Last December, because my blog is listed on Guy Kawasaki’s media website, Alltop, I received an exclusive email offer to preview an advance copy of his upcoming book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions (Released on March 8th).
Enchantment delves into the art and science of influencing others to pursue a particular course of action. This may sound manipulative but it’s not. Guy is very clear that if your motives are not pure (or if your product or service sucks), then the ideas in his book won’t help you.
After reading Guy’s book, I contacted him and posed several questions. My background is in hotels and a number of my readers work in that industry. For that reason, a couple of the questions are specific to hotels.
Steve: In a traditional, customer-facing role, what do you see as the greatest single obstacle to delivering “enchanting” customer service?
Guy: The single greatest obstacle is the CEO who doesn’t appreciate the value and joy of providing great customer service. As the saying goes, “When a fish gets rotten, the head stinks first.”
Steve: Readers learned the story behind your preferred airline, Virgin America. What is your preferred hotel chain and why?
Guy: How about if I describe the perfect hotel room? Sure, I’d like a suite so that there’s a place to work and a place to sleep, but the little things are just as important. First, for crying out loud, a desk with more than two electrical plugs—both currently used by the lamp and router. I’m carrying a MacBook, iPhone, iPad, and Sprint MiFi device. I need lots of outlets. Second, an Internet connection faster than AOL dialup five years ago. I need at least 5 megabits speed. Third, powerful shower pressure. There’s nothing worse than wimpy water pressure. Fourth, flexible late checkout. If the checkout time is at noon, it’s not like the maids are rolling in at 12:01. Sure, if everyone requested late checkout, the hotel would be in trouble but most people won’t check out late.
Steve: If you managed a hotel, what is the first action you would take in order to enchant more hotel guests?
Guy: Free Wifi. I cannot understand why hotels that cost $100/day provide free Wifi and hotels that cost $500/day charge you for it. When you couple this with the fact that the Wifi I’m paying for is slow, it makes me crazy.
Steve: If you managed a new group of people tomorrow, what is the first action you would take in order to enchant them?
Guy: I would communicate that I will not ask them to do anything that I wouldn’t do. In other words, I will suck it up and do what it takes to succeed—and I expect them to do that too.
Steve: If you wrote a customer service blog and had a chance to interview yourself about Enchantment, what question would you ask that I did not? And how would you respond to that question?
Guy: I’d ask, “How do I enchant my boss so that I can have the freedom to do what I want to do for our customers?” And my answer would be that the key to enchant your boss is to drop everything else and do what your boss asks for. This might not sound like it’s optimal for you or the organization, but that’s what it takes. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do in order to do what you should do.
Steve: One could argue that this “yes” manager you are endorsing, from a productivity standpoint, would be less effective than his counterpart who would ask the boss, “Which of my current priorities would you prefer that I set aside in order to devote the time needed to accomplish this (most recent) request?”
Guy: I understand the intellectual basis for this response, but in the real world, you’re increasing the workload of your boss. Now he or she has to analyze the tasks in front of you to decide on your priorities. In other words, when your boss asks you to do something, the enchanting response is not to effectively say, “I will do that if you tell me what not to do instead.” That’s creating more work for your boss. Suck it up. Do everything. I never said enchanting people is easy.
If your interest in Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment has been piqued, I encourage you to pick it up today. Here is the link to purchase the book directly from Amazon.
Disclosure: I do not receive any sort of compensation for recommending books. Heck, because of Colorado state tax laws, I cannot even take part in Amazon’s Affiliate Program.
What can I say? I’m just enchanted by Guy’s new book. And when you’re enchanted by something, you can’t keep quiet. You’re compelled to tell others about it! Enjoy!