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A simple service formula Welcome + Comply + Farewell = Service

November 22, 2021

Brooks Ellis

Horst Schulze, one of the founding members of the Ritz Carlton hotel company, where he also served as President and COO, coined this simple service formula: Welcome + Comply + Farewell = Service.


We have mission critical objectives in our business and personal lives because we are too busy focusing on items of lesser significance.


It seems we often overcomplicate the most critical aspects of our potential success and leave long lists of missed opportunities in our wakes. We don’t truly understand our mission and the priorities needed to achieve it. This is true in many areas of business, as well as in our personal lives. I don’t expect this is going to come as a shocking statement, but that’s a problem, isn’t it? 


Stated differently, it’s likely we have mission critical objectives in our business and personal lives because we are too busy focusing on items of lesser significance.


It would seem that if we accepted this as fact, that we would shift focus and remedy the situation in short order. That’s not what I’ve observed, though, and I’m willing to bet others have seen the same misalignment in action - daily.


Horst tells the story of his experience at an elegant bank that paints a vivid and relatable picture of this situation. He enters a beautifully adorned bank that is set up with an army of tellers behind pillars of marble and desks of rich mahogany. These tellers are efficiently serving the long line of customers. 


Horst approached the front of the line and was startled when he heard, “NEXT!” shouted from one of the tellers across the room. Upon approaching the teller, even though neither of them knew each other, he was instantly able to tell that she hated him by her body language alone. He asked for change and handed her a $50 bill. She sighed loudly, abruptly counted back his change, and yelled, “NEXT!”.


Focus first on the experience and define the objective clearly, before defining the processes to achieve it.


His transaction was carried out accurately; the change was exactly as he had requested. The efficiency of the transaction time exceeded his expectations, as there were plenty of tellers assisting customers in the long line ahead of him. And yet, this clearly was not a positive experience. Worse still, he points out that what he will remember is not the elegant surroundings, or the accurate change, but the unfriendly service he received.


Caring was the critical missing ingredient.


1- Rather than developing that next process documentation to shove down the throats of your drowning service ambassadors, I suggest a different approach.


2- Focus first on the experience and define the objective clearly, before defining the processes to achieve it.


3- Then observe, coach, and acknowledge team members for achieving the objective.


4- Identify solutions for observed defects and form the business processes around the solutions to observed defects.


Ultimately, if you can’t get the service right, the product and processes you implement to solve for problems won’t really matter. Worst of all, you’ll be patting yourself on the back for all the process compliance metrics you’re hitting, while your customers are seeking out your competitor in the hopes of finding the service equation they crave.


Welcome + Comply + Farewell = Service. Our team is focused on service excellence and we enhance the customer experience for our clients across a wide spectrum of industries, in a multitude of different positions, all by just staying focused on the mission: Impressions Perfected. 


Reach out today to find out more about the APC WAY and the discernable competitive advantage our solutions bring to your operation.


Learn more at apchospitality.com


Brooks Ellis is Regional Director & Equity Partner at APC Hospitality Florida. Email him at brooks@apchospitality.com



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