Luxury Institute News

March 12, 2009

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., Earns Platinum Seal of Customer Approval

MarketWire updated 7:00 a.m. ET, Tues., March. 10, 2009

NEW YORK (March 10, 2009) -The Luxury Institute reported today that The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., a luxury hotel brand, has earned the Luxury Institute’s Platinum Seal of Customer Approval certification, the highest possible level of authenticated customer recommendation. In an independent survey of its current clients, The Ritz-Carlton was rated by a statistical sample of customer respondents with the highest level of willingness to recommend the firm. Customers willing to recommend The Ritz-Carlton stated: “Great service and attention to detail”; “The rooms are awesome. It is just such a treat to come and be pampered and treated so friendly and kindly”; “Staying at The Ritz-Carlton is more than just a stay, it is an experience. I am always impressed and never disappointed.”

The new Luxury Institute Seal of Customer Approval (LISCA) program surveys luxury firms’ authenticated customers to independently measure, among other key metrics, the absolute percentage of existing customers willing to recommend a brand to their peers.

“I want to congratulate The Ritz-Carlton on its outstanding achievement of Platinum Purveyor” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “The Ritz-Carlton stands out as a unique 21st century luxury enterprise that is welcoming and nurturing to its clients and adapts to, and often anticipates, the needs of its customers. In today’s challenging economy, lasting customer value is everything in luxury, and the LISCA certification is a key driver of new business and customer loyalty. That is because unlike other rating designations, this new certification program is based not on the judgments of committees, single experts, one-time inspections or biased online ratings and reviews. This uniquely independent rating is based on a survey of customer referrals from current customers and requires a statistical sample to validate the results. It is conducted by an independent third-party analytical firm that verifies the authenticity of the responders and tabulates the results. Nothing is a more powerful sales driver than independently validated customer referrals.”

“The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company greatly values its working relationship with The Luxury Institute,” says Bruce Himelstein, senior vice president, sales and marketing, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.  “While many firms and products claim to be luxury, few actually really deserve the description. To have earned the Platinum Seal of Customer Approval from LISCA, places our lifestyle brand well above our competitors. We continue to rely upon the data and research provided by LISCA as we endeavor to attract the truly discerning customer’s loyalty and appreciation.”

The highest level of certification, Platinum Purveyor Certification is awarded to firms with at least 86% of their authenticated and surveyed customers who are willing to recommend the brand to their peers. Brands that achieve between 70% and 85% of customers willing to refer the brand are awarded the Gold Purveyor Certification.  Companies with less than 70% referral do not receive certification. However, training programs are available for companies aspiring to achieve the annual certification.

About the Luxury Institute, LLC (www.LuxuryInstitute.com)
The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings and research institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications and research and consulting services that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net-worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. The Luxury Institute also operates the Luxury Board (www.LuxuryBoard.com), the world’s first global, membership-based online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs.

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 72 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe with future openings including Shenzhen, China; Dove Mountain, Arizona; and Lake Tahoe, California. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which recognizes outstanding customer service. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company web site at www.ritzcarlton.com.