I used to be the shyest person around. My first job was a dishwasher in an English pub and I loved to be busy, mainly because if I was busy, I wouldn't have to talk to anybody! The waitresses were super bubbly and always tried to strike up conversations - I used to think to myself "I wish I could be like that, confident and happy".
As the years went on, I found myself head chef and running the kitchen, always confident in my ability and work ethic, but deep inside had the feeling I had nothing to offer in a conversation. As in most hospitality jobs, we all went out to a club after the pub closed - and although had a great time, always 'back doored it' before the end so as not to be stuck feeling lonely.
Then, everything changed.
I had an 'opportunity' to become manager of the Pub. Which meant more money but looking after the customers (guests as i liked to say) I had to take a deep breath and go for it......
.....I loved it! I loved that I could put a smile on someone's face, I loved welcoming people and serving them. Yes, there were many moments that I had to deliver bad news and take another deep breath, before, "sorry mate, you've had enough tonight.... see you tomorrow maybe?")
So what's this all got to do with customer service?!
Well, I've never forgot that feeling of shyness, that, "how about if i say something stupid or wrong?"
Now i'm 40+, I figure most people have or still feel the same way, so I try my best to make people feel relaxed, happy, give them a nice compliment or whatever, because maybe this person is the one taking a deep breath right now!
Hospitality is tough on the body and the mind, you are supposed to be happy, all day every day! I try to remember that the person in front of me is the most important, valuable person in the world in this moment, who knows what this person is going through, what kinda morning they had. If i can help make the day a little bit better then in turn I am a happier Phil!
Hospitality, for me, comes down to people, looking after people. We all mess up sometimes, but your guests will know if you are genuine and care - thats how you get to shine and grow from being nervous nobody to confident in yourself and what you do!
I still, daily, have to take a deep breath - when i'm calling someone I don't know, or making a sale - it's not easy. But having faith in your product and yourself will help massively.
Good Luck Extraordinary service providers!