Learn to give “white glove” service

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white glove serviceHaving worked at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel for over 7 years, I can still repeat the credo if asked. When you talk about servicing your internal (your co-workers) and external (the people who support your business) customers, their motto has always been “we’re ladies and gentleman serving ladies and gentleman.”

Ritz-Carlton Credo (you know, I should get a complimentary weekend with all of this promotion):

“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 ambience.

The Ritz-Carlton experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.”

Now, lets analyze the Ritz-Carlton credo. There’s a lot of lessons to be learned.

Credo: “The genuine care and comfort of our guest is our highest mission.”

Meaning: It’s already established that if you’re a guest of their hotel, your care and comfort is most important to them. So regardless of who you are, what you’re spending, how young or seasoned you are, they’re going to make your experience at the Ritz-Carlton memorable.

Lesson 1: Make “the genuine care and comfort” of those that you encounter in everyday life MEMORABLE.

Credo: “Finest personal service and facilities for our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambience.”

Meaning: What ever service it is that you offer, from real estate sales to mortgages, to car/home insurance, to closing/title services, etc… we must provide the best services and facilities that we can. If you see a piece of paper on the floor, pick it up. If a light bulb needs to be changed out, don’t complain about it, own the problem and get it fixed. These are just some of the ways that we can ensure that our internal and external customers receive the “finest personal service and facilities.”

Lesson 2: Do your part!!!

Credo: “Experience enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.”

Meaning: Do you leave that type of impression on people when you leave the room? When you leave a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, that’s how you feel.

That should be your goal whenever you leave the room – to give them, that type of feeling.
President and CEO Kevin Levent taught me that when I first joined the company – “never leave someone with something negative to say about you”. Let them leave with something more memorable…“I’m looking forward to seeing you again”, “I can’t wait to do business with you in the future”, etc.

In my previous blog, First impressions are lasting, that may be just as important as what you do or say before the farewell.

Lesson 3: Leave them with a reason to come back!

Tell me…How do you leave a lasting impression on your clients?

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13 Responses to “Learn to give “white glove” service”

  1. Arthur Harris Says:

    Michael,

    Well written article! I believe and strive to follow what I was taught from the begining of my business career.
    Treat everyone as you would have them treat you. Stick to the Golden Rule. Every suspect/prospect is a potential client give them all you are able to give and more regardless of their interest. You do not know who they may know etc. Be a Professional. My mission statement is ” Extraordinary Customer Service”.

  2. Mary Ann Varner Says:

    Great article, Michael. While there are always a few people who will not see what goes into your serving them, the majority of your customers/clients actually realize and appreciate your service. It’s so rewarding to have someone repeatedly say: “I appreciate all you’re doing to help me.” When we give the service we expect, we will never fail to make their business experience with us memorable and they will come back and refer others.

  3. Pat Viohl Says:

    Excellent article and a good reminder about putting the welfare of the client first and foremost in the process. That old saving really is true – people may not always remember to tell folks about the good customer care experience they had, but they will share ad nauseum the BAD experiences, so it behooves us all to be well behaved, respectful and attentive!

  4. Anne Langley Says:

    Great words of wisdom. We all need to be reminded that we are in a SERVICE oriented job. The golden rule certainly applies here. I always try to treat my clients the way I would want someone to treat my parents. It only takes one client who has a bad experience to ruin what we all strive to keep”our good name”.
    Thanks for your continued support and being a great cheerleader for all of us.

  5. John Baker Says:

    Great Blog Michael. I attended a GAR convention at the Ritz Carlton at Amelia Island about 10 years ago and was so impressed with the employee who was assigned to handle our needs during our committee meeting that I began to discuss the Credo with her. She spent about 10 minutes doing just what you have done in your article above and what a lasting impression we all received, being the leadership of GAR that year. She then offered me a copy of the Credo to have, which I immediately said “yes”. I have it with me every day as I carry it in business card holder. Perhaps just as important are the 3 Steps of Service on the back of the Credo. 1. A warm and sincere greeting. Use the guest name if and when possible. 2. Anticipation & compliance with guest needs; and 3. Fond Farewell. Give them a warm good bye & use their names if & when possible. Very good stuff indeed!

