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Creating value through service and image will help the company Classic Airlines with building customer confidence and loyalty while improving profitability. Classic will be able to maintain a strategic position in the airline industry allowing growth opportunities and financially security by revamping its marketing strategy to meet the needs of its current and future customers. In order to achieve this Classic Airlines will need to study and retain their customers focus, the “voice of the customer,” and their stated and unstated needs. The company can do this by reviewing their customer feedback report complied through surveys and focus groups to learn their customers focus (Crow, 2002). The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is a company that Classic Airlines can benchmark to learn service and image of a profitable well-known company.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. originated with The Ritz-Carlton of Boston, which was established in 1983. The Company has grown to 71 hotels in 23 countries worldwide with plans to expand throughout the world (The Ritz Carlton, 2008). The Ritz-Carlton known worldwide as the gold standard in luxury hospitality, with gold standards of customer service, dining, and facilities serving as a benchmark for luxury hotels and resorts worldwide (The Ritz-Carlton, 2008). The Ritz has a slogan “You Can't be a legend without a great story” the story being the “100 year history of countless rewards, unshakeable credo and a corporate philosophy of un-wearing commitment to service” (The Ritz Carlton, 2008). The Ritz-Carlton was acquired by Marriott International in 1998 (The Ritz Carlton, 2008).
The “image” history of the Ritz-Carlton began when Cesar Ritz designed the famous logo of the Ritz-Carlton, the lion and crown. The logo is a combination of the crown, the British Royal seal, and the lion, the logo of a financial backer. Another standard of the Ritz-Carlton is that of the signature cobalt blue glasses, which was a status symbol in 1920s Boston elite (The Ritz Carlton, 2008). The legacy of The Ritz-Carlton was the hotelier Cesar Ritz (The Ritz Carlton, 2008). Cesar was known as the “king of hoteliers and hotelier to kings.” Cesar had a philosophy of service and innovations, which redefined the luxury hotel experience throughout all the Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide (The Ritz Carlton, 2008).
Key Findings-Customer Service and Satisfaction
The Ritz-Carlton brand signifies magnificent customer service and satisfaction, which is the key to the credo of the Ritz-Carlton (ManagementParadise, 2008). The Credo is that the hotel's mission of making sure the guests are genuinely cared for, pledging the finest personal service that leaves the guests with the ultimate experience that enlivens the senses, and fulfills wishes and needs of the guests (The Ritz Carlton, 2008). The Ritz-Carlton has collaborated with human resources consulting firm named Talent Plus, and has been able to devise an interview process that identifies positive team players, whom become top performing employees (McDonald, 2004). The Company spends around $5,000 to train each employee to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to apply the appropriate customer service. Management approval is not need up to $2,000 for each employee to help resolve a guest's problem, resulting in employees having a higher satisfaction with the job (McDonald, 2004).
The Ritz-Carlton has a famous motto of “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen” the motto exemplifies exemplary service (The Ritz Carlton, 2008, para 1).
Customer satisfaction is so important that the hotel requires all hotel employees to participate daily in a “15-minute lineup to review the basics of service” (The Ritz Carlton, 2008, para 1). The lineup serves as an important tool to discuss and reinforces the organization's core values on the daily basics. The Ritz-Carlton delights customers through magnificent customer service delivered by well- trained and empowered employees (ManagementParadise, 2008). Through service and image, the Ritz-Carlton has become one of the most famous hotels worldwide.
Keys Findings- Customer Relationship Management -
Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to managing relationships, enabling organizations to manage their customers through reliable processes and procedures (Chen & Popvich, 2003). Successfully implementing a CRM program will reward a company with customer loyalty and profitability. The implementation process will require Classic Airlines to do an overhaul of their program to focus on a company-wide, cross-functional process (Chen & Popvich, 2003). There are various items used to create a successful CRM program such as loyalty programs. The CRM is used in maintaining relationships with customers by remembering customer's names and preferences such as favorite dishes and beverages of the guest. These small details are relevant and always will make the difference in customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and image (Suhartanto and Kandampully, 2000, p.347).
The Ritz-Carlton uses the CRM database program, designed in-house called the Customer Loyalty Anticipation Satisfaction System (The Ritz Carlton, 2008). The Ritz-Carlton uses the program to record guest preferences and tailors them to the services that customers want. The program allows employees to locate information on a guest and have these items recorded for future use of repeat customers (Peppers and Rogers, 1999). The database stores information on what guest prefer, such as favorite beverages or restaurants. The porters and door attendants wear headsets so that they can relay a customer's name off luggage tags to the front desk to alert that the customer has arrived. This way a personal service is applied when the customer walks up to the front desk they are personally greeted by their name and asked if they would like a reservation for their favorite restaurant for dinner that evening (The Ritz Carlton, 2008).
Customer Relationship Management Success -
CRM applications are used to help companies to assess their customer loyalty and profitability (Peppers and Rogers, 1999). “The goals of a CRM program is to increase revenue, promote customer loyalty, and reduce the cost of sales and service” (Peppers and Rogers, 1999, para 4) the Ritz-Carlton has accomplished all of this successfully through tracking the needs and wants of the customer The Ritz-Carlton shows success from repeat customers.
Customer Service and Satisfaction Success-
According to McDonald (2004), the Ritz-Carlton won the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award twice, being the only service company to accomplish that feat. In 2007, J.D. Power and Associates conducted a survey and the Ritz-Carlton placed first in guest satisfaction (McDonald, 2004). An employee once heard a guest saying he had forgotten to pack dress shoes for an important meeting, so the hotel employee went and bought the man a new pair of dress shoes for him to wear (The Ritz Carlton, 2008). Classic Airlines would be more successful if they too paid attention to their customers' needs.
What can Classic Airlines Learn
Classic Airlines can use some of the same strategies used by the Ritz-Carlton to approve their business model, though service and image. To acquire the level of service and image that the Ritz-Carlton has will take an overhaul of their current CRM program, gearing it towards measuring customer loyalty and satisfaction. The goals of a CRM program is to increase revenue, and promote customer loyalty, all of which the Ritz-Carlton has accomplished successfully (The Ritz Carlton, 2008). Providing expletory customer services for customers will help ensure that a company will flourish, enticing customer for a return visit or flight.
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