Communication Skills

What would The Ritz-Carlton do?

Having a Ritz-Carlton experience usually means that someone has gone above and beyond.  And though I’ve had that (like the time at The Ritz-Carlton, Las Vegas when the woman in the gift shop offered to lend me her own earrings because I had forgotten mine, and they sold only fancy ones that you might wear to a special dinner or a gala, but not to work; she literally started to take out her small pearls so I’d have earrings for my presentation!), this moment was different.

When the room service gentlemen left my tray, after delivering my dinner exactly as I had requested (hallelujah! hallelujah!), a special dish by the way that was not on the room service menu, he said, “and when you’re finished, if you don’t mind calling us, we’d like to come back to pick up the tray.” And then he added, “because we don’t want to bother you and we know the tray can get in your way.”

In case you don’t spend as many nights in hotels as I do, please know that this is not what hotel room service typically says. The usual goes like this: Please call us or leave your tray outside the door when you’re done.

It’s a huge difference. The typical response sounds procedural: We need to pick up your tray. The Ritz-Carlton manner sounds respectful and customer-centric: To help you be more comfortable, we’d like to pick up your tray. It’s not a procedure; it’s a pleasure.

From now on, when I’m interacting with my customers, I’m going to ask myself, What would The Ritz-Carlton do?