authenticity | /ɔːθɛnˈtɪsɪti/
Authenticity is the quality of being authentic. One definition of authentic is “Of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine”.
But what is it like to be authentic? And what if being authentic does not fit the organization culture?
Often a new product or service on the market is really authentic. But when it becomes a success and the mass takes over, the product or service is being overproduced, it becomes fake or people getting used to it.
To take you along on an authentic experience I would like to take you on a journey to a hospitality venue. The hosts who is guiding you was briefed with a simple 6-step plan with the result: to inspire the you on the customer experience at the venue
- Smile and make eye contact
- Welcome the guest at the parking space: show the guest where to park and how to get to the venue.
- Welcome the guest at the venue: start small talk
- Take the coat of the guest
- Offer the guest a welcome drink
- Guide the guest on a tour through the venue.
Seems simple right? And what do you think? Where you impressed? Small chance you were. However; this is linked with so many factors. It could also go totally wrong when the 6 steps are executed as follows:
- A fake smile: with cramped jaws of the smiling I see the guest – quickly I put my cigarette down, hope the guest didn’t see that
- Is this him? Shall I step forward or don’t? Will he know I am here to welcome him? And there he goes
- I am too busy with everything I have to do. Is asked how the guest was but didn’t really got the answer
- Can I take your coat? (Damn it, I forgot to say please)
- Do you want a drink? (please say no or ‘just water’ – otherwise I have to put so much effort in it)
- Quickly give him the tour with the standard story: I ask no questions or customize my story – too much trouble.
There is no script on how to be authentic. And that makes it very hard to evaluate and analyse authenticity objectively. Authenticity s all about being passionate in what you do!Someone who is passionate about food will create fantastic dishes and use the most amazing products, which results in authentic food.
Someone who has a passion about furniture will use the finest wood, can spend hours and hours on polishing every little detail which will result in fantastic, authentic furniture and someone who is passionate about creating the best guest experience will make sure the guest feel welcome, is caring and thinks 3 steps ahead to surprise the guest and really enjoys to care about the guest will result in raving fans!
To conclude it is important to think about WHO you let your guests or customers in contact with your organization. That person can make or break the experience about your brand. Make sure that person is genuine; with a real passion for people!