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3 Ideas for Great Customer Service from Ritz-Carlton

This weekend was both my 2nd wedding anniversary and my kid's 1st birthday.  So kind of a big deal, eh?

 

My wife and I decided to honor the anniversaries by redeeming our Marriot points for a 1-night stay at a fancy Ritz Carlton on the beach.  It was an awesome weekend and Ritz Carlton lived up to its well-known gold standard of customer service (which inspired the Apple store)

 

Here's 3 ideas from my stay on how to improve customer service at your agency:

 

1) Focus on Basics - The Ritz handled the most basic tasks - booking a room and checking out with ease.  I wanted to use points to redeem for a stay and it was super easy on the site.  And check out was the same - two clicks on my TV remote.  Nothing complicated - just worked and was super quick and efficiency.  For government, this is key.  Can we make the services we provide done as simple, clear, and efficient as possible?


2) The Timely Token - On the second day of the stay, we were getting ready to go to the beach when an employee stopped us and asked us if we got our beach kit.  We hadn't yet and the employee went and got a cool beach bucket with shovel.  What a great idea - it had the element of surprise, perfect on timeliness, plus economical for the company (looks like they cost about $2 each).  Think about your agency - what small token would go a long way in delighting your customer.

3) The Personal Message - You know after you stay at a hotel when you get that stock survey email and thanks for your stay.  I always do a quick delete.  This time I got a real email from a real manager with real language thanking us for our story.  Who knows if it was automated but it looked and sounded real.  And left us feeling valued.  What if government spoke as a human with a real name and thanked you for a recent activity.

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(Attribution - Photo Creative Commons -  Flickr werkman) 

Views: 461

Tags: communications, customer service, tech

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Comment by Scott Kearby on September 26, 2013 at 5:34pm

Great post ... everyone likes special treatment & Ritz-Carlton figured out how to do that, and then built that into their interactions with you (and the others who stay with them).  It's little things that make a big difference, and it seems as if that is ingrained across the board ... from the official automated corporate booking & check-out systems, to the line employee who approached you about the beach basket, to the local leadership (manager) who followed up.  Most of this can be easily done, but it takes a little thought and the will/discipline to make it happen.

Comment by Elizabeth Fischer Laurie on September 26, 2013 at 10:26am

Yes - congrats! And it is amazing what a difference a little kindness from a business makes. I certainly go back over and over to stores/hotels/airlines/etc. that show me why my business is valued.

Comment by David B. Grinberg on September 25, 2013 at 11:29pm

Many congrats on your anniversary and child's first birthday, Steve.  It's all downhill from here!

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