Good Training Leads to Service Excellence

April 8, 2011

The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company LLC When we talk about service at The Ritz-Carlton, we talk about the Gold Standards.  So I’m excited, that our Ritz-Carlton brand recently received the tremendous honor of being one of only 40 companies named to the elite J.D. Power Customer Service Champion list for service excellence.  To determine which companies would make the list, J.D. Power & Associates evaluated more than 800 different brands based on customer feedback, opinion and perception.

The ladies and gentlemen that are a part of our Ritz-Carlton team are truly doing an amazing job when it comes to ensuring their guests have defining moments during their stays.  First and foremost, we put a major emphasis on training for all employees, no matter their department or title.  Every new employee must attend a mandatory New Employee Orientation before they are allowed to serve a guest.  During this training, there is a strong focus on The Ritz-Carlton culture, which is referred to as The Gold Standards.

And, even after orientation, the Gold Standards are reinforced to all employees, 365 days a year, during the Daily Line-Up Meetings.  We also have a 90 day test to check and see how they’re doing on their service scores.  This kind of training and dedication to service is what helps our Ritz-Carlton team build strong relationships and create loyal guests for life.

Our associates that work for other brands within Marriott also receive extensive training to ensure service excellence continues.  Our Renaissance brand immerses their associates in a program called “Ready, Set, Discover!”  This program helps them draw on their past experiences, stories and feelings to connect them emotionally to the brand and teach them the importance of Renaissance service at every touch point throughout the guest experience.

And, as our JW Marriott brand continues to expand globally, we are focusing our efforts on ensuring that associates at each, individual hotel around the world complete rigorous cultural and functional training based on their location so they can deliver perfectly orchestrated experiences and exceed the expectations of our guests.

I congratulate all of the ladies and gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton on their much-deserved accolade, and thank them and all of our associates around the world for the fantastic service they consistently provide to our guests.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Good Training Leads to Service Excellence

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This week, during a recent trip to Atlanta, I met a manager, Kathy, in the lobby coffee shop at the Century Center Marriott. She greeted me and we casually talked about how unexpectedly cool the morning was that day. I mentioned that I did not pack a jacket/sweater. Immediately, Kathy offered to save me a trip to the mall by lending me a beautiful, warm scarf/shawl. I usually would not accept such a generous offer from a stranger, but Kathy made me feel so welcome, like she was an old friend. I accepted and used the scarf all week, thinking of her fondly eash day. Kathy is definitely a keeper! She goes out of her way to accommodates hotel guests and makes their stays enjoyable.

I just returned from a 2 night stay at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and would like to pass my compliments along to two employees of the Tropiks Restaurant. Before doing so, I would like to commend your organization on a tremendous property!! Highly Recommend!! As we were walking to our table, Nosipho, the restaurant hostess, mistakenly stepped on my sandal and broke the strap of my shoe. An apology was immediately issued, her manager, Paula Johns, contacted and within no time a choice of replacement shoes offered from the hotel boutique. Their professionalism is to be commended. Thank you.

Hello Mr. Marriott
This is Deepak Vasishat (student) writing you from Canada.
Sir, I need your help regarding my project. I am working on one of my assignment weighted 30% of my final marks. it is all about the leadership styles of Marriott's CEO. i have searched everywhere so finally i am here at your blog. i hope you will help me in my assignment nobody else can help me only you can. am requesting you to PLEASE help me in order to pass my assignment. Messaging you with lots of hopes and helpful reply. its okay if you like to email me. . hoping to see your kind reply PLEASE Sir.

Thank you.
Deepak Vasishat

I have explore your so many blogs regarding hotel booking. I saw in thing blog some thing different and unique which is content related to travel. Keep writing like this, i am looking forward your next post.

