on the island in respect for the ocean, the beaches, the marine life and the land. The elders teach that respect, beauty, love, consideration, mercy and compassion (along with joyfulness and fun of course) are all part of the practice of Aloha. I told you, it’s the island of love.
When people who practice Aloha are in customer facing positions the customers facing them can feel the depth of their caring and connection. It creates an experience that has meaning and importance. Last week I was a frequent recipient of service that said Aloha. The bell staff, the concierges, the wait staff – the lady who actually called me by name when she delivered the wakeup call at 6 AM – most of them fully embodied the Aloha spirit.
The customer’s experience is all about feelings – how we feel as a result of how you treat us, how we feel about whether or not you deliver the value we’re looking for – or something better, how well we feel you are taking care of our needs.
Some of those needs are emotional. We want to feel valued, appreciated, respected, heard, seen, recognized, and sometimes even loved.
While the Aloha spirit probably comes easier in Maui than it does on the “Mainland”, it’s a practice and any practice can be learned with sufficient desire.
Would you like your service to say ALOHA? Try these 7 steps.
- Choose it. You have the ability to choose the things you want to BE- the BE Attitudes you want to embody. Go for it.
- Be present and sincere in all your interactions. Get into present moment awareness. Paying attention to your breath is the easiest way to get there.
- Open up. Listen to what the customer is saying and what he or she is not saying.
- Extend warmth and caring (and compassion and forgiveness when necessary).
- Respect others for the gifts that they bring – everyone brings something.
- Honor others – let the noble part in you connect with the noble part in them.
- Spend time in nature. Notice how nature has cycles of renewal, give and take, and wisdom in its ways. Slow down and do take time to smell whatever’s blooming. Keep living things around you and shower them with ALOHA too.
Are you delivering on the kinds of emotional experiences your customers crave? If not, call me, let’s talk. 561-279-0027