The Privilege of Customer Service
Working in customer service may not always seem like a privilege. Customers can be unkind, irritable and even angry. However, when you are an empowered customer service agent who is told to surprise and delight customers, your role takes on new meaning. You are allowed and encouraged to express creativity and initiative. But more than that, you can look for ways to bring extra joy to people.
You become a sort of fairy godmother for your customers because you can make wishes come true. What a privilege! Your job is no longer just checking people in or dusting a room. Your job is to make genuine connections with customers and create lasting memories.
The following excerpt from a guest letter is one example of what happens when empowered employees transform customer service into genuine caring and giving.
Thank You Letter from Guest
“I am a working mother of two little boys, and in September 2012, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was quite a shock, but I had a successful surgery and started chemotherapy. When I thought my chemo was going to be complete, I decided the best way to celebrate was a girls’ night at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, with my best friend. I called the reservations line and the woman on the phone asked if it was a special occasion. I told her not really, just a girls’ weekend to celebrate the end of my chemotherapy sessions. I never gave that call another thought.
“Last Saturday when we checked in, we were greeted by [a woman from Guest Relations], who introduced herself and congratulated me. I truly had no idea why she was congratulating me! My friend and I were handed a glass of champagne and a gentleman took our bags. I did notice that [the Front Desk Agent] and the rest of the staff were all wearing the signature pink breast cancer awareness ribbons, but I assumed there was something else going on in the hotel. I would never dream they were wearing the ribbons for me!!
“Upon entering our guest room, I noticed a wrapped package on the bed. I opened it and it was a compilation of 56 different hand-written notes from the staff/employees, all put in a frame. These notes were all to encourage me during my cancer journey. I was shocked and touched.
“I know The Ritz-Carlton has built its brand on customer service, but to me, that gift was more than just customer service … that was family. I am not a prominent citizen. I am not famous. I will probably not meet most of the folks that took the time to write a note to me. Your staff truly had nothing to gain by going so far above and beyond for me, making the experience all the more special. I will always treasure that gift, and my weekend at The Ritz-Carlton!
“Thank you for instilling a culture of kindness and personal touch at your hotel.”
The Privilege of Serving
The motto of The Ritz-Carlton — “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen” — ensures that all customers (and employees) are treated with dignity, grace and courtesy. When organizations put customers first and empower employees to follow through with this priority — customer service becomes a privilege and results in cherished and lasting memories for all. ∞
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.