Guest Story: A New Family

Storytelling is an important part of The Ritz-Carlton culture. The employees of The Ritz-Carlton—known as our Ladies and Gentlemen—write up special moments. These write-ups are called “Wow” stories, and several thousand stories are collected each year. “Wow” stories can happen when Ladies and Gentlemen interact with customers, residents or colleagues. “Wow” stories enliven our Gold Standards and inspire our Ladies and Gentlemen to offer legendary service. Each month, The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center shares one of our favorite “Wow” stories, and this month’s story took place at The Ritz-Carlton, Seoul.

Guest Story

A couple traveled to Seoul, Korea to adopt the newest member of their family. The Guest Relations Agent had assisted the couple during their previous stay at the hotel when the couple had initially tried to adopt the child but had been unsuccessful. The Guest Relations Agent and the other Ladies and Gentlemen wanted to make this trip an unforgettable start for the new family.

After the couple completed the adoption, they brought their new son with them to the hotel. The Guest Relations Agent heard the mother speaking to her son one morning and realized that they were having trouble communicating because the mother knew very little Korean. The Guest Relations Agent helped the mother by translating several common English baby words into Korean. This enabled the mother to quickly and easily communicate with her son when he was hungry or tired.

The family spent Christmas in Korea during their trip, and they were amazed when the Guest Relations team prepared a special Christmas tree for them to celebrate their first holiday as a family. They expressed their thanks, saying that they would leave the hotel with many happy memories of their new family.

On the day of the family’s departure, the Guest Relations Agent took them to the Lounge Meeting Room, where the Ladies and Gentlemen had created a poster of well-wishes for the family. The couple wept when they saw the messages from the Guest Relations team.

The Guest Relations Agent received an email from the child’s parents that not only thanked her for her help, but also said the hotel would forever be considered a second home to their family.

Three Customer Service Takeaways

  • Before the couple arrived at the hotel, the staff was prepared to make sure the trip was memorable. Exceptional service takes planning and teamwork.
  • The Guest Relations Agent had her “radar on and antenna up.” She noticed the language difficulty between the mother and baby and found a way to help.
  • The Guest Relations team provided a fond farewell to the new family. A fond farewell helps bookend the customer experience

Enroll in Executive Education to benchmark the business practices of The Ritz-Carlton and discover how a service excellence culture results in engaged employees and legendary service.