Guest Story: Giving and Receiving

The best gifts are the ones that are a delight for the giver as well as for the receiver. At The Ritz-Carlton, our employees—known as our Ladies and Gentlemen—are encouraged to look for ways to surprise and delight customers every day. The guest story below illustrates the reciprocal nature of giving.

A Musical Gift

A family went on vacation to The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan, and upon arrival they asked if the hotel’s piano was available for practice. Their son, a talented pianist, needed to prepare for an upcoming recital. The hotel was pleased to give the young musician access to their baby grand piano.

The young pianist practiced world-renowned classical selections that amazed all the Ladies and Gentlemen who heard him. The In-Room Dining Server asked the young musician’s mother if her son could take some time to play a few selections on a Sunday afternoon for the Ladies and Gentlemen who would be on break at that time. His mother was delighted because she knew her son preferred to play for an audience. She told the In-Room Dining Server that she wanted the impromptu concert to be a surprise for her son.

Mutual Appreciation

In gratitude for the small concert, the In-Room Dining Server went to the Pastry Chef and asked him to prepare a special dessert. The Pastry Chef created a confection with musical notes to be presented to the pianist at the end of the concert. In addition, the Group Reservations Coordinator planned to present the young musician with a book of “Danzas Puertorriqueñas” that included a selection of island classical pieces.

On the day of the concert, the young musician was overjoyed by his audience and appreciated all the thoughtful gifts. He played nine selections for the group of Ladies and Gentlemen, and everyone was delighted by this special concert.

A Final Note

After returning home, the musician’s mother wrote the following message to the hotel:

“[The In-Room Dining Server] arranged for our son to give a performance on Sunday to some staff who were on break after lunch, and it was really nice to be able to see so many friendly faces and have this wonderful opportunity for him to practice before the charity event comes.

“We are back at home safely, but we really miss all the fun we had at The Ritz-Carlton! We will cherish this experience forever and can’t wait to come back again next year if not earlier. My son is eager to practice the Danzas so he can play soon. I will upload the pieces on YouTube and send you the link once he is ready to record it. Please say Hi to everyone for us and thank them one more time!”

The Kindness Kickback

Ralph Waldo Emerson noted, “It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely help another without helping himself.” When you make the effort to be thoughtful to others, your actions seem to naturally boomerang back to you. In business, one may be concerned about the cost and efficiency of going out of the way to enrich the customer experience, but in truth this leads to an engaged customer who is loyal to your brand. The Ritz-Carlton hosted and delighted a young pianist and his family, but tomorrow our hotel may host him when he plays professionally. Or we may have the pleasure of hosting him when he’s raising his own young pianist. Either way, the value of showing genuine care to your customers will always benefit your customer and fulfill your employees as well as support your bottom line. 

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.