Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

Posts tagged "Ritz Carlton"

Excellent Decisions from the Cofounder of the Ritz-Carlton

Aligning Your Organization to a Company-wide Culture

Shep Hyken interviews Horst Schulze, the cofounder and COO of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. They discuss Schulze’s new book, Excellence Wins, and how he succeeded in creating one of the best hotel companies in the world by developing and sustaining a culture of excellence.

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A successful customer experience strategy is a result of the company’s culture. In other words, and I’ve said it many times before, what’s happening on the inside of the company is going to felt on the outside of the company by the customer.

So, let’s look at the inside of the company. Let’s look at the EX, which is the Employee Experience. The EX is part of the culture. It starts with how leadership wants their employees to feel about working for their company. One of my favorite concepts to write and talk about is the Employee Golden Rule, which is to treat employees like you want the customer to be treated. The EX is what will make or break the CX. Continue reading

Diana Oreck on How to Be a Customer Service Rock Star

What lessons can we learn from rock stars in the world of customer service and customer experience, like Ritz-Carlton?

Shep Hyken interviews award-winning training and development expert, international consultant and speaker, former VP of Ritz-Carlton Leadership and current Executive VP of Owner Experience at NetJets, Diana Oreck, about the traits that make for good customer service.

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Special OpportunitiesAmazing Customer Experience

Sometimes, we experience truly amazing levels of customer service. We call it over-the-top, or above and beyond, or WOW! customer service. Many of my clients tell me they want to consistently create that experience for their customers. My response is that it’s an unrealistic – even impossible – expectation. Over-the-top service usually happens with isolated incidents, either problems or complaints, or recognition of an opportunity to create such levels of service. Continue reading

The company “mantra” is a brand promise that is simple, concise and easily understood by both employees and customers.  If you’ve been reading my monthly articles, blogs, books, etc. you will know that my favorite mantra comes from the Ritz Carlton which is, “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”

Recently I was surprised to read about what the city of Seattle, WA calls their customer bill of rights.  It was outstanding, and we can learn quite a bit from a city government that is focused on their customers, who happen to be their citizens and guests of the city.

Seattle believes in taking care of customers.

Their promise:

When doing business with the City of Seattle, customers are entitled to prompt, efficient and easily accessible services – from water and power to roads and public safety. Customers who contact any office or employee of the City of Seattle can expect excellent service. The Customer Bill of Rights is guided by four standards.

First, they want to be accessible to the citizens.  Their first of the four rights say they want to
be, “Easy and understandable – City products and services should be easy to locate and
access.”

Second is that they want to be responsive, meaning that, “City Employees should be helpful, connecting customers (citizens) with others who can help if they cannot.

Third, they want to be fair.  They state, “There should be no economic, social and cultural barriers to accessing City products and services.”

Finally, their fourth item in Seattle’s Customer Bill of Rights says they want to be, “Results oriented – Customers should get results, not just process.”

Does your organization have a Customer Bill of Rights?  This isn’t in a vision or mission statement.  It is a simple set of rules that help guide your customer service.  Quick return of phone calls and easy accessibility to upper management might be two you want to include.

It’s time for you to go to work.  Create four or five customer service expectations that your customers expect of you and your organization.  Then make sure that every employee knows and understands it is their obligation to deliver on those expectations.

Recently I was in Chicago speaking for Salomon Smith Barney where I met Kevin Green, one of their top financial consultants.  He shared a story that makes the point that great service can be one of your best sales tools.

Not long ago Kevin was at a black-tie wedding at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton hotel in Chicago. A server came by with a special sauce for the entrée and accidentally spilled it on one of the guests at the table.

The sauce was hot, so the first thing the server did was ask the guest, “Are you okay?” Fortunately he was.  The server then asked the guest to remove his jacket and promised him that he could have it cleaned in less than 30 minutes.  The gentleman removed his coat and made a joke with the server that it better not take 31 minutes.  About twenty minutes later the server returned the coat without a trace of sauce.  Everyone at the table was impressed.

The server was well trained, not only in delivering great service, but also in the “Art of Recovery.”  There was a problem, and he knew how to fix it.  First he made sure the guest was okay.  Then he took care of the jacket.  The Ritz had dry cleaning equipment on the premises, so it was a simple matter of taking the soiled jacket downstairs to be cleaned.

“No big deal,” you might say.  As Paul Harvey says, “Here is the rest of the story.”

Our guest with the soiled tuxedo has three daughters.  Two of them are getting married in the next couple of years.  The server didn’t know this, and it really didn’t matter.  He was just doing his job.  And, I’m sure you can guess where they are getting married.  The Ritz!

Why?  The answer is easy: unbelievable service.  The Ritz is known for being first class.  But not only do they have great banquets, great food, great rooms – and more – they also can be counted on to do the right thing when there is a problem.  A salesman didn’t close the deal.  A server did – just by doing what he was supposed to do.  As they say in their mission statement, “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentleman.”  Yes, the Ritz is a classy place, and they know how to take care of their guests.

The message is clear.  You don’t have to be in sales to make a sale.  No matter what you do, provide great service.  It not only keeps customers, it helps makes sales!

“Treat your employees the way you want your customers treated – maybe even better!”
Shep Hyken, CSP

The above quote is simply a line taken from one of my speeches.  It is my customer service slant to the familiar Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would do unto yourself.”  Telling people how to treat customers is one thing.  Showing how you want them treated is completely different – especially if you are modeling the behavior.

I recently received a case study written by Andrew Thomas, a freelance writer from Ohio. He wrote about global leadership and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel chain.  There was something in the case study that jumped out at me, and it applies to the concept in the above quotation.

The Ritz-Carlton was hired to manage an existing hotel in Shanghai.  They brought in many of their experts and determined that major renovations were needed.  Their first phase of the renovation was the Employee Entrance.  This may seem strange to most, but is the norm for the Ritz-Carlton.  While the renovation was relatively inexpensive, it sent an important message to the employees (who were employed by the previous management company).  It demonstrated that a new standard (higher) of quality and service was expected and that the employees were incredibly important to the process.

The Ritz-Carlton is recognized worldwide for being a quality organization.  They understand the importance of outstanding customer service.  Just as important, if not more so, is that they also understand the value of their employees, the internal customers.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional  speaker and New York Times   bestselling business author. For information contact (314) 692-2200 or https://www.hyken.com. For information on The  Customer  Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

“Treat your employees the way you want your customers treated – maybe even better!” Shep Hyken

The above quote is simply a line taken from one of my speeches. It is my customer service slant to the familiar Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would do unto yourself.” Telling people how to treat customers is one thing. Showing how you want them treated is completely different – especially if you are modeling the behavior.

I received a case study written by Andrew Thomas, a freelance writer from Ohio. He wrote about global leadership and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel chain. There was something in the case study that jumped out at me, and it applies to the concept in the above quotation.

The Ritz-Carlton was hired to manage an existing hotel in Shanghai. They brought in many of their experts and determined that major renovations were needed. Their first phase of the renovation was the Employee Entrance. This may seem strange to most, but is the norm for the Ritz-Carlton. While the renovation was relatively inexpensive, it sent an important message to the employees (who were employed by the previous management company). It demonstrated that a new standard (higher) of quality and service was expected and that the employees were incredibly important to the process.

The Ritz-Carlton is recognized worldwide for being a quality organization. They understand the importance of outstanding customer service. Just as important, if not more so, is that they also understand the value of their employees, the internal customers.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional  speaker and New York Times   bestselling business author. For information contact (314) 692-2200 or https://www.hyken.com. For information on The  Customer  Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)