Written by Traci Brosman
Diamond Resorts International’s Chairman and CEO Stephen Cloobeck believes it is a culture that is developed making the customer feel special and giving excellent customer service. In Undercover Boss, he shares that his personal mission statement is to make sure every guest staying at his resorts is happy and taken care of. Diamond Resorts is committed to the meaning of yes . They are committed to taking care of their customer’s needs and not saying no.
We recently stayed at a Diamond Resort for a weekend getaway. Throughout the weekend, we were thoroughly impressed with how nice the entire staff was. Everyone was smiling and friendly even the employees on the golf course. My husband plays a lot of golf, and he knows how unusual this is. When he asked to start on the back nine because the front was busy, instead of telling him no which is the answer he usually gets is, they told him yes. The rangers were extremely friendly and smiling and not the usual grumpy, scowly old men you normally find on golf courses throughout Florida. By the end of the weekend, we knew that this place was different and after making some inquiries, we discovered the meaning of yes philosophy.
Everyone at Diamond Resorts knows that it is important to make their guest’s vacation full of happy memories. In order to do their part, their job is to give each guest what they ask for. They are supposed to find a way to say yes. In our experience, they take this many steps beyond though by treating each guest like a friend. They smile when they see them and show their guests, not just with words, that they really do care that they enjoy themselves while visiting the resort.
Make the meaning of yes philosophy part of your business.
Treat every patient/client as if he or she were a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Treat them with kindness and respect. Make sure your staff is smiling and pleasant at ALL times. Make everyone feel at home, offer them something to drink. Give new patients a grand tour – make them feel good. If it is raining, escort them in and out of the office with an umbrella. The key is to make everyone feel special.
But how do you do say yes in world that is very demanding? How do you say yes when you are dealing with someone’s health and they do not comply with the protocol? Does saying yes mean that you allow their health to deteriorate even more? Gail and I have had to ask ourselves similar questions as well. We hear so many excuses on why someone can’t implement strategies that will help him or her attract more of the right clients and improve their bottom line. Should we just coddle them and make them feel good inside?
How do you say “yes” to someone who says they want one thing when their actions say another?
For the patient/client that needs to make lifestyle changes to improve their health and doesn’t -you need to take a stronger approach. However, you can still do this from a place of caring and respect. Show them that you care by not pussy footing around the areas they are ignoring. Don’t be afraid to explain to them the consequences of not making changes. You might even need to express that if they don’t follow the protocol that you have laid out that you cannot help them any longer.
There are times when saying yes may mean being brutally honest. Let’s say a patient comes to you because they have diabetes. They are seeing you because they don’t want to be on tons of medications, they don’t want to worry about the other problems this disease can cause in their life. Yet, they ignore every suggestion you make. Every time they see you, they have an excuse.
What does saying yes to this patient mean? I believe that saying yes means laying it out on the line. They are seeing you because they want a change. It is up to you to make them see reason. It is up to you to wake them out of their fantasyland and see that they can’t just choose to follow the protocol when it is easy for them. They must follow it all of the time. They want dramatic results than they are going to need to take drastic changes.
Saying yes to your whiny, excuse making clients means calling them out on the carpet. Don’t let them continue to say “no” to their health. It is your job to get them to say yes to life and in order to do this you sometimes need to be the tough guy.
However, at the end of every conversation, make sure that your client knows that you are there for them when they are willing to meet you half way. Let them know that you truly do care and although they are free to choose their path, they may take a route that you cannot continue to guide them on.
Once, you have laid it out on the line though, you need to honor and respect that they need to be the ones deciding to make the changes or not. This is not reflection on you. It is disheartening when you try to help people improve their lives and they ignore you. We understand this. However, take your power back. Show your patients how much you truly care by being honest with them and then let them make the choice. When you do this, you are saying yes, to what they truly need, you are being there for them while still being in integrity to yourself and your mission. You have said yes and now it is time to let it go.
P.S. Understand that change is difficult and do everything you can to have programs in place to help support and encourage patients who are trying along the way.