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Four Mindsets For An Exceptional Customer Experience

Mindset drives behaviors and behaviors determine the type of customer experience we create as individuals and organizations.

So what kind of mindset do you need to create exceptional customer experiences? To leave people better than you found them and to have an impact on their lives? In my experience, there are four mindsets that will help you create an exceptional customer experience and in time, positive impact on others: excellence, empathy, empowerment, and engagement.

Over the next four weeks, we will dive into each one individually. So for today…let’s talk about the mindset of Excellence.

Putting on a mindset of excellence at work means you’re choosing to show up and do your best on any given day in any given circumstance. This starts with all kinds of little choices that you make each and every day.

It’s a mindset to be prepared.

It’s a mindset to show up on time.

It’s a mindset to go above and beyond, even when it isn’t your job.

It’s a mindset to help every customer to the best of your ability.

It’s a mindset to make things better when you can.

All those little choices are spurred on from a mindset of excellence. And eventually, they’ll add up to positive results for you and your customers.

A mindset of excellence encourages you to show up at your best because you know your customers are worth it. Your coworkers are worth it. Your company is worth it. And ultimately, your success is worth it! It’s a mindset that looks outward to the way you approach every aspect of your job, but the benefits are inward, too. A mindset of excellence encourages you to believe that you’re worth showing up at your best.

There’s probably no better example of the way excellence can impact the experience than the Ritz-Carlton. Co-Founder Horst Schulze made excellence the mindset behind every decision made at the Ritz. While I could explain the why behind that decision, I think it’s better to let Horst speak for himself.

“Years ago, when I was doing my first job, I was 16 years old, I wrote an essay for…mind you, once a week we went to hotel school at the time…I wrote an essay and I named it, ‘We are ladies and gentlemen,’ meaning the employees in the hotel, ‘And we serve ladies and gentlemen.’

That’s what I wrote as an essay and explained in there, ‘We are ladies and gentlemen. If we are doing an excellent job, a first-class job, we are respected by the employee and we define ourselves by being excellent as ladies and gentlemen.’ And with that motto, I started Ritz-Carlton and I said right from the beginning, you’re not servants. Day one I said, ‘We are not servants. We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen. Unless we sentence ourselves to be less, to be servants. That’s in our hands.’

If we are excellent and caring and respectful and so on, then we are ladies and gentlemen. That was the motto. And then, of course, we did the training around it and our process was to hire the right people. Not just hire people but select people and then orient them, not just put them to work but orient them to our thinking. Inviting them to be part of us. Coming here, become part of ‘being ladies and gentlemen.’ Helping create the finest hotel company in the world.”

Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.

At the Ritz, that’s not just a motto; it’s a mindset. It encourages employees to see themselves first as worthy and capable of excellence. And from there, they’ll see and serve their customers with the same excellence.

What would it look like for you to put on a mindset of excellence in your job? To choose to show up believing that excellence matters in how you see yourself and your customers? It could just be the subtle shift you need to make a major change in your work and the customer experience you’re helping create.

Who do you know that lives out of a mindset of excellence?

How do they act when faced with challenges?

How does their mindset of excellence rub off on others?

Truett Cathy, Founder of Chick-fil-A, would consistently ask, “Why not your best?”.

Let that sink in for a minute…why would you not want to give your best to what you are doing? And how great does it feel when you know you did give your best?

Especially when the person on the other side of you could be positively impacted by your choice of excellence.

A mindset of excellence, how would that change your day, your work shift and your team if you made it a priority?

For more from Horst, check out his book, Excellence Wins.

To keep learning and growing, grab your copy ofThe Power of Customer Experience and check out the book club video series and user guide for your team.


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