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What the Ritz-Carlton can teach a small business about world-class service

World-class service
world-class gift

World-class gift from the Ritz-Carlton, Aruba

(…) two Ritz-Carlton beach towels, two sets of sunscreen products and most importantly a personal note to my family. 

We are blown away, since we didn’t expect a gift at all, not to mention one that cost more in the gift shop, than I had spent on renting the beach cabana. Every one of the ladies and gentlemen, who work here seems to have as much time as you need.

Be that Milli, the front desk supervisor, who takes the time to explain what makes the Ritz-Carlton best in class to my 15-year-old daughter or Luis, the Segway-riding waiter, who seems to have endless patience with my kids as they try to decide what to order. Be that Elix at the spa, who appears to flow like a gentle stream of water. Nobody rushes you or tells you they are too busy.

You can actually top world-class service

(I know, right? I didn’t think so either)

At the end of the day, my family has experienced one of the most laid-back days we’ve ever had. Little do we know, that Sybren our waiter, is going to blow everyone else out of the water. As we’re eating some of the best pasta, I’ve ever had in my life. If you’re ever in Aruba, try the mushroom ravioli at the Solanio, it’s to die for. I mention the granola bars I had eaten at the Ritz-Carlton Spa to Sybren and ask him if the restaurant’s kitchen makes them. “No,” he says “our pastry chefs do make those in-house, but that kitchen closed a few hours ago, and the chefs have gone home.” 

World-class service equals world-class snacks“I’d love to get my hands on that recipe,” I tell him. (Hey if you would have tried them, you’d want the recipe too.) Well to make a long story short, as Sybren brings us the bill, he hands me a hand written Ritz-Carlton card with a personal note that reads:

Dear Family Depuhl,

Happy that you had an enjoyable dinner in Solanio, and that you enjoyed our property.
Hoping that this wasn’t your last visit and that Aruba will always be an option for your celebrations and vacation.


Sybren Lewis

What follows are the ingredients for the granola bars and how to create them. My kids can’t believe it. We’ve spent dinner talking about what world-class service looks like. I’ve pointed out how the ladies and gentlemen of the Ritz-Carlton have served us all day long. You can tell it comes from their heart and they enjoy making their guests feel comfortable and happy.

How do you apply world-class service to a small business?

I don’t rent hotel rooms. Nor do I run a restaurant. There’s no staff of ladies and gentlemen that are trained to give “the finest professional service.” So how do I create world-class service for my clients?

  1. Service at the Ritz-Carlton in genuine. The ladies and gentlemen want their guests to “always enjoy a warm, relaxed, yet refined ambiance.”I can focus on being genuine in my care for my clients. How can you make sure you are genuine in your attitude toward your customers?
  2. The Ritz-Carlton designs every part of your experience to “enliven the senses, instill well-being, and fulfill the unexpressed wishes of their guests.” I can create an experience that makes my clients feel like all of their needs are being met. If you’ve been in business for a while, you have a pretty good idea what your customers need. What can you improve in the experience your customer has with your business?
  3. The Ritz-Carlton puts an incredibly high value on their staff.I can focus my attention on making sure that the freelancers I collaborate with, align with the quest of my company to bring world-class service to my clients. How to you make sure your staff grows in their personal and professional development?



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