Article

THE CONSUMER CONNECTION

4 HELPING HANDS

THE CONSUMER CONNECTION

4 HELPING HANDS

The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center expert Joseph Quitoni points to key ways of bonding with your customers

BY ERINN MORGAN

Why do customers walk out your door without making a purchase? An American Society for Quality (ASQ) 2013 study reveals the main reason is poor service, according to Joseph Quitoni, corporate director, culture transformation, at The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, which offers advisory services, courses, and presentations to organizations that wish to benchmark the award-winning business practices of The Ritz-Carlton.

The ASQ study shows that 9% leave because of competition,10% leave because of a personal reason, and 14% leave because of the product you supplied. But by far the biggest number—67%—leave because of the attitude of one individual in the organization.

“These statistics tell the story of everything we’re talking about,” says Quitoni, who will give a course on “Memorable Customer Service” at Vision Expo East 2015 (see details on page 66). “Being genuine and engaged with your customers can make all the difference.”

Quitoni pinpoints several important ways in which businesses are connecting successfully to consumers today.

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Make an emotional connection with the customer.

STRATEGY #1

MAKE THE CONNECTION: “Employees in an organization have the ability to make that immediate emotional connection with the consumer,” says Quitoni. “Those connections are the differentiation from good to great. When an employee takes the opportunity to build the relationship with the customer, this allows the customer to be more engaged with your brand. When the customer walks away, we want them to be satisfied and engaged.”

Make it a personal experience rather than a transaction.

STRATEGY #2

MAKE THE CONNECTION: “These are the organizations that elevate themselves from good to great,” says Quitoni. “It’s all about making it personalized, making it unique, and doing something that another eyecare provider isn’t doing. At The Ritz-Carlton, before you even ask us for the room, we ask you why you’re coming. Asking those personalized questions allows for that valuable human connection to be made.”

Understand the difference between a customer’s expressed and unexpressed wish.

STRATEGY #3

MAKE THE CONNECTION: “How do you pick up on the clues on what the customer is telling you so you can fulfill those unexpressed wishes?” asks Quitoni. “For us, an organization that has employees who can stay in the moment and keep their antennae up are those who can pick up upon and fulfill those unexpressed wishes. Doing this allows for the experience not to be remembered as a transaction but as an experience, and that is very important.”

Create your own service strategy.

STRATEGY #4

MAKE THE CONNECTION: “When an organization provides anticipatory service, suddenly the customer’s experience becomes one that is to be remembered,” says Quitoni. “One of ways The Ritz-Carlton has done this is through a written service strategy to cultivate loyalty. Any business could create its own service strategy—it will define what you want the beginning, the middle, and the end of the service experience to look like.”

Quitoni suggests that businesses that don’t lay their service strategy out could create inconsistencies in their customer service, and, thus, create a disengaged customer.

[Learn The Ritz-Carlton’s three steps of service that define what this organization targets as an engaging experience at Joseph Quitoni’s Vision Expo East course. Information below.]

ABOUT JOSEPH QUITONI: Joseph Quitoni is an international speaker, advises organizations on culture transformation, and is experienced in driving and improving employee engagement. He has over a decade of service with The Ritz-Carlton and has earned his graduate degree in industrial/organizational psychology. During his career, Quitoni served as director of human resources at two Ritz-Carlton hotels where he played an integral role in driving employee engagement and was able to see dramatic increases in overall engagement year after year. He received the Human Resources Award of Excellence from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company two times for his outstanding work performance.

VEE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY: The Ritz-Carlton takes service excellence to the highest levels every day. You must have what it describes as “radar on—antenna up” and stay in the moment to extend personal service. The Spotlight Series program by Joseph Quitoni at Vision Expo East shows you The Ritz-Carlton method for fulfilling the expressed and the unexpressed needs of your customers. You will learn the skills needed for authentic customer engagement and the importance of personalized experiences that will delight your customers and impact your bottom line.

DATE: Saturday, March 21, 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

TRACK: Business Solutions. To register: visionexpoeast.com/education/highlights