Are your employees proud to work at your company?
I was reading an article about the legendary service at the Ritz-Carlton and thinking that the company makes the strongest case for a direct correlation between customer service that goes beyond satisfying customers to truly connecting with them, and having an engaged and empowered work force.
If you look at the Ritz-Carlton's gold standard service values, a copy of which is in each employee's pocket, it's easy to see why. From the company's Web site:
- I build strong relationships and create Ritz-Carlton guests for life.
- I am always responsive to the expressed and unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.
- I am empowered to create unique, memorable and personal experiences for our guests.
- I understand my role in achieving the Key Success Factors, embracing Community Footprints and creating The Ritz-Carlton Mystique.
- I continuously seek opportunities to innovate and improve The Ritz-Carlton experience.
- I own and immediately resolve guest problems.
- I create a work environment of teamwork and lateral service so that the needs of our guests and each other are met.
- I have the opportunity to continuously learn and grow.
- I am involved in the planning of the work that affects me.
- I am proud of my professional appearance, language and behavior.
- I protect the privacy and security of our guests, my fellow employees and the company's confidential information and assets.
- I am responsible for uncompromising levels of cleanliness and creating a safe and accident-free environment.
What do all these statements have in common?
They are personal affirmations. Not about how "we" do this or that. It's about "I". What else? They are written in plain English. None of the "premier", "cutting-edge", "leading" language in there to suggest that they were cooked up in a management meeting over cold pizza. These are deliberate statements.
They are statements designed to reinforce a sense of purpose. Which in turn is an indication of a strong company culture. Make no mistake, culture is not a small part of the game. Being in a connected company, having a strong sense of purpose is the game.
Organizations that want to make customer service simple adopt this kind of mindset. From management, the CEO and all the way throughout the organization. There's no taking employees for granted here. And therefore, no employees take customers for granted.
I've been lucky enough to stay at The Ritz-Carlton a couple of times. There are a few restaurants and businesses where I experienced the same kind of proactive service -- when staff anticipated guests needs. It's about noticing what would make an experience even better and taking the step to make it happen.
Are there any reasons why organizations should want to think differently?
[image of the interior of The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia]