Legendary Customer Service Makes Memories

Think back over your customer service interactions this past year—every time you ate at a restaurant, shopped in a store, had a doctor’s appointment, mailed a package, visited the gym, bought groceries. If you had to rate every customer service interaction on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (legendary), how often did you receive legendary customer service in 2014?

Legendary customer service is memorable. It comes from the heart of the giver, and it stays in the heart of the receiver. The Credo of The Ritz-Carlton states “the genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission.” When customers feel truly cared for, they experience legendary customer service.

This kind of exceptional service evokes feelings of appreciation, security and gratitude. In the following thank you letter, it is clear that the guests received good service, but they took the time to write a letter because of the genuine care expressed during their stay.

Thank You Letter from Guests

“I wanted to write you and share a bit of our experience staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch this past December. As a brief background on us, I work as a travel planner and am the owner of an independent agency. My partner is in IT, working as a project manager for IBM. Living in Florida, we don’t often get that ‘Christmas feeling’ with lights strung up on palm trees. So each year, we try and plan a vacation somewhere with a chance of snow to get a little more in the ‘spirit.’

“This year after looking at several options, we decided on The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. Never having vacationed in Colorado, it was a new adventure, and we weren’t sure what to expect. Knowing we were going to a Ritz-Carlton kind of takes any worries away because you know at a minimum that you’re going to have a good stay.

“On arrival to the resort, simply pulling into the property we could tell it was going to be a great vacation. The hotel is a true stunner and a perfect mix of exactly what I was wanting. It’s a rare thing that you can have such a fine, rustic structure with that ‘Grand Dame’ grandeur but with a contemporary twist making it relevant to the modern traveler. We truly loved every physical thing about the property from the spa, to the pool, restaurants, great room … I could go on and on.

“Our room was spectacular, and I must thank The Reservation Agent for assisting us with finding the absolute perfect spot within the resort. The Reservation Agent took the time to listen to what we were looking for and gave us the perfect room. On meeting her in person, she was a real delight and led us to the perfect sushi restaurant for lunch one day!”

The Power of Surprise and Delight 

“Additionally, I’d had several questions and was a typical ‘needy traveler.’ The Manager of Guest Relations was the ‘unfortunate’ recipient of my first requests … so she was stuck with us for the long haul! With every little detail I needed or question I had, she was on the spot, promptly getting back with me and advising me during the planning of our trip. She was gracious enough to set up specific dining experiences for us that took a little more attention to detail than just a reservation. She also guided us to a fantastic tour with Nova Guides in their Snow Cat where we got to go up to almost 13,000 feet—in heated comfort no less. While we were on property, although an extremely busy person, whenever we ran into her or wanted to ask her a question, she always made us feel like we were the only people there. She also had a knack for surprising us with a little treat here and a little treat there that she didn’t have to take the time to do. Very genuine, very heartfelt. We would return to the resort just for the great care she gives her guests.

“Also, we met a wonderful new employee, The Spa Manager. She greeted us when we visited the spa the first time to check things out. She was a great help in showing us around and showing us the product lines which I was very interested in as I needed some great spa gifts as a Christmas present for my mother. Striking up conversation with The Spa Manager, we learned she’d just relocated from Florida, just a few minutes drive from where we live. We’re very involved in a charity called Southeastern Guide Dogs and The Spa Manager was very familiar, often having been to the dog school to help play with and socialize the puppies herself as part of their process. It was a real treat visiting with her.

“Later that evening, a knock came on our door with ‘Room Service.’ We hadn’t ordered any and were confused. Well, The Spa Manager had taken the time to contact the culinary team and have something special made up for us. There on a platter was a photo of one of the puppies from our charity. It had been printed out and encased in hard sugar to protect it. Along with it was a beautiful stack of three jumbo dog biscuit shaped cookies covered in chocolate and tied with a powder blue, Ritz-Carlton ribbon. They only looked like dog biscuits, they were PEOPLE cookies and wonderful. We sat back in awe for the longest time, grateful for such a beautiful sincere gift.”

Service vs. True Care 

“Most importantly, what I want to say about our stay goes well beyond the physical property. There are many beautiful places to stay in the world and we’ve been lucky enough to visit some of them. What sets The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch apart is the service that is given is a bit different. In my opinion, sometimes at a resort you feel you are ‘being served.’ I don’t like to feel ‘served.’ Much more rare is when you feel you are ‘being cared for.’ All of the staff at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch made us feel well cared for, like a friend who is staying with them. We had this kind of service from every single staff member and that’s exceptional.

“We are now breaking the mold, and looking at visiting your resort not just for its ‘Winter Wonderland’ attraction but a Summertime visit, too! We’re so looking forward to seeing these great staff members on our return.”

Delivering Legendary Customer Service

Service is about emotion, and legendary customer service means delivering unique, memorable and personal experiences that become lifelong memories. Let’s make 2015 a year to remember by elevating our service standards and striving to deliver legendary customer service. ∞

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.