Dear Mr. Marriott,
I have recently visited the newly opened Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong – the highest hotel in the world for a site inspection and I must say - although I wasn’t visiting as a paying customer, I was most definitely welcomed by the staff and I truly was impressed with the spirited service I have received from the staff. Though the hotel has only been operational for a relatively short period of time, the product knowledge they all have regarding the Hotel is surely setting them apart. As a hotelier myself, I felt truly inspired by the dramatic décor delivered through the impeccable service by a team of professionals. It certainly reminded me just how the software of a hotel is so much more important than the hardware in our industry as the honored tradition of hospitality lives in our heart timelessly whilst the décor and finishing of a hotel itself evolves with time. Congratulations for achieving new heights in Asia!

Dear Mr. Marriott
I have just returned from a truly wonderful stay at the Ritz Carlton Penha Longa in Sintra, Portugal. The entire team - I do mean absolutely everyone - delighted us on every occasion. In my own professional life I am intensely driven by the desire to provide our customers an outstanding client experience, however I am forever frustrated at our shortcomings. As such, it was a truly inspirational experience for me to behold this so tangibly during our stay - and in such charming and (seemingly)effortless fashion. Of course, service excellence is not effortless and I am fully appreciative of how many hours of training and coaching have been invested to produce such results.

Further, there was genuine warmth and boundless patience with all of the mischievous little rascals in our party - the kind of empathy I believe that cannot be trained beyond a basic degree. I extend my congratulations to the entire team there and at HQ - we will definitely be returning, whilst also looking to expand the "Gold Standards" experience we have so enjoyed.
Thank you most sincerely for such a wonderful time.

As a former Ritz employee, I wish to congratulate Mr. Marriott and every Ritz employee on the JD Power honor! Your 5 star training has helped me succeed in EVERY position that I have ever assumed.

Last night I needed to find a safe place for my daughter in Toronto at 1 am. Your employee Abra, at the Marriott Courtyard TO, was spectacularly helpful in getting a distraught young woman situated quickly, and with wonderful humanity. Thanks to your staff for a job well done from a Mother who was on the other end of the country and grateful for your assistance.

Mr. Marriott I am fond of your hotels chain and I visited Marriott at different places of the world and found the same excellence of services. Agree with your post that good training lead to excellent services.

Dear Mr. Marriott:

Would you be interested in organizing art exhibitions in your hotels? It will attract customers and promote art at the same time, many thanks!

I concur with everyone's comments about the people who work at the hotels but you have one glaring problem that I encounter at every Marriott property I stay at and that is your Internet service. I recently stayed in San Antonio at the Riverwalk and there was no wireless service at all. Further, the ethernet connection was impossible to connect to without calling Ibahn customer service everyday. Once I was connected the speed was extremely slow (10mps). I am no amateur about the internet and have no trouble at Hilton properties, Sheratons, airports,etc. I do have trouble everytime I stay at a Marriott so I can only surmise that the problem is with Ibahn, your provider. The service is so inferior that I am avoiding Marriott for all my business travel. I would suggest you look into this issue because no matter how good your staff is, if I can't do business from the hotel, it's a waste of my time and money.
Sincerely, Steve Maloy

Dear Mr. Marriot,
I was trying to find a link to compliment your hotel and came across this blog. Although not related to the Ritz Carlson, it just goes to prove that your training and customer like wild fire all over the country.
I have just stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Country Suites Nashville, and can I just say in my 20 yrs of international travel "Ashley" was by far the most welcoming and professional front of house person I have ever encountered! I have never taken the time to compliment a business on there people, but she was amazing and I hope if I have taken this time, someone from Marriot will reach out to her.


Nick Collison

Dear Marriott
I just wanted to share the incredible service I received from your employees, managers and staff at the TownePlace Suites in Huntsville, AL. I left a very expensive watch there at the hotel. I couldn't believe I had lost it and searched frantically in my home for it. I suspected that I had left in Huntsville, but it would have probably been long gone by then. Then I received and email from Joel ******, the Guest Service Manager of the TownPlace Suites (1125 McMurtrie Drive, Huntsville, AL, 35806)
He inquired if I had left something behind. I promptly replied that I haven't seen my watch since I had left Huntsville and I described it to him. He immediately responded and told me he had it. Several days later it arrived in the mail.

