Stuffed Giraffe shows what Customer Service is all about

Customer Service giraffeMost people have experienced outstanding customer service in one form or another — an attentive server at a restaurant or a retail store employee who goes the extra mile. A thriving industry comprised of consultants dedicated to training companies how to adopt exemplary customer service has blossomed over the past couple decades. For example, The Walt Disney Company Institute will help bring some of that “Disney magic” to your business.

Hotel chain Ritz-Carlton has a storied reputation for great customer service. Many companies mimic its training programs, and one often hears executives saying they want to be known as the “Ritz-Carlton” of their respective industry, be it a law firm, car dealership or plumbing supplier.

Recently, a family experienced the Ritz-Carlton signature customer service in a way that will be talked about for many years to come. A husband, wife and two children spent a few days at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island (Florida) while the husband was in California on business — sadly unable to make the trip with them. Upon returning, they discovered that their son’s beloved stuffed giraffe, named Joshie, had gone missing. As most parents know, children can become very attached to special blankets, teddy bears and the like. Their son was extremely fond of his Joshie, and was absolutely distraught when faced with the idea of going to sleep without his favorite pal. While trying to put him to bed the first night home, they decided to tell a little white lie.

“Joshie is fine,” they said. “He’s just taking an extra-long vacation at the resort.” He seemed to buy it, and was finally able to fall asleep, Joshie-less for the first time in a long while.

That very night, the Ritz-Carlton called to tell the family that they had Joshie. Thankfully, he had been found, no worse for wear, in the laundry and was handed over to the hotel’s Loss Prevention Team. The husband came clean to the staff about the story he had told his son and asked if they would mind taking a picture of Joshie on a lounge chair by the pool to substantiate the fabricated story. The Loss Prevention Team said they’d do it, and he hung up the phone very relieved.

A couple days went by, and they received a package from the hotel. It was Joshie, along with some Ritz-Carlton-branded “goodies” (a frisbee, football, etc.). Also included in the package was a binder that meticulously documented his extended stay at the Ritz.

Needless to say, they were completely wowed by the Ritz-Carlton Loss Prevention Team. the son, on the other hand, didn’t care so much about the binder and was just happy to have his Joshie back. perhaps he’ll have a greater appreciation for it as he grows up.

It goes without saying that the Ritz-Carlton can count on this family to be repeat customers. A great tip to take away from this — create an experience so amazing that someone can’t help but tell others about it, and you’re sure to succeed. also Aaron (of the Ritz-Carlton Loss Prevention Team) and his cohorts had a pretty good time documenting Joshie’s vacation, and employee morale is a huge part of creating a great customer experience.
All this from a stuffed giraffe who got lost on vacation.

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