A couple of weeks ago I wrote about two hotel experiences. One was a bad experience at a Las Vegas hotel and the other was a good experience at a Ritz Carlton hotel. I mentioned that I bought the book “The New Gold Standard” by Joseph A. Michelli, because I wanted to get a better sense of how Ritz Carlton provides such extraordinary service that guests like me are willing to pay more for it. I just finished the book on my last flight and have highlighted many passages and dog-eared many pages. My brain was racing as I tried to figure out how law firms could create the Ritz Carlton experience for their clients.
I know that many law firms have mission statements and core values statements. Yet, I know of no law firm that keeps those lofty statements constantly on the minds of their lawyers and staff and makes sure they are put into action to benefit clients. Ritz Carlton does it by having a tri-fold pocket “Gold Standards” card. It is also known as the “Credo Card.” Each employee carries the card in his or her pocket each and every day as a reminder. Now, I am sure that sophisticated and skeptical lawyers would find it hokie to be carrying a card outlining what the firm is all about. So, good luck on selling that concept.
The Credo is Ritz Carlton’s definition of the ‘ultimate guest experience.” It has three statements all focused on the commitment to the guests. Maria Thompson, a sales administrative assistant at the Phoenix Ritz Carlton told Michelli: “I think if the corporate world took our Credo and applied the concepts to whatever industry they were in, and really applied it from the very top to the very bottom of the organization, the world would be a better place, in terms of corporate life. By ‘better place’ I mean better retention, happier managers, and greater profitability.”
What is your definition of the “ultimate client experience?” What statements would you make to describe it? If you apply the concepts from top to bottom in your law firm, you just might have better retention, happier lawyers and greater profits per partner.