Posted by: joannabrandi | May 28, 2008

So How Was the Service?

The conversation the other night turned to service. (Not so unusual around me) Some friends were talking about an experience one of them recently had attending a conference at a Ritz Carlton hotel.  My friend Dean was describing the behavior of the people at the hotel. “It was as if they were anticipating what I needed,” he said.

I couldn’t help but grin. “Really?” I said. He went on extolling the details of the experience, I (uncharacteristically) kept quiet and just enjoyed the conversation. My friend Connie said, “I’ve heard that they train people to do that, and that they allow their employees to spend a really large sum of money – like two thousand dollars – if they have to, to help a customer. It’s no wonder people treat customers differently – they CAN!”

She said she was unsure of the number, but she knew it was larger than one might think. I confirmed the number and suggested that she might have read about it in my latest tip, and she laughed. “Perhaps.”

Then the conversation turned –  to local places that delivered the kind of service that might be compared – or not – to the levels of service offered at the Ritz. It didn’t take too long before I now had a list of “places not to go” for lunch and dinner.

Word of mouth. Powerful – oh so powerful word of mouth marketing. There are now several people not inclined to eat at a few south Florida restaurants and lusting to spend a few nights at the Ritz.




  1. Good Layout and design. I like your blog. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. .

    Jason Rakowski

  2. Published online, if you look for it, is The Gold Standards of the Ritz. Having had a similar experience at the Ritz in old Atlanta AND the new Ritz in Orlando while at a DMA conference I went searching.

    Regards, Ann

    Slightly edited version below.

    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.
    At The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” This motto exemplifies the anticipatory service provided by all staff members.
    1. A warm and sincere greeting. Use the guest name, if and when possible.
    2. Anticipation and compliance with guest needs.
    3. Fond farewell. Give them a warm good-bye and use their names, if and when possible.
    20 BASICS
    1. The Credo is the principal belief of our Company. It must be known, owned and energized by all.
    2. Our Motto is “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” As service professionals, we treat our guests and each other with respect and dignity.
    3. The Three Steps of Service are the foundation of Ritz-Carlton hospitality. These steps must be used in every interaction to ensure satisfaction, retention and loyalty.
    4. The Employee Promise is the basis for our Ritz-Carlton work environment. It will be honored by all employees.
    5. All employees will successfully complete annual Training Certification for their position.
    6. Company objectives are communicated to all employees. It is everyone’s responsibility to support them.
    7. To create pride and joy in the workplace, all employees have the right to be involved in the planning of the work that affects them.
    8. Each employee will continuously identify defects (MR BIV) throughout the Hotel.
    9. It is the responsibility of each employee to create a work environment of teamwork and lateral service so that the needs of our guests and each other are met.
    10. Each employee is empowered. For example, when a guest has a problem or needs something special you should break away from your regular duties, address and resolve the issue.
    11. Uncompromising levels of cleanliness are the responsibility of every employee.
    12. To provide the finest personal service for our guests, each employee is responsible for identifying and recording individual guest preferences.
    13. Never lose a guest. Instant guest pacification is the responsibility of each employee. Whoever receives a complaint will own it, resolve it to the guest’s satisfaction and record it.
    14. “Smile – we are on stage.” Always maintain positive eye contact. Use the proper vocabulary with our guests. (Use words like – “Good Morning,” “Certainly,” “I’ll be happy to,” and “My pleasure.”)
    15. Be an ambassador of your Hotel in and outside of the work place. Always talk positively. Communicate any concerns to the appropriate person.
    16. Escort guests rather than pointing out directions to another area of the Hotel.
    17. Use Ritz-Carlton telephone etiquette. Answer within three rings and with a “smile.” Use the guest’s name when possible. When necessary, ask the caller “May I place you on hold?” Do not screen calls. Eliminate call transfers whenever possible. Adhere to voice mail standards.
    18. Take pride in and care of your personal appearance. Everyone is responsible for conveying a professional image by adhering to Ritz-Carlton clothing and grooming standards.
    19. Think safety first. Each employee is responsible for creating a safe, secure and accident free environment for all guests and each other. Be aware of all fire and safety emergency procedures and report security risks immediately.
    20. Protecting the assets of a Ritz-Carlton Hotel is the responsibility of every employee. Conserve energy, properly maintain our hotels and protect the environment.
    At The Ritz-Carlton, our Ladies & 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.

  3. WOW! Thanks for the research – I’m sure ALL my readers will benefit from them. It’s a great idea to make a list of exactly what great service looks and feels like.
    I’m big on designing and defining the customer expereince so it can be delivered – exquisitely- over and over again!

    So nice to hear from you Ann. I appreciate your looking this up for all of us! It’s really wonderful.

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