Last week I spoke about the importance of empowering your team members and gave an example of how it should not be done. One of the companies’ I really admire when it comes to empowerment is the Ritz-Carlton. The Ritz-Carlton is the only hotel group to have won the prestigious, world-renowned Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award twice!
They are known for their legendary customer service, and more importantly, employee service. Each employee at a Ritz-Carlton hotel can spend up to $2,000 a day per guest to solve problems, and not just satisfy their guests, but to provide them with remarkable service.
According to TalentPlus.com:
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company’s excellent reputation for customer service and its low employee turnover rate compared with other organizations in the hospitality industry is renowned. Its phenomenal success can be summed up in three phrases: a comprehensive employee screening process, significant employee orientation and ongoing training, and a high level of respect and trust in staff that leads to employee empowerment.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve always obsessed about providing amazing customer experiences, and have always used the Ritz-Carlton as my role model. Even when I ran a small, three-person startup martial arts school, I’ve always made sure I provided the best customer service possible, and this came from having the best trained and empowered team members around.
Not only did I train my team daily in martial arts techniques, but I sent them on outside courses. The courses were as wide ranging as customer service, sales, First Aid, and Reiki. Also, each Team Member could spend up to a month’s membership per student per day to solve a problem without referring back to me.
This gave my school an edge no other school had, and it showed in the numbers, especially the bottom line. This customer-centric, team-empowered philosophy is now part of the Falak DNA and is part of what makes us unique as an advisory firm.
It all starts with recruitment
All the training, systems, manuals and empowerment will be a waste of time if you’ve not hired the right people. You need to spend time and effort into hiring the type of people who are proactive, customer-centric and want to be empowered. They are not easy to find, but when you do find them, boy do they make your life easy!
To summarize, use the Ritz-Carlton as a role model. Hire the right people, train them well, have good systems in place, and then empower them properly, i.e. let them make decisions and give them a budget!