How does one of the world’s great brands deliver consistently memorable customer service?  

As we would imagine, there is nothing haphazard about their approach.  They are intentional.  Deliberate.  Specific.

It begins with the Ritz-Carlton motto: “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”

Like all great catch phrases, the Ritz-Carlton motto is memorable.  It communicates exactly what makes Ritz-Carlton unique.

Next up is the Ritz-Carlton Credo which was introduced in 1985, shortly after the legendary hotel brand was reformed and re-introduced in the United States.  The meaning of the word Credo in Latin is “I believe”.  The Credo summarizes why guests choose The Ritz-Carlton.

“The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a place where the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission.  We pledge to provide the finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambiance. The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.”

To create an environment of genuine care, personal service, and a sense of well-being, Ritz-Carlton staffers must believe in what they do.  As a reminder, each associate carries the Credo Card every day as part of their uniform.

The Ritz-Carlton “Three steps of service” outline the specific elements of what is expected:

1: A warm and sincere greeting.  Use the guest’s name.

2: Anticipation and fulfillment of each guest’s needs.

3: Fond farewell.  Give a warm good-bye and use the guest’s name.

In 1997, the hotelier’s team members created the Employee Promise which reads:

At The Ritz-Carlton, our Ladies and Gentlemen are the most important resource in our service commitment to our guests.  By applying the principles of trust, honesty, respect, integrity and commitment, we nurture and maximize talent to the benefit of each individual and the company.  The Ritz-Carlton fosters a work environment where diversity is valued, quality of life is enhanced, individual aspirations are fulfilled, and The Ritz-Carlton Mystique is strengthened.

At Ritz-Carlton, people are at the heart of the business.  The first sentence specifies that Ladies and Gentlemen are the most important resource.  The second sentence outlines the firm’s five principles: trust, honesty, respect, integrity and commitment.  The focus of the final sentence is diversity, quality of life, the fulfillment of aspirations, and “The Ritz-Carlton Mystique” – something intangible; an aura, a reputation.

Together, the Motto, the Credo, the Three Steps of Service, and the Employee Promise are key elements of the firm’s “Gold Standards” which provide the foundation for the firm’s goal of providing memorable customer service.

More tomorrow.


Reflection: Which element of Ritz-Carlton’s “Gold Standards” applies best to my organization and why?  Are there specific learnings we can apply?  

Action: Do it.

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