Earning customer loyalty the Ritz-Carlton way

Companies that want to rank high in customer satisfaction and loyalty know to look no further than well-established hospitality brands, such as luxury hotel-chain Ritz-Carlton.

Companies that want to rank high in customer satisfaction and loyalty know to look no further than well-established hospitality brands, such as luxury hotel-chain Ritz-Carlton. Newer businesses, including Apple, have taken notice and are tapping the hotel's gold-standard strategies to inform their offerings, according to Forbes. Before Apple's store managers hire an employee, they evaluate whether or not that individual can provide a Ritz-Carlton level of service with the right training.

Apple builds customer loyalty with the following five strategies gleaned from the hotel's service standards, the source reports.

Approach with a warm welcome - When customers walk into either location, they should expect to be greeted by a friendly employee who is ready to assist them.

Anticipate unexpressed needs - Both brands' employees are trained to anticipate (and meet) the needs of customers before they are expressed.

End with a fond farewell - Employees are also expected to send customers off with a personal goodbye that invites them to return in the future.

Own the relationship -  When customers ask questions that stray from an employee's regular duties, those employees are taught to go the extra mile and own the relationship with the customer, taking personal responsibility to fulfill their request.

Reset internal clocks - If customers are forced to wait longer than expected, the employees should reset the internal clocks by providing them with a distraction from the perceived wait time, whether it's bringing a complimentary appetizer or showing a client new features on their laptop.

Apple's decision to borrow these service standards from the Ritz-Carlton could help explain why new gadgets sell-out in advance and the company has fared so well, the source reports.