  6. David K. Scott Says:

    Providing excellent customer service should always be a priority. I believe that in order to consistently provide the highest level of customer service that you can you must understand its importance. If you are not providing the client with what they need they wil simply go elsewhere.
    You should always desire to please the client to the point that they are willing to let others know how happy they were with the services that you provided to them. We don’t sell houses in real estate, we sell services.

  7. Corey A. Mason Says:

    Michael,

    This was a great article. I brings to mind the book “Raving Fans”. I worked for a company years ago. The manager decided to ask us to read the book and write a report of our findings. I took this very seriously and the report actually helped me to understand that I was with the wrong company.

  8. Sandi Rdorick Says:

    Excellent article, Michael. You are, as always, on target. It doesn’t matter what field or profession we’re in, the one thing that makes us alike is customer service. Too many tend to think customer service pertains more to the “worker bee” end of most positions, when in fact we are all CSRs. How we approach that service from the penthouse to the parking garage speaks volumes about our professionalism. I like to think I tend to treat people the way I want to be treated. I try to recognize them as individuals rather than a demographic. I want to be treated with respect and an acknowledgement that I count for something. I think most people do. I am always amazed, but pleasantly so, when people tell me how welcomed I’ve made them feel when they leave my office, for example. It tells me that without realziing it, I’ve accomplished being a good representative for my company and that is a reward to me! Like the Ritz-Carlton, Metro Brokers offers the top of the line in real estate expereinces to the agents and staff- being the best and givng the best. That credo is spread out into the community every day. It’s no wonder others look to Metro Brokers as the leader in real estate changes. As we enter into a new company phase and a new year, the exctiement can be felt tingling in the air and the anticipation of good things to come can be seen on all the company faces! Here’s to success again in 2010!

  9. Joslyn Moore Says:

    Thanks Michael,
    In the everyday world of get it done now, sometimes we forget about the total experience the customer or client’s we serve, has during the total process.
    We have the greatest job in the world, helping someone find a home. They should be made to feel like a V.I.P. Remember at the end of the day, if we have done our job well, we have helped someone move into their own private palace.

  10. Dennis Doll Says:

    AMEN! Those who follow the Golden Rule, earn the Gold!

  11. Simah Benyamin Says:

    Thanks Michael. White Glove Treatment, I really like that. That is now my Tag going into 2010; starting right now. I’d like to use that on my website.

  12. Rick Stewart Says:

    Michael,

    What a unique experience that you will be able to take with you and use the rest of your life. Quality will never be a passing trent … It leads to satification of our customer base. I once heard that a happy customer will tell two to three people and an unhappy one will tell ten to fifteen. Thanks for posting.

  13. Jake Says:

    Having also worked at a Ritz carlton for a couple of years, I too can memorize the Credo and Employee Promise. I believe that the Ritz Carlton Company has a great philosophy. Imagine working for an Organization that says ‘ we are ladies and gentlemen, serving ladies and gentlemen’. Unfortunately, I have come to realize after some time that a lot of it is just fluff…a great marketing tool. If one goes behind the gilted lobby, the real story unfolds.

    Yes, we do everything within our power to make the guests feel truly welcome and to provide that unique experience, but this comes with a heavy price tag….overworked and stressed out staff!!! I have learnt a lot of great things at the Ritz Carlton but I left it, like many others because I also learnt that I could not uphold or believe in an illusion. I am sure that many at the Ritz Carlton truly do their best, but I felt that many leaders were simply reciting a mantra without really feeling the essence of the philosophy.

    I still do have great feelings for the Ritz Carlton, but sometimes it feels like I am revisiting a long lost lover whose memory I wish would simply fade away.

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