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No one knows how to build a business better than the entrepreneurs behind some of Canada's most successful companies. These are their most powerful lessons.
Chairman & CEO
Four Seasons Hotels Inc.
Make customer service everybody's business
"A number of hotel companies today provide the very best furniture, linens and bath fixtures, but it's really the quality of the experience that matters most to our guests. The front-line staff represent our product to our customers. So, to win the service battles, customer satisfaction must be everybody's business.
"At Four Seasons, every employee—whether a housekeeper or a general manager—goes through a series of four or five interviews. We are most interested in whether they have the right attitude and if they would make a good fit with their peers. To enable them to put themselves in the guests' shoes, as part of their training they spend a night in one of our hotels as a guest.
"We treat employees as we would like to be treated ourselves. We create opportunities by establishing career paths and promotion from within, and we pay as much attention to employee complaints as to guest complaints. We upgrade employee facilities whenever we upgrade a hotel, and there are no reserved parking spots and no separate tables in the staff cafeteria.
"We have been able to create an atmosphere of trust and respect. We have far lower turnover than is typical in the hotel industry, and 30,000 employees who are always thinking of new ways to make our guest experience more rewarding." —CC
Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com