“Excellence in service cannot be an event; it has to become a company-wide habit.” – Isadore Sharp, founder and chairman of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Customer service is the window to the heart of a business, often the first impression for consumers. As corporate meeting planners, customer service must be exceptional, not merely a mediocre extension of the service we give. When executed, exceptional customer service will greatly affect a client within minutes of first interactions. Most businesses have good customer service, but few have exceptional customer service.
But, what exactly is exceptional customer service? Every business has a mission to set and preserve customer service on some level. For some businesses, getting the job done qualifies as good customer service. For another, fulfilling employee requirements as well as customer satisfaction is good enough. To define this ‘next level’ customer service standard, we look to the greats – the Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel brands.
The Four Seasons Do’s and Don’ts for Exceptional Customer Service
The Four Seasons Golden Rule:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
- Go above and beyond
- Uphold professional appearance, language and behavior
- Own the problem
- Be responsive to expressed and unexpressed wishes
- Use observation and intuition to read the client
- Smile (even over the phone!)
- Settle for “good enough”
- Treat all clients the same
- Accept Sloppiness
- “I didn’t do it…”
- “Sorry…that’s not my job”
- Wait for clients to approach you
- Assume you know what they need
As a meeting planner, it is our duty to create unique, memorable and personal experiences for our clients. Each client will have a different need as well as a unique request that must be catered to and fulfilled.
The Ritz-Carlton Standard for Exceptional Customer Service
The Ritz-Carlton credo suggests that excellent service requires:
One of the key steps to successful customer service is empowering employees who will “spot, solve and even anticipate problems”. Anticipatory service directly elevates a client’s experience. In order to foresee a client’s needs, one must first have a genuine interest in their well-being, as well as listen and observe. In creating a memorable experience, the provider must connect with the client’s individuality and deliver customized service geared towards the client’s preferences.
Lessons from Ritz-Carlton include:
- Maximize the importance of being observant.
- The highest level of customer care is attained when service transcends attention to detail and embraces genuine empathy.
- Personalizing service means paying attention to subtlety and nuance in client behaviors.
The Brightspot Standard for Exceptional Customer Service
We like the Platinum Rule:
“Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”
At Brightspot, we value each customer as an individual with unique preferences. We use our comprehensive knowledge and expertise to make programs run easily and more effectively. Our foundation is built on creativity; meticulous attention to detail; flexible approach; and personal commitment.
Our tips for communication etiquette…
- Meetings are best for brainstorming and initial contact
- Calling is best when needs to communicate a detailed point
- Emails are best for follow-up and quick details
- Texting is appropriate during on-site program execution
As we like to say, the difference between something ordinary and something extraordinary is that little something “extra”. We believe exceptional customer service should be the standard, not a rare occurrence.
For more on how we shine a light on customer service for our clients, head over to the About Us page!