What value does a focus on the Gold Standards have for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company?
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company aims to succeed in one of the most logistically complex service businesses. Targeting primarily industry executives, meeting and corporate travel planners and affluent travelers, the Atlanta based company manages 25 luxury hotels that pursue the distinction of being the very best in each market. It does so base on the strength of a comprehensive service quality program that is integrated into marketing and business objectives.
Hallmarks of the program include participatory executive leadership, thorough information gathering, coordinated planning and execution and a trained workforce that is empowered “to move heaven and earth” to satisfy customers. Of these, committed employees rank as the most essential element. All are schooled in the company’s “Gold Standards”, which set out Ritz-Carlton’s service credo and basics of premium service.
In 1983, when Horst Schulze took over the office as the President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, he and his team, comprise of 13 senior executives, decided to personally take charge of managing for quality because they realized that managing for quality could not be delegated!
The upper management participation of Horst Schulze and his team ranged across a broad spectrum, but most significant activities consisted of:
“h Defining the traits of all company products which are set out in The Credo.
“h Translating The Credo into basic standards to clarify the quality responsibilities for our Ladies and Gentlemen; the most important of which include:
o Anticipating the wishes and needs of the guests
o Resolving their problems and
o Genuinely caring conduct towards guests and each other.
“h Personally train the Ladies and Gentlemen of a new Ritz-Carlton on The Credo and Basic Standards, commonly referred to as The Gold Standards.
As a whole, the Gold Standards of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, which comprise of Three Steps of Service, its motto, employee promise, credo and its basics, forms part of quality management program that the Company instilled in all employees in providing a highly personalized and caring service to its customers.
In its Three Steps of Service, it serves as a foundation for the action and conduct of employees in servicing its guests upon their arrival, during their stay and upon their departure from the hotel. By executing these three steps of service, it gives the guests a friendly and hospitable environment to stay in and make them comfortable and feel at home. Use of guest name in greetings and when bidding farewells to them gives an added personalized touch to the guest. These steps are used in every interaction to ensure customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty.
Its motto of “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen”, the Ritz Carlton Hotel ensures its guests that the employees of the Ritz Carlton are properly trained and groomed to provide high quality, courteous and polite services. As a professional in providing services, each employee treats each other and its guests with respect and dignity. This creates a harmonious working environment for employees and results in a cooperative team in managing its daily operation to ensure of a highly personalized and caring service.
At the Ritz Carlton Hotel, the management recognizes that their employees are the most important resource. In its promise to the employees (The Employee Promise), the management fulfilled employees’ satisfaction by realizing their potential through proper training and providing conducive working environment and job satisfaction through diversification and innovation. Fulfilling employees’ satisfaction creates joy and pride to the employees in performing their duties and this also gives an assurance in the quality of service the employees provide to the guests.
The Credo of the Gold Standards dictates the company’s commitment in the quality of its products and services it offers. The mission stated in The Credo forms the principal belief of the company when providing its services and facilities to its guests. Every employee works toward the hotel’s highest mission, which is providing genuine care and comfort to its guests. In achieving this mission, the hotel pledge to provide the finest and personalized service, enhance with the great facilities for the guests to enjoy and relax in the refined ambience during their stay in the hotel.
The company’s quality management program has demonstrated the value it places on goals for quality products and services. The program relies upon a management system designed to avoid the variability of service delivery traditionally associated with hotels. Uniform processes are well defined and documented at all levels of the company. Key product and service requirements of the company have been translated into the Gold Standards, which every employee is expected to understand and adhere to these standards. Ultimately, over the years, it has proved that this emphasis is on the mark, paying dividends to customers and to Ritz-Carlton itself, too.