You can't imagine how relieved I was and how impressed I am with the honesty and integrity of your managers and staff. My watch is expensive and could have made a nice "gift" for someone. But your team lives by a higher standard and I am truly grateful to them for returning my watch to me. Please give Joel ****** and the staff at TownPlace Suites a corporate hug for me. They are amazing people! Like I always say, If I'm not sleeping in my bed, I'm sleeping in one of yours"!

I didn't know where else to post this; The Marriott web site home page is too busy and distracting. I would take it too marketing and have them redesign a simpler cleaner site.

Mr. Marriott:

Congratulations! “Leadership, Leadership, Leadership.” Mr. Marriott in all your simplicity and humility, the scientific application of your principles through training globally would manifest an universal service that would be “mind boggling” to the human mind. Is that leadership attained through a resonance pulsating with the Beta frequency of earth? Mr. Marriott, you know Strong, Great “Leadership” has always been the call throughout the humanity: Strong great leadership in all area of life! Was Napoleon Hill prophetic in 1937 when he stated that the “New Brand” Leadership will embrace all the 11 factors: i)Unwavering courage, ii) Self-Control, iii) A keen sense of justice, iv) Definiteness of decision v) Definiteness of plans vi) The Habit of doing more than paid for vii) A pleasing personality viii) Sympathy and understanding ix) Mastery of Detail x) Willingness to Assume full responsibility xi) Cooperation

I am sure in your journeying you have experienced some of the great examples:
• Captain D. Michael Abrashoff : “It’s Your Ship.” Where through his innovative leadership style transformed “Benfold” into the best ship in the navy.
• Dr. King pleading and beseeching for great leaders in his speech “ Room in the Inn” at Bennett College.
• The Old/New Testament .
• Oddly, Kipling’s “If” when we resonate in beta frequency. - “If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son”. –Rudyard Kipling. If I may add and a Woman my daughter.!

Thanks for sharing in your golden experience, as we are challenged in the manifestation of strong, great leadership, as you keep Marriott on the Move.

April 10, 2011

Dear Mr. Marriott:

First let me congratulate you on a wonderful line of hotels and accommodations’ that your name sake offers. I have been a loyal Marriott Rewards customer for many years, and though many years my stays were minimal, they have always exceeded my expectations. And on the rare occasion, that something was not right, the Management team always made it right!
The reasons for this letter are to compliment one particular group of people and hotel; the Residence Inn on the Canal in Indianapolis, IN.
I work for the State of Indiana and have several meetings in Indianapolis and around the state. I always stay with a Marriott property; this time though is for a different reason. My husband has cancer and has a need for specialized care that can only be provided at the IU Hospital. My stay was going to require about 12 weeks. My home away from home as I live 3 hours away.
From the very beginning Vicki ***** and her team have made me feel like family. They gave me a special rate, a nice 2 bedroom suite and no matter what time of the day I come and go, I am always greeted by name and asked how my husband is doing. Annette always asks “is there anything we can do for you or that you need” and is very sincere with her question. This means a lot to me!
I have had many visitors, including the donor for my husband’s transplant. They housekeeping team (Nina, Latrice and Sonia) always understood that took special care in making sure clean sheets were on the extra bed and that the room was always ready for guest, just like I would have done at home.
The breakfast that they serve is out of this world and Melva makes sure everyone gets enough, even if it is time to clean up, she makes sure you have something to eat. Then when they have dinner she is back again making sure you have dinner. Just like my grandma would have done.
I want to personally mention each one by name in hopes that you somehow recognize them: Vicki, Annette, Lou, Cherie, Allison, Courtney, Sandra, Jeanne, Nick, Terry, Liz, Teena, Connie, Brittani, Melva, Sonia, Latrice and Nina. I am sure that I missed some but it was not intentional as I know that there are some team members that are behind the scene that I never meet.
Hopefully, by the grace of God, David will get out of the hospital tomorrow and we will be still at the Residence Inn for 4-6 more weeks but I know that the stay will be just like we are home!

