Guest Story: Memorable Customer Service

Every Monday and Friday at our morning line ups, The Ritz-Carlton shares guest stories submitted by our hotels around the world. Each guest story illustrates the genuine care and comfort and sense of well-being our Ladies and Gentlemen (a.k.a. The Ritz-Carlton employees) provide for our guests. The following guest story is a letter recently written to the Corporate Office by a frequent business traveler and executive. (Editor’s note: we have removed the names of employees from the letter below.)

Letter from Guest

“I have had the pleasure of staying at The Ritz-Carlton hotels over the past 20 years as it has frequently been the hotel of choice for my organization’s annual meetings. Most notably, The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City has been the site of our annual meetings in Washington, D.C. The Ritz-Carlton customer service has always been well above the norm. From being greeted by name at the front desk upon arrival (I think I figured out how you accomplish this so flawlessly) to the friendly smiles and greetings by staff at every turn, my stays at your hotels have always been memorable.

On my most recent trip to Pentagon City, however, my experience went from memorable to overwhelming! Upon my arrival, I received the usual warm greeting from the Front Desk Manager. During my check-in, she inquired whether or not I had a Rewards Card and perhaps might I be interested in applying for one. I declined, explaining to her that I would be retiring at the end of the year and likely this was my last stay at The Ritz-Carlton. She congratulated me warmly and sent me off with her best wishes for a pleasant stay.

Memorable Customer Service

I went through long days of meetings over the next two days. On the third day after morning meetings, I returned to my room only to be surprised by an array of 5 small red velvet cupcakes, topped with my organization’s logo and a lovely note of congratulations on my retirement, signed by 22 members of The Ritz-Carlton staff! If this wasn’t enough, the card and cakes were accompanied by a gift of the signature Ritz-Carlton robe along with a note that read as follows: ‘Please enjoy this gift on behalf of the Ladies & Gentlemen. We thought you might like it to relax in during your retirement! Warm regards, the Guest Relations Coordinator’

The emotions felt at that moment were, as I stated earlier, simply overwhelming! Customer service is one thing. This is quite another. This is genuine. This is authentic. I no longer felt like a customer. I felt like family.

The next morning, as I was working with the concierge desk to have this wonderful gift shipped home as my small carry-on luggage could not accommodate the robe, the Front Desk Manager came over, smiled and with no hesitation, offered to take care of shipping the item to my home here.

I am tearing up as I write this, as I will always remember the warmth and generous spirit that the Front Desk Manager exuded and that the members of the staff displayed. Each and every time I put on that robe I will think of it as a ‘warm hug’ from the Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City.” 

The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center offers advisory services, courses and presentations to organizations that wish to benchmark the award-winning business practices of The Ritz-Carlton. Your organization can learn about The Ritz-Carlton methodology for customer service, employee engagement, and leadership development. We also guide organizations through a multi-step process in order to achieve sustainable culture transformation.