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Despite its high price tag, The Ritz-Carlton outshines its competition year after year, fostering a brand loyalty like no other. From its perfectly manicured grounds, to its professional and helpful staff, to its impeccable customer experience, this luxury hotel has built a customer experience that is recognizable worldwide. So much so that it has captured the attention of many business people and business schools who spend a significant amount of time studying the hotel's business model. So what is the secret of succeeding and earning great customers for life according to this successful company?
The answer is quite simple. Empowerment and enhancing customer experience. First, it's all about your people. If you give your team the right tools, and empower them to do more, research shows they will. Ritz employees are "empowered to create unique, memorable and personal experiences by always being responsive to the expressed and unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests." This gives employees the freedom to contribute to the overall objective of "creating guests for life." Employees take ownership in what they do, and take pride. Additionally, Ritz employees are referred to as "the Ladies and Gentleman of Ritz Carlton." The Ritz-Carlton Employee Promise indicates "our Ladies & Gentlemen are the most important resource in our service commitment to our guests."
Additionally, to enhance customer experience, here are some dos and don'ts for building client relationships from The Ritz-Carlton.*
· DO get beyond a transactional mentality. If you view clients with a hands-off "Next,
please" attitude, you will never build a relationship.
· DON'T rush clients. Clients know when they are being hurried. Relationships take time.
Qualities like trust, sincerity and care need time to develop and grow.
· DO share some of your own life. Look for ways to connect with clients. Maybe you
both root for the same sports team, or you both have children.
· DON'T overshare. Although you're building a relationship with clients, you still want to
practice discretion and ensure that your client is comfortable throughout your
· DO follow up on past conversations. If your client mentioned a new pet or told you
about a hospital visit, be sure you ask for updates. Showing that you remember and
care will strengthen your bond.
· DON'T forget to give a fond farewell at the conclusion of a matter - and be sure your
message includes gratitude and the expectation that you will see the client again.
So what if we all applied these concepts of empowerment and enhancing our client's experience in our legal circles? No matter what role we serve in - legal marketers, consultants, admin executives, attorneys, managing partners - we have a great opportunity to take that extra step and make our firms, companies and clients shine. We have the opportunity to research trends, listen to what our clients are saying, come up with solutions, and follow up. In doing so, we build a path for gaining customers for life and stand apart from our competition. Are you ready?
Speaking of building new relationships, collaborating and empowering one another, we will have many such opportunities at the upcoming 2017 Regional Conference in Charlotte, NC next month. Go to www.lmaseconference.com for more information.
I cannot wait to see you!
*Many thanks to The Ritz-Carlton for allowing me to share the key concepts from their January 24th "Ritz-Carlton Perspective post.
2017 LMASE President