Now THAT’S what I call Customer Service

I’ve heard for years that the Ritz Carlton sets the Gold Standard for customer service so it was fun to hear Alexandra Valentin, a corporate director at the Ritz Carlton Leadership Center, talk about examples of what that looks like.  She told an amazing story that I think anyone who ever deals with customers needs to hear!  It all started when Chris Hurn realized his young son had left his favorite stuffed animal/blanket named Joshie at the Ritz Carlton during a recent family vacation.  His son was inconsolable at the loss of his treasured friend.  Chris comforted his son by saying something to the affect that Joshie just probably needed to extend his vacation. His son bought it and went to sleep.

The loss prevention team had found Joshie and called the Hurn’s with the good news.  Chris then told the hotel rep about telling his son a little white lie about where Joshie was.  Well, Aaron from Loss Prevention told Chris he would take care of it.  When the family got the package from the Ritz Carlton, they not only got Joshie back, but they got what has to be one of the best examples of going the extra mile for your customer!

The box contained goodies from the Ritz, and a PHOTO ALBMUM depicting what Joshie was actually up to on his ‘extended vacation!’  There was a picture of Joshie lying by the pool, getting a massage, driving a golf cart to the beach and even getting his own ID tag so he wouldn’t get lost again!

Joshie wasn't left behind, he just needed to extend his family vacation!

Ah, relaxing before heading back home

Joshie wasn’t lost – he was at the spa!

Joshie getting the full treatment from the Ritz Carlton!








Wow.  Now that’s what I call customer service!  After hearing this story, I asked Alexandra if I could share it when I do my corporate engagements.  When I’m hired to motivate employees,  stories of amazing customer service and success in business always inspires and motivates my people!  This is a perfect example of how an employee went above and beyond the call of duty to make their customer feel special.

I believe one of the reasons Aaron was able to do this for the young guest is because the Ritz Carlton invests in creating a culture of customer service.  They encourage creating moments that customers won’t soon forget.  Thanks to Aaron, I won’t forget this story.

Tip for managers:

– share customer service examples like this with your staff

– encourage employees to go above and beyond what their job descriptions state

– when any employee shows customer care examples like this – reward them like your business depends on it, because it does!

From your grateful that customer service still exists today motivational speaker, Marilyn Sherman


Marilyn Sherman, CSP is a Front-Row Leadership Expert helping people get out of the balcony and get a front-row seat in life. For over 20 years she has inspired audiences with topics on Visioning, Goal Achievement and having a No More Excuses attitude! Check out her fun, dynamic style at

Marilyn Sherman, Owner UpFront Presentations - Helping people get a Front-Row seat in their life!
9030 W. Sahara Ave #444
Las Vegas, NV 89117

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  1. Marilyn, great example of legendary customer service. As the husband of a funny motivational speaker, I also visit my share of hotels. I don’t normally remember the hotel employees who serve us, but a couple who stand out are Koi at the Hilton in Charlotte, NC and Yuri at the Omni in Charlottesville, VA. Both employees were especially nice to our son. As a parent, I’m acutely aware of how people treat Will.
    I think that the people who give stellar customer service are simply people who are inclined to give stellar customer service. I don’t doubt that the companies mentioned emphasize great customer service. Regardless of the source of the outstanding customer service (company or individual initiative), there’s gold in them thar hills. Between Chris Hurn recounting the tale, you using the story in your presentations, this blog post… how many people are reached by this one instance of over-the-top customer service? I hope the LP guy in the story gets the accolades he deserves.

  2. Love this! I’m inspired and those pictures are a hoot. Incredible story, and as every motivational speaker knows, it’s the stories people remember. And I will too. Now if only the last hotel I stayed at had the same results and took pictures of everyone who was wearing my pricey, prescription glasses that are missing in action. Wasn’t at a Ritz….but as Bill mentioned it’s the individual, as well as, the culture that can make a dramatic difference. Again, great inspirational story that makes me want to do better in all my dealings with others.

  3. Wow! Marilyn – what a GREAT example of amazing customer service!  And think about this – just how many people are going to hear this story (between you telling hundreds and hundreds of your audience members and them telling other people!!!)  You can’t PAY for that kind of good press!!  


  1. […] things to please your customer (see my post on the amazing story of customer service by an employee at the Ritz Carlton), but there is a line where you go from passionate to obsessed!  Case in point: a young man […]

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