A Cruise of Fresh Ideas: Quest Style
For those of us who work for Quest, nothing quite compares to the excitement surrounding our annual Quest cruise. Each year our team comes together from New York, Texas and throughout Florida. And this year it came with a bit of a warning sign, departing out of Miami on Friday, just as Hurricane Matthew was skirting the shores to the north. But, white caps be damned, we soon settled into our awesome 3-day trek to Nassau.
The Quest cruise is becoming a tradition (our third year) to honor those who work so hard to serve, par excellence, the amazing individuals (aka Questers) who inhabit our coworking spaces. But it’s also become a tradition for freeing up our staff to get creative and help find ways that Quest can provide an even higher level of service to our Questers. This year was no exception.
From Kindergarten to PhD: A New Way to Define “Service Level”
What’s great about a Quest cruise is that, free from day to day distractions, some pretty creative thinking gets unleashed. This year we had an amazing discussion around the concept of “service level”. We found ourselves making the comparison to levels of education. And it made so much sense! Of course we gave it the 24-hour, post-cruise test. But from sea to shore, the analogy gives added insight to how we approach service in our industry. Here’s what we want to share:
- Entry level (or kindergarten): Basically showing up. That’s what so many coworking space providers do; they just “show up” and, like a happy go lucky kindergartner, feel the need to do little else. For their clients, it’s just the basics. Desks, a kitchen and a parking slot.
- Early to Middle level (the middle school/high school years): At this level we see coworking operators who start adding in some value. You may get a receptionist who is friendly and helpful. And maybe they’ll add in a few fun activities like Friday Beer Night. Sure, you’ll get some basic services and they’ll answer your questions, provided they have the answers. But little is provided to prepare the entrepreneurs and start-ups for the pitfalls and opportunities that lie outside their doors.
- Graduate level (the college years): Now is where operators can really be able to break away from the pack by providing a step up in quality of service. They are providing their clients with useful resources. Then can also provide them with opportunities to connect to people who can help them grow. They can help them graduate from a start-up with a dream to a real business with investors.
- PhD level: This, we believe, should be what every serviced office provider should strive to achieve. At this level, operators aren’t finding resources; they have become the resource. These are the thought leaders that clients seek out for insight. They have the expertise, in-house, to help their clients prosper and meet their challenges. They are providing much more than coworking space and resources. They are invested in their clients’ futures.
Why do we think this is such a great way to approach service level? First of all, it gives operators a chance to identify where they are today and what they want to grow to become. And there’s room for all grade levels, as with any educational structure. You can’t go from kindergarten to college without investing in your team and building relationships within the community to provide better services to your clients.
Why are we in this business? People.
And, in all the hours in between the planning, partying and relaxing on our Quest cruise, we took time to reflect upon the reason we’re in this business. For each staff member the answer is the same. It’s people. That’s why we do what we do and why, when we get together, we discover something new and fantastic about each other.
So, where is Quest in our educational roadmap? We’ll let our Questers tell us.