Though usually associated with the lodging, tourism, accommodation, theme park, and event planning industries, hospitality is also an important part of the flexible workspace industry. To learn more about how hospitality plays a role in our industry, OfficingToday spoke with Rachael Gursky, Industrious’ Head of Hospitality.
“Just like hotels create an experience for their guests each night through service and product offerings, we create an experience for our members each day. We don’t just provide our members with a place and tools to run their business; we create an atmosphere that makes our members feel excited to come to work.”
We recently discussed why it is that clients are the biggest players in our industry, which is why it’s important for operators to seek ways in which to keep clients happy and cater to their needs. Flexible workspaces have grown in number because professionals everywhere are realizing that, although one can work from basically and virtually anywhere, there is an added value on what flexible workspaces offer.
Whether it is for the community, the extra services, the people, or the location, it remains that workers today are seeking now more than ever serviced workplaces as their go-to solution to get work done. To keep this trend going and get it growing, operators need to embrace the best hospitality practices.
Clients need to feel welcome and comfortable in your space. For Rachel, it’s about making sure that clients have a consistently great experience day-to-day across all of Industrious’ locations.
But, what exactly is it that makes your workspace hospitable, how exactly do you show hospitality, how do you measure it?
At Industrious, Rachel tells us, it’s a combination of things. “Our sophisticated music, high quality café offerings, and friendly Community Managers are just a few of the many elements that shape the Industrious experience.”
The same equation doesn’t work for everyone though, and as an operator you need to find your ‘sweet spot’. For some operators offering amazing coffee might just do it, for others it might be celebrating their members’ new successes, and for others it might be about offering more flexible terms. Yet, if one thing is for sure it’s that the key to the success of your hospitality strategy is your center’s Community Manager.
Community Managers are the ones that keep a center, not only running, but also alive. They’re the ones that best know the members, the ones that make sure that everything is up to par for them, the ones that organize and host events, and, to quote the Cambridge Dictionary, they’re the ones that welcome and are friendly towards all guests.
Industrious recognizes this, which is why they hire workers with a hospitality background and also train them rigorously. “We train each Community Manager on the Industrious hospitality standards that outline our operating expectations. We cover how to meet baseline office needs (like always having paper in the printer), how to provide work perks (like afternoon snacks to keep members energized), and how to deliver unexpected events or personalized touches that surprise and delight members.”
When it comes to measuring your hospitality, one way to go about it is to monitor member retention. If clients are happy, they will stay with you. Another way to do it is through internal audits, which is what Industrious does.
“We regularly measure how we are doing against our hospitality standards through internal audits and member surveys, and continuously ask ourselves how we can make our members’ day more enjoyable.”
This latter option can help operators not only know how they’re doing in terms of hospitality, but also learn more about what clients are missing, wanting, and thinking about. The more you get to know your clients, the better you will be able to cater to them.
So remember, clients are the biggest players in the flexible workspace industry and it’s up to you to make sure that they know the value of your center, your services, and your staff. Hospitality can get you far, and when mastered it’s a great indicator of how much you care for your clients.