It’s an honor and a privilege to bring you some thoughts from bestselling author Dr. Joseph Michelli (author of The Starbucks Experience) on using distinctive service as a strategic competitive advantage. Enough of me… here’s Joseph.
We all know businesses that at one time dominated an industry. Whether it was a company like Polaroid which kept a strangle hold on instantly available pictures or Ford Motor Company with its early market prominence, many great businesses ultimately have struggled to maintain their relevance to the customer.
As Mike shared with you in an earlier blog post, he and I attended an NYU/Ritz-Carlton Leadership Training course together. That program, along with an additional year of access to leadership at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, reinforced for me the importance of maintaining a constant focus on the changing wants of the customer.
In my just released book, The New Gold Standard – 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, I address this issue of relevance through a business principle I termed “Define and Refine.”
Much of the historic success of The Ritz-Carlton can be linked to its well-defined service culture complete with a compact and operational mission statement, a credo card carried by all employees, and daily line-ups reinforcing corporate values for every staff member. Given this tightly defined culture and iconic business status, brand relevance became a major challenge for The Ritz-Carlton.