Most companies, when they start out, focus on defining their mission to the point that they document it and communicate it to their employees and clients. Their missions are usually well thought out, detailed, and inspirational…if you can remember them. I’ve found that many companies, in order to capture everything they want to be for their clients (with good intent) try to jam everything into the mission statement, ultimately to the point that no one can actually remember them, to some extent making them worthless.
I was lucky enough to participate in a service conference about 10 years ago. A keynote speaker at the conference was the Ritz Carlton’s road show guy (and I mean that with great respect) who explained the Ritz’s history, mission (credo), and Service Motto. At the time I had never stayed at a Ritz-Carlton however their reputation and the brand image always impressed me. I learned a lot that day.
First, the question at the time…how many hotels did the Ritz Carlton own? 50? 100? 500? It was a trick question. The Ritz Carlton was actually a service and owned 0 hotels. Others owned the real estate, and the Ritz split on the ownership/service.
Pretty cool, but what resonated with me was their Service Motto. At the beginning of every shift, the entire staff of each respective hotel recited the Ritz Service Motto, which our Ritz friend shared with us. I was immediately impressed with it for several reasons.
First, it was simple.
I like simple for no other reason than I have a God-awful memory. I barely remember the names of my two…uh three…siblings.
Second, I thought it eloquent and it captured exactly who they were and for whom they were serving.
Their motto: “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”
Pretty spot on and so easy to remember that even I can recall it without hesitation. In the same vein, when considering a mission for our team at @Scivantage we wanted to put into place something that was all encompassing, succinct and recallable. It needed to be clear and drive home to our clients our commitment to them.
Our Mission: “Create Referenceable Clients”
You could argue it is atypical of most company defined mission statements. You could also argue it may not even meet the criteria of a mission statement, assuming there is some defined criteria out there. It doesn’t tell you who we are however, it focuses on what we want to do, ultimately acknowledging the effort to do so.
It takes a lot to get there. The team developing the code, needs to develop good code. The Quality Assurance team needs to be thorough in their testing. Operations needs to process data accurately and on-time, with the Infrastructure and DBA teams monitoring the health of the environment. If there is a project for the client, the Project Managers needs to manage scope creep and keep things on schedule. Relationship Managers need to keep the communication flowing and if there are issues, the folks on the Service Team need to be responsive, follow-up, and ensure timely resolution to issues. And this needs to happen…all the time.
No matter what product or service we offer…no matter what technology our clients take advantage of or what team member offers consultative services, expertise, or develops or tests code – we want each team member to deliver a level of service that, in the end, our clients are so happy in the value we deliver they are willing to refer new business to us. It’s ultimately the greatest compliment a client can pay us.
By the way, I have since been lucky enough to stay at a few Ritz-Carlton hotels. My first was the one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I walked off the plane and took a taxi from the airport. Upon pulling up to the front of the hotel, in this supposedly random taxi, the bellman opened the door, and said, “Welcome to the Ritz-Carlton Mr. Sauickie.” He even pronounced it correctly. That’s world class. I’ve never forgotten it, and I’m happy to be a reference for anyone considering going to one. That’s what we’re shooting for.
By Alex Sauickie As Chief Operating Officer, Alex Sauickie has overall P&L responsibility for all Scivantage business and technology operations, ensuring we meet our clients’ needs. A veteran executive in start-up and high growth enterprise software, Mr. Sauickie joined Scivantage from SaaS billing platform Billtrust. As Billtrust’s SVP of Client Operations, Mr. Sauickie was responsible for the award-winning Client Services team, Relationship Management, Implementations, Project Management, and Business Optimization units.