The Ritual of Customer Experience

It is the season for rituals. The Christian faith celebrates Easter with Maundy Thursday services, purple draped crosses, sunrise services, and poignant stories of resurrection. Judaism celebrates Passover to commemorate the liberation of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery complete with a Seder dinner that includes a plate filled with symbolic foods along with special readings and ancient stories.

Rituals serve valuable purposes. They provide a storied depth to communicate meaning and purpose. They include special steps and practices designed to renew and refresh a commitment.

They instruct in a set of beliefs that bond and help solidify a strong partnership of believers.

I was working at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun a number of years ago. I was given permission to sit in on Line-up; it happened to be the one for the banquet staff. Line-up is a 10-15-minute stand-up meeting held at shift change in every department of every Ritz-Carlton throughout the world.

It is a ritual to reaffirm the customer experience promise of “Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” It comes with stories of service greatness, emphasis on a particular gold standard, and a chance to connect one shift to the next. It reminds, renews, and refreshes. It bonds, instructs, and inspires.

What are the rituals of customer experience you can use to keep the focus on delivering excellence to your customers. How can you make being customer-centric a compelling cause, not just a necessary chore?

Happy season of rituals!

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Dr. Chip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and innovative service. Global Gurus ranked him in 2018 the #2 keynote speaker in the world on customer service; #1 in North America. He also is the author of numerous national and international best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Magnetic Service, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and Customers as Partners. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

His newest customer service book is the award-winning, best-selling book Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

Dr. Bell has appeared live on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox Business, ABC, CBS, NPR Marketplace and his work has been featured in Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.


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