Customer Service Profile–Marriott Hotels
Motivate employees, train them, care about them, and make winners of them. At Marriott, we know that if we treat our employees correctly, they’ll treat the customers right, and if the customers are treated right, they’ll come back. Bill Marriot Jr.
If a customer leaves a hotel or resort satisfied with the property and the service, there is a much better chance that they will return. That is an obvious reality in the industry, and in the forefront of the customer service policy of the Marriott chain of hotels.
Customer response for rapid resolution to customer complaints is used by each and every Marriott Hotel and Resort. Customer Surveys are an integral part of the plan. Getting this feedback makes it possible to correct errors and enhance the customers’ overall experience as a guest. Customers are used to getting a questionnaire or a survey “after the fact” to record and advise the company of a problem and whether or not it was solved to the customer’s satisfaction.
Marriott’s goal is to provide such a survey to the customer during the stay, so that any lingering problem can be immediately resolved. If there is something wrong with the room, it should be addressed during the stay, so that no one leaves dissatisfied. The real time feedback not only resolves complaints, but has been a stream of customer suggestions which would improve the experience. These suggestions are seriously considered and many have been implemented, such as providing a billing summary available to the guests by internet or television prior to check out.
Marriott Hotels and Resorts also have a Rewards program that has been frequently judged as the best in the business. Customers get points for each stay, and can apply the points either to frequent flyer miles or future vacations. This program was instituted in 1997, but there has been some form of a frequent guest program at Marriott since 1983. Many other hotels have similar “loyalty” programs, and it has come to be an expectation of a lot of guests.
There are many ways to earn points and over 3000 properties all over the globe where they can be earned. The points can be redeemed for a variety of things, such as cruises, hotel stays, frequent flyer miles, and even wide screen TV’s. There is even a way to donate accumulated points to charitable organizations. The above two described programs comprise Marriott’s customer service milieu. While the combination of the two prongs is very successful, there is always room for improvement or enhancement.
For a great many guests, especially the frequent travelers for business or pleasure, accumulating the points towards an eventual goal is a real selling point and would certainly have the desired effect of return visits. However, for the occasional traveler, saving