Wanda L. Levendoski

Always have had a very good stay at Marriott's. Comfortable, good people, and everything that goes with a respectable stay. My only complaint is that the senior's citizens rate is too high, should bring it down 10 or 15 % from what it is.

This honor really makes sense because the JD power awards companies that have excellent customer service. The entire brand of Ritz Carlton is built around exceeding the customers' expectations in service. The ladies and gentleman of Ritz Carlton are not only creating a comfortable stay at a wonderful hotel, they are allowing the guests to create memories together. The whole idea of the hospitality industry to to make guests feel like they are wanted and special even in new places. It seems that the guests are truly able to relax and thus are pushing the Ritz Carlton to uphold there wonderful reputation in the lodging industry. This award confirms that the ladies and gentleman serving the hotel guests are doing their job right. It is the front line staff that are in contact with the guest most and it is nice to see them finally getting some credit for all that they do.

Mr. Marriott,
My many Marriott service experience will need a book but let me mention the key service attributes and a couple of examples. Some of your associates have a greater awareness of the customer importance, have a super excellent attitude and are flexible to meet the customer s reasonable needs. Hank (now Vice President at Ritz Carlton) was a general manager at Marriott Moscone in San Francisco in the early nineties. Hank provided the best turn down service including spreading the bath mat in front of the tub. I did not like the view from the thirty sixth floor so he made his best effort to see that I was satisfied.
More recently his service excellence is matched by Chris, Vice President in Cancun. Meng (last in Shanghai) when he ran the only Marriott in Guangzhou, China, Mathew at he Suburban New Delhi Courtyard are the managers others can learn from. Christian the best food and beverage manager happened to be in Shanghai who is an ace when it comes to meeting customer needs. The best waiter you have is at the Cancun Casa Magna Marriott. Enrique pays the most attention to the customer, remembers things and the order of service the customer likes and does his very best to meet those needs. The space does not allow me to provide more detail but the point is that these gentleman will do an excellent job no matter which level Marriott or the country you put them in. Syed T. A. Naqvi, Platinum Emeritus

Thank you Mr Marriott, it is a wonderful achievment for The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company and all should be congratulated.
However it is also sad that other staff in the hospitality industry continue to struggle to provide the simple basics associated with Customer Service. After all, it is not rocket science. Surely companies should have learnt their lessons by now. Staff should be employed on attitude and manners first and then trained with the relevant other skills required.

Thank you, regards and Good Afternoon

Hotel Evaluations

I stayed at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City quite a number of years ago and found the service to be fine (had some issues with the stay, but all items were resolved upon request), but I have to tell you the flat out, hands down, best service I have ever received was from your Marriott Courtyard properties. Once in DC, another time in Nashville. In Nashville, the front desk staff was so concerned that I would miss my flight to the airport that they called me a cab (instead of the shuttle I had booked) AND paid for it. In DC there was a mix-up on the reservation (not a Marriott issue) and when there was no room in any Marriott properties nearby, they found me a room at another hotel, booked it for me, called me a cab, AND insured the cab driver knew where he was going. Needless to say in both cases, it was hard to check out and leave!

Dear Mr Marriott

Thank you for your terrific blog posts which I truly appreciate and thoroughly enjoy.

As an international hotelier based in Asia, working with another great hotel company, I find your writings and perspectives on the various issues you cover most engaging. Please keep them coming!

Best regards from Penang, Malaysia

Richard Murphy

Good Training Leads to Service Excellence and may I add ... Service is the Key to Success!

Always enjoy reading Marriott on the move. Congratulations to all the very deserving team at Ritz-Carlton.

I would also like to congratulate them and agree that they deserve the honor, that is why the platinum members continue to be platinum because of the outstanding service from any of the brands within the Marriott family. Keep up the excellent service and hard work.

As a consumer, it makes SO MUCH difference to me to encounter a service individual who really cares about the outcome. Even a difficult situation can leave me a believe in a brand if it is handled the right way!