So recently I came across this blog post on customer service that said:Make it easy for your people to serve customers…Instead, be the Ritz-Carlton. Each employee is given an individual, daily budget to create a wow experience for a customer, or for “service recovery.” (That’s to fix, or even over-fix, an error or problem for a customer.)
I started reading through the comments about all “these things” people learned about customer service from the Rtiz Carlton and that got me thinking about what these things were (since customers are crucial to the success of any company).
Here are some of the tips I found:
- Creating an emotional bond with customers through the frequent use of their names
- Treat colleagues and coworkers with the same respect and courtesy you would extend to a hotel guest
- Empower employees to step out of their roles to do what it takes to “wow” guests. This includes a large budget (I read as much as $2,000) given to each employee to be applied at their discretion (mentioned above).
- Each day/shift starts with a line-up where employees discuss and tell annecdotal stories that demonstrate one of the tenets of the hotel (these are called gold standard and you can find them here). This improves communication among the staff and reinforces their philosophies and values.
- Give feedback. Employees are encouraged and rewarded for speaking up and giving their opinions on process. And supervisors are trained to listen and follow up.
- Publicly praise, privately criticize. And when delivering criticism sandwich it between praise so the employee still feels motivated and will want to improve.
- Share “wow” stories. By sharing their successes with their peers it reinforces this type of behavior and rewards the individual that has the achievement.
- There is never a second chance to make a first impression. Employees don’t exhibit body piercings or crazy hair, and each looks pulled together and representative of the hotel’s brand.
And the Ritz Carlton has such amazing training for their employees, for a fee they will allow non-employees to participate in their leadership training–you can register here.
Overall it is pretty neat how they have created an organizational culture of great customer service though consistently reinforcing the traits and behavior that created it. It is a good lesson in great customer service and I am sure most organizations can pick up a tip or two from the above list.