Do you know what role your brand voice plays when it comes to getting customers (and prospective customers) to trust you?
In today’s marketplace, so much is riding on how you make your audience feel. When someone calls your company and gets the auto attendant, do they sense that they are being taken care of, or do they want to hit zero for the operator?
When your emails arrive in a customer’s inbox, do they respond like they’re hearing from a friend, or is it a stilted, meaningless encounter that ultimately ends up in a spam filter?
Ritz-Carlton: Leading By Example
One of the world’s finest brands, Ritz-Carlton, states on their website, “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” Ritz-Carlton makes it their mission to put the customer first, giving those in their care a dignified level of treatment and attention rarely found anywhere else.
Throughout the customer experience, those interacting with the brand receive the echoes of the brand voice, embodied into each interaction.The staff is confident in who they are, what they are capable of doing. Minute-by-minute, employee-by-employee, customers feel the Ritz-Carlton anticipating their needs and taking the Golden Rule to heart. In fact, one could say they’ve included it in their gold standards.
When a brand is clear about its vision, it is able to integrate it into each touchpoint; when a brand lives out its values, it becomes incredibly trustworthy in the eyes of those it is trying to win over.
Hearing how the Ritz-Carlton treats their customers is inspiring to say the least. While their in-person services are tops, they’re also paying attention to a prospect’s experience online, via telephone and email.
Three Steps of Service
Ritz-Carlton steadfastly observes their ‘Three Steps of Service,’ being:
- A warm and sincere greeting.
- Use the guest’s name. Anticipation and fulfillment of each guest’s needs.
- Fond farewell. Give a warm good-bye and use the guest’s name.
For our purposes, we can see this as taking extra care with first impressions, personalization (or customization) and finishing each engagement well with warmth, respect and familiarity.
What’s at the Heart of it All?
The way a company serves comes from its culture. Whatever rests in the heart of an organization invariably courses through all touch points on the customer’s journey. The brand voice truly comes ‘alive.’
The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast has an excellent episode (one of many!) featuring Horst Schulze, Chairman and CEO of Capella Hotel Group. Schulze also bears the distinction of being the former President and Chief Operating Officer of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. The conversation focuses on what it takes to create a world-class service that inspires loyalty and excellence. If you’d like to hear the two-part interview, find it in iTunes; release dates are January and February 2017.
During his time at Ritz-Carlton, Schulze focused on the personal and data driven sides of customer service. In fact, it was Schulze who coined the hotel’s motto, “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” Under his thoughtful leadership, Ritz-Carlton grew from 4 hotels to 40 hotels in the United States.
Despite having left the organization in 2011, Schulze’s leadership style continues to this day at Ritz-Carlton. It comes from the heart.
What About You?
This begs the question, what motivates your brand to get up in the morning and go to work? What problems are you trying to solve, who are you trying to help and how does that come across?
Looking forward to your reply,