Does your customer service put on the “Ritz”?

imgresDoes your service put on the “Ritz”?  Ritz Carlton that is.  A recent client engagement took me to the Ritz Carlton Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia.  And while I worked, I was reminded how it feels to have a great customer experience thanks to the many team members at this luxury hotel.

Let me explain.  From the moment I got out of my car, every single person I encountered made me feel like a special guest.   During my one night stay that included the valet, the front dest agent, three housekeepers working in my hallway, the restaurant server, and even the grounds keeper during my morning walk.

So how do they do it?  How does an organization create a culture that drives each employee to provide that one degree difference that takes the experience from good to outstanding?  You don’t have to be a luxury or exclusive business to create “great” for your customers.  My hotel stay at the Ritz gives three possible ways.

#1  Employees are part of an exclusive team
No doubt, the nightly room rate at this particular hotel is higher than most standard hotels.  So in some respects, you pay more and expect more in amenities and service.  However, another perspective says that at the employee level, you also get what you pay for.  I suspect the leaders at the Ritz Carlton are very picky about who they are willing to hire.  It’s an exclusive hotel and therefore requires an exclusive team.  In your world, how selective are you in your employee selection?  What does it take to join your team?  The more exclusive the better the service becomes.

#2  Special touches that go the extra mile
One of the highlights of my stay was walking the property early in the morning.  It gave me some exercise but also allowed me to see the beauty of the grounds.  I wasn’t expecting a great customer experience at 7 in the morning but to my surprise, two employees wowed me.  The first was  groundskeeper out early preparing the golf course.  As I approached he stopped what he was doing and said good morning. And he said it like he meant it.  Honestly, I would have expected him to not even notice me but he did – that special touch.  Then as I entered the hotel lobby after my walk, an employee was at the font door offering bottle water, fruit and towels.  Again, a wonderful special touch that wowed me.  In your world, what are those “little things” that would wow your customers?

#3  I didn’t want to leave
I left my luggage at Bell Services before my conference.  The bellman asked me about my stay (which was great) and then commented that he wished I could enjoy more time there.  The valet did the same thing.  And they were right.  With all of my travel I would have loved another night (or two) here.  Why?  It was escape and a genuinely nice experience.  Your world may not be a luxury hotel but the same can occur. When the experience is good your customers don’t want to leave.  What a good problem to have!

My stay was delightful.  My only regret is that I was only there 22 hours.  Would your customers say the same about an encounter with your business?  If not, start puttin’ on the “Ritz”.

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