September 03, 2013

Four Seasons Hotels: Building a hospitality and customer service culture

Companies that are clueless about customer service and hospitality have no idea how bad they are, but good-already companies know the value of their good service, and can infer how they will benefit from learning to provide truly great service.

The set of principles that define Four Seasons today weren’t laid out formally until years into the organization’s existence, with multiple properties under its management. Formulating and publicizing these principles led to a turning point in the brand’s history, from which, happily, they have never backslid.

The central principle of what they came up with, Four Seasons’ ‘‘Our Goals, Our Beliefs, Our Principles,’’ is simple, yet it lays down a very rigorous standard:

“In all our interactions with our guests, customers, business associates, and colleagues, we seek to deal with others as we would have them deal with us.”

This central principle is then fleshed out in the course of four sections (as befits the Four Seasons) that spell out how vendors, customers, colleagues, and the community are to be treated.

Get the full story at Forbes magazine