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The Most Powerful Marketing Tool is a Happy Customer with Adele Gutman Milne

How to Create a 5-Star Experience for Your Customers Every Time

Shep Hyken interviews Adele Gutman Milne, Culture and Guest Experience Expert. They discuss tips on how to achieve 5-star ratings and happy customers from the hospitality perspective.

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Top Takeaways:

  • While it is an age-old adage that word of mouth is the most powerful advertising, many companies have not yet embraced this wonderful opportunity.
  • Many hoteliers (and businesses in general) spend a fortune on advertising and little to no investment of time or energy in inspiring empowering their team to top performance.
  • Teach GM’s and department heads to start inspiring and empowering. Our teams are full of talent that we can use if we invite them to collaborate.
  • Many business owners like the thought of having consistent 5-Star reviews from happy customers but don’t know where to begin.
  • Every interaction you have with external customers, as well as internal customers, should end with everyone feeling better than when they came to you.
  • When interviewing a potential employee, read your company’s mission statement aloud. Then, watch the candidate’s reaction to test whether that candidate truly aligns with your company culture.
  • Adele’s six-step process for achieving 5-star reviews:
    1. Write down your ultimate review, with details about what makes your experience so special.
    2. Share your business mission and vision with your team.
    3. Shoot for the stars. If you shoot for 80% guest (customer) satisfaction, you’ll never know the joy of 96%.
    4. Use each critical review as a trigger for continuous improvement.
    5. Hire happy people pleasers and give them the tools, training, support, and freedom from fear that they need to be successful in making guests happy.
    6. Talk about kindness and compassion every day.


“Remember to C.A.R.E.: Every customer that you talk to should feel Cared for, Appreciated, and Respected at Every encounter.”

“Imagine what you would like customers to say about you and then strive to be that business that gets those kinds of reviews. Start with the end in mind.”

“Constantly remind your team how important kindness and compassion are to getting great reviews and making great relationships, because attitude is everything.”

“The mindset that the way you’ve always done things is still working, prevents you from opportunities to learn and grow from feedback given to you by your customers.”


Adele Gutman Milne is a culture and guest experience expert and host of the Hospitality Reputation Marketing Podcast: Get Great Reviews. Adele also has been named one of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds by HSMAI along with numerous other awards for her leadership in Hospitality Reputation Marketing.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How to create an amazing customer experience?
  2. What should businesses do to get 5-star reviews?
  3. How to get good ratings from your customers?
  4. What can businesses do to empower employees?
  5. How to hire the right employee in customer service?

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