Class act

Joseph Mattioli, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton

With a heritage that goes back to César Ritz, nicknamed “the hotelier to kings,” The Ritz-Carlton upholds his belief that guests come first and that the customer is never wrong. What makes service so distinctive is the hotel’s ability to perceive, empathize, anticipate and respond and to share something in meaningful ways with guests.

When employees are hired, they go through multistage interviews so that the executive team will be able to determine skills, work personality and their ability to respond to theoretical situations. In short, people who have a vested interest in wanting to engage guests and exceed their expectations make the cut; the rest do not.

New hires go through a two-day orientation to learn the history, culture and service expectations of The Ritz-Carlton. Training and development is an ongoing effort and includes a commitment to lateral service ― assistance from a person in one department to another department. It’s all part of the belief of The Ritz-Carlton and General Manager Joseph Mattioli that guests’ needs are important over other needs.

Four statements set the guidelines for world-class service: the motto, service values, credo and employee promise. From the motto of “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen” to the 12 affirmations of the service values, the service philosophy resonates in each experience at The Ritz-Carlton.

A positive experience depends greatly on the heart of the organization, the ladies and gentlemen, as they are called. They are the ones who help promote open, clear communication, who are empowered to impress a guest, and are internal guests who offer their time to help each other while upholding the company’s service values. As the first value states, “I build strong relationships and create Ritz-Carlton guests for life,” and with the team focused on a common goal of creating exceptional customer service, it is only natural that lasting memories will be fashioned.

How to reach: The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland, (216) 623-1300 or