During Labor Day week , my husband and I enjoyed the Ritz Carlton’s strong service model. All guests, no matter how greasy and sandy from the beach, are treated as ladies and gentlemen. Associates, who are encouraged to think of themselves the same way, keep notes on guest preferences and transfer them to the next shift. The valet who asked if there was a special occasion for the trip relayed that information and I was wished a “happy birthday” by each associate we encountered. Likewise, my comment that it would be nice to have tuna salad for lunch one day resulted in some very tasty sandwiches the next. Wouldn’t it be great if all service experiences were so tailored?
Another interesting element of the Ritz’ model is that associates are encouraged to be personal with guests. Each person who helped us, from the young people who set up our beach umbrellas to the seasoned restaurant servers, was willing to share personal details. Those who want to make a career at the Ritz have the option to transfer between locations, so we learned that our concierge was just getting used to the temperature differences between Bachelor Gulch (Vail) and Amelia Island (JAX). As we stood waiting for my in-laws to arrive for a visit, I learned that the parking attendant would be getting his own set in one month. This friendliness takes service to the next level, making it personal on both sides. Consequently, the ladies and gentlemen who frequent the Ritz Carlton properties feel a good deal of loyalty, and the ladies and gentlemen who make careers there obviously feel the same way. Wouldn’t it be great if all service experiences were so personal?