Case Study

The Ritz-Carlton: Managing the mystique

12 pages
March 2011
Reference: IMD-6-0326

This case describes the business model behind The Ritz-Carlton’s exemplary customer service. It touches on employee recruitment, development and engagement, with particular emphasis on how it treats its employees like “ladies and gentlemen” and how it invests in developing them and providing them with opportunities to reach their full potential. It also describes how the company reinforces the “Gold Standards” – the values and philosophy by which the company operates – on a daily basis with all employees. The company goes to surprising lengths to create legendary service and examples are brought to life by the telling of “Wow Stories” during the “Daily Lineup” at the beginning of each shift. Behind the legendary service is a knowledge management system called Mystique. The Ritz-Carlton pays close attention to collecting performance data – everything from guest preferences to scuff marks in a elevator – and then makes sure it is widely available so that the appropriate action can be taken. The case also describes how The Ritz-Carlton is adapting to changing times and clientele through the introduction of a loyalty program, less scripted staff greetings, more technology in the rooms, etc. The case ends by asking if the Ritz-Carlton’s business model will be able to keep pace with the dramatic changes happening in the market and in doing so, will The Ritz-Carlton’s mystique become endangered.

Learning Objective

Discuss the Ritz-Carlton’s business model which comprises a service-oriented culture and a sophisticated knowledge management system. It is the combination of the two that allows the Ritz-Carlton to deliver its legendary service.

Business Model, Customer Service, Service Delivery, Knowledge Management System, Employee Development, Corporate Culture, Hotel, Hospitality, Production Management, Operations Management
Beginning to 2010
Published Sources
© 2011
Available Languages
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