Joshie The Giraffe And Customer Delight From Ritz-Carlton Hotels

Andy Hanselman Consulting
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Ritz-Carlton Hotels are renowned for their brilliant customer service, and I often refer to them in my presentations on customer delight and the fact that all their staff have the authority to spend up to $2,000 to resolve a customer’s problem without having to refer to a manager! Well, here’s a wonderful story of this in action, and it involves Joshie The Giraffe!

When Chris Hurn’s family came back from their holiday at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island in Florida they unfortunately returned without Joshie The Giraffe, Chris’s young son’s ‘best friend’! They’d left him behind, and as you can imagine this caused huge stress and problems sleeping!

Chris explained that there was nothing to worry about and that Joshie was having a little extra holiday and that he was fine. His son seemed to accept this and dropped off to sleep!

That evening the Ritz-Carlton called to say that they had found Joshie in the laundry and that he had been handed over to the hotel’s Loss Prevention Team. Chris told them about his ‘little white lie’ about Joshie’s extra holiday and wondered if they would mind taking a picture of Joshie on a chair by the pool to ‘prove’ it! To Chris’s relief they said they would – so now that’s two people who could sleep sound!

A couple days later a package arrived. In it was Joshie, along with some Ritz-Carlton-branded “goodies” including a frisbee and a football! Also included in the package was a binder that meticulously documented Joshie’s extended stay at the hotel!

It included pictures of Joshie sunbathing by the pool, having a massage at the spa, meeting with other ‘cuddly firends’ and even driving down to the beach in a buggy! It also showed Joshie working on the security cameras making sure that other things didn’t get lost!

It’s a great example of exceeding customer expectations and has all 6 of the ingredients of ‘customer delight’:

  • It produces a wow reaction!
  • It appears spontaneous or unexpected!
  • It’s the personal touch!
  • It makes the customer feel valued!
  • It’s genuine… and…
  • It creates a ‘talking point’!

The Ritz-Carlton staff clearly went the extra mile for Chris’s son and I’m sure they’ll be going back, and telling lots of others who will then tell lots more! (it will certainly be in my next presentation!)

You can see another article on customer delight I wrote on Businesszone previously and you can download a white paper I wrote on customer delight here!


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