Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles For Creating A Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy Of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company By Joseph Michelli

The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company

The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
By Joseph Michelli

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Product Description

Discover the secrets of world-class leadership!

When it comes to refined service and exquisite hospitality, one name stands high above the rest: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. With ceaseless attention to every luxurious detail, the company has set the bar for creating memorable customer experiences in world-class settings. Now, for the first time, the leadership secrets behind the company's extraordinary success are revealed.

The New Gold Standard takes you on an exclusive tour behind the scenes of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Granted unprecedented access to the company's executives, staff, and its award-winning Leadership Center training facilities, bestselling author Joseph Michelli explored every level of leadership within the organization. He emerged with the key principles leaders at any company can use to provide a customer experience unlike any other, such as:

  • Understanding the ever-evolving needs of customers
  • Empowering employees by treating them with the utmost respect
  • Anticipating customers' unexpressed needs and concerns
  • Developing and conducting an unsurpassed training regimen

Sharing engaging stories from the company's employees--from the corporate office and hotels around the globe--Michelli describes the innovative methods the company uses to create peerless guest experiences and explains how it constantly hones and improves them.

The New Gold Standard weaves practical how-to advice, proven leadership tools, and the wisdom of experts to help you create and embed superior customer-service principles, processes, and practices in your own organization.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #19804 in Books
  • Published on: 2008-06-13
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 1.06" h x 5.63" w x 8.75" l, 1.08 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 224 pages
Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Set the "Gold Standard" for your industry.

  • Define and Refine
  • Empower Through Trust
  • It's Not About You
  • Deliver 'Wow!'
  • Leave a Lasting Footprint

"Required reading for anyone who wants to learn how to create passionate employees and customers!" --Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager and The One Minute Entrepreneur

"The Ritz Carlton is the best hotel chain in the world because of the unique experience it offers. This book shows you how to install the same customer-focused attitude toward service that makes a world leader." --Brian Tracy, author of The Way to Wealth

About the Author
Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D., is an internationally sought-after speaker and business consultant whose clients include Bridgestone Firestone, Nokia, The Hartford Insurance Group, and UCLA Health System. The author of the bestselling The Starbucks Experience, he has appeared on The Glenn Beck Show and CNBC's On the Money.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful.
5A great, if somewhat older book; recommended along with a newer "ritz management" book
By Ruth Librand
"New Gold Standard" is a super, if slightly older, book on a really important subject: The Ritz-Carlton is one of the organizations whose methodology has truly transformed our understanding of what customer service quality and consistency can be.

I recommend "The New Gold Standard, especially if you're in the hotel business; Michelli, who also wrote The Starbucks Experience, is a consultant who did a great job writing it. I don't agree with the catty comments on this page that its writing style is sleep-inducing, etc. -- I guess they're complaining because it's written in an academic style and is maybe overly deferential to the owners of the Ritz (hey, it is an "official" history). Nonetheless, in my opinion it is still full of many well organized details and a helpful book for anyone in hospitality. Some of the strong points in particular are the historical overview and the interviews Michelli includes.

(One note to be aware of: There's now also a newer book on practical applications of Ritz-Carlton customer service and management techniques that's just come out this May; I really enjoyed it a lot. I got a lot out of this newer book ("Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit"); it's by the founder of the Ritz Carlton Leadership Center along with Horst Schulze, the Founding President of The Ritz. They collaborate with an entrepreneur/systems expert from *outside* of the hospitality industry; this allows them to cover management issues in a lot of depth and in fields that are often far removed from just hotel-industry topics. Here's the link: Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
5Truly a great book for understanding the ultimate delivery of service
By Richard Day
This book is a must read for anyone involved in the delivery of service, in particular, hospitality entities. This premise is not rocket science, yet, so few organizations do this well. This book chronicles how Ritz Carlton built its brand, not so much on facilities per se, but, the exceptional and consistent delivery of service. It starts by explaining that you first have to invest in your people. Everything begins there. A must read for the hospitality industry.

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful.
4I Will Read This Book Again
By Conor Cunneen
I have to say that parts of this book were so cloying and some of the anecdotes so over the top that I felt like throwing it away, except ... except for the fact that the Ritz-Carlton is one magnificent Brand founded on a great product.

As I continued to read, I began to appreciate why the Ritz-Carlton is so successful. The stories of over the top customer service and attention are so common, the attention to detail is so ... well ... detailed: these are the reasons why the hotel chain has become in the author's words - The New Gold Standard.

In this well researched book, Michelli identifies five key principles that ensure success for this great hotel chain and which of course everyone can learn from. There is nothing new about the five principles, but very few companies implement them properly

The principles are:
1) Define and refine
a. Communicating Core Identity and Culture
b. Be Relevant
2) Empower through Trust
a. Select - Don't hire
b. It's a matter of Trust
3) It's not about You
a. Build a business focused on Others
b. Support Frontline Empathy
4) Deliver Wow!
a. Wow: The Ultimate Guest Experience
b. Turning Wow into Action
5) Leave a Lasting Footprint
a. Aspire, Achieve, Teach
b. Sustainability and Stewardship

In writing book reviews, I don't normally re-run the basic contents page but in this case it is appropriate, because any one of the principles outlined above will help you grow your business. The challenge of course is how to do it. If there is one key lesson I take from the book it is - Reinforcement: Reinforcement of values, Reinforcement of culture and practices.

The hotel chain is constantly reinforcing its culture and ideals with its employees - "Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen." Sure this might seem twee, corny, outdated but the chain appreciates that to maintain its success it must also "Be Relevant." Thus it has successfully targeted key demographics such as "Discerning Affluents," many of whom might not dress or act in the same manner as the "Classic Status Seekers" which was the core market for the Ritz-Carlton.

Michelli apparently had great access to company strategy. He highlights research conducted which found that four factors account for 85% of overall guest satisfaction. These are
1) Sense of well being
2) Anticipation of guest needs
3) Room condition and
4) Room assignment.

These four predictors - `drivers of engagement' - are reinforced through approximately 250 hours of training annually for each hourly employee including 15 minutes for daily briefing.

Bottom line: Some of the customer service anecdotes must have developed legs in the telling, but the fact is these anecdotes are part of the culture which is continuously reinforcing itself while also developing. This book will not change your culture overnight, but implementation of some key aspects will change your chances of business success over a period of time.

I've keyed into my database to read it again in 4 months time. That's the best testimonial I can give.


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