The Ritz-Carlton: Surprise & Delight Experts

 In Be The Leader, Create Loyalty, Remarkability

It’s no surprise (pun intended) that The Ritz-Carlton is heralded for their impeccable Gold Standards of customer service. Their employees (regardless of title) go above and beyond what is “standard” to make each guest feel welcome and valued.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared a bit of background on what a surprise and delight experience is, and how you can surprise and delight your customers. Today, we’ll share a few examples from the Ritz-Carlton’s impressive book of customer service stories to inspire you to surprise and delight your customers in new ways.

Surprise and Delight Examples

Daily Catch

A customer at the Ritz Carlton in Boston had caught a whopper of a tuna (200 lbs) on a fishing trip during his stay. He told the doorman that the fish was in the cooler in the car, and asked if he could have some more ice for the cooler. Going above and beyond what was asked, the doorman asked the kitchen supervisor to clean the fish and break it down into smaller pieces for the guest. Then, the supervisor cleaned the cooler, and arranged the pieces of tuna in fresh ice so that they would be ready to cook or freeze when the customer returned home. What a way to take a simple request and turn it into a “wow” experience!

Joshie the Giraffe

When a young boy realized he had left his beloved stuffed giraffe behind at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, FL, he was obviously very distraught. His dad told him that Joshie was just taking an extra few days of vacation at the hotel, and would be back soon. The dad called the hotel and was relieved to learn that they had Joshie, so he asked if they would help him substantiate his “vacation” story and take a picture of Joshie relaxing by the pool to send in the package. The team at the Ritz Carlton did more than that – they took pictures of Joshie all over the hotel – getting a massage at the spa, driving a golf cart, and making new friends. They packaged all the photos up in a book, and sent them (with Joshie) home to the boy.

Surprise and Delight Examples

Joshie relaxing by the pool


A Happy Birthday

While checking over their in-house guest list for the weekend, the employees at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow learned that one of their guests, a woman from Japan, had a birthday that day. Since she was in Moscow and away from family and friends, they took it upon themselves to write “Happy Birthday” in Japanese characters on a card, and have the kitchen bake her a birthday cake to be delivered to her room. We love that – such a simple way to make a customer feel valued and special!

Have you ever been the recipient (or provider) of an exceptional surprise and delight customer experience?

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