Leadership Summit 2015: Horst Schulze

If you missed the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit this year, no worries I’ve got you covered. I’ll be posting my notes and thoughts from each presenter over the next couple of days.

Horst Schulze, the Chairman and CEO of the Capella Hotel Group and Founding President and former COO of the Ritz Carlton began day-2 at the Summit and did an incredible job of challenging leaders to inspire customer loyalty by raising the bar on customer service. I was particularly intrigued by the connection he made between customer service and the life of Jesus.

  • “We are ladies & gentlemen serving ladies & gentlemen”
  • As a young man in the hotel industry I noticed that the matre de didn’t come to work to work but to be excellent at caring for the people around him.
  • Caring for people is service.
  • What industry isn’t in the service industry?
  • Love your neighbor as yourself – Jesus was the ultimate leader of the service industry.

All great businesses:

  1. Keep the customer & create customer loyalty
    • Dissatisfied customers are terrorists against your business
    • Satisfied customers, they’re neutral, they’ll go somewhere else if there is an incentive to do so
    • Loyal customers are your fans
  2. Get as much money from the customer as they can
  3. Work on their efficiencies: deliver the best you can by spending less than your competitors

Keeping the customer / customer loyalty

  • Customer loyalty = you have developed trust with the customer
  • You develop trust by giving the customer what the customer wants
  • People want you to deliver 3 things
    1. The product needs to work (this is a subconscious)
    2. Timeliness (prompt)
    3. People to be nice to you (service)
  • It isn’t different in your business
  • The #1 driver is customer satisfaction and then customer loyalty is being nice to the customer
  • Service starts & ends somewhere
  • It starts the instant you make contact
  • The first 10 seconds of contact are essential
    • Within 12 feet you look at them and say “welcome”
    • Complying to their wishes / needs
    • You say good bye
  • Individual attention:
    • Call them by name
  • Loyalty is the product fantastic customer service
  • Serve your employees to lead them to excellence and demand it
  • If the employee is not doing a good job they may not be able to help it but you were the dummy that hired them, what is wrong with your hiring process?
  • Processes:
    1. Hiring: We don’t hire people, we select people. We have built a profile and select one and it usually includes caring.
    2. Orientation: Orient them to the new organization. Your job is important, if you don’t wash the dishes it’s a disaster…if the CEO doesn’t come to work no one will know. Orient to our heart, future, why, culture, how they benefit from working here, etc.
  • “Leaders forfeit the right to make excuses”
  • Don’t hire people to fulfill a function but to fulfill a dream
  • People want to work in an environment of belonging and purpose
  • If you get a problem you own it
  • Come to work, not to work, come to work to be a part of a purpose
  • Service…loving your neighbor as yourself is what differentiates you

Posted in Leadership

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