Customer service like a night at Ritz-Carlton... Ever experienced that? If you've been to the Apple Store, you probably have. Apple's customer centric approach is heavily based on the Ritz-Carlton credo, according to GigaOM's Christopher Ryan, and it has subtly helped pave the way for the success Apple has seen over the past ten years.
At ZURB, we also learned a thing or two from the credo, and you can too. Below are some quotes from the credo and examples of how Apple and ZURB apply it in day-to-day customer interactions.
Care and Comfort
Credo Concept #1: "The genuine care and comfort of our guests is our highest mission."'
When I took my out-of-warranty laptop to the Apple Store last month, I was greeted at the front door by an Apple employee with a smile. Presumably because I had my computer with me, I was immediately asked if I had an appointment (which I did). After verifying this, he guided me to the Genius Bar and thanked me for coming, again with a smile.
At ZURB, the customers who have emailed since the end of the previous day are our first priority. We read each email to ensure that all points are addressed with the first response they receive from us. A fast response and attention paid to cues a customer provides help get them in the mindset that they are important to us.
Credo Concept #2: "We pledge to provide the finest personal service for our guests"
At the Genius Bar, and I was quickly greeted again by name by the Mac Genius who would be helping me. He had already pulled up the information I provide when scheduling the appointment, so I didn't even need to explain to him that my charger was damaged. He already knew why I was there, and quickly steered our conversation in that direction.
Every email out of our inbox starts with a "hi"' and the customer's name. We follow that with a short "thank you"' for using our products and end the email by thanking the customer one last time. Customers notice these and remember these subtle touches that help make our messages stand out from the crowd.
The Expectation Effect
Credo Concept #3: "The Ritz-Carlton experience fulfills even the unexpressed needs of our guests"'
I was fully prepared to leave the Apple Store $80 poorer that day. Five minutes after my appointment started, I left with a new charger in hand and some advice on how to prevent the same problem from occurring again. Here's the kicker, though... Apple replaced the charger for free.
Author Josh Kaufman calls this experience the "Expectation Effect," and sums it up with the following equation: QUALITY = PERFORMANCE - EXPECTATIONS. We look for opportunities like this at ZURB whenever possible. Replying to emails after hours or getting on the phone with confused a confused user are both ways that we try to go the extra mile, creating a lasting impression in the minds of our customers.
Create A Five-Star Experience
We hope that you can apply the concepts from the Ritz-Carlton credo to help create great customer experiences of your own. Already creating great experiences today? Got some additional advice to share? We'd love to hear from you in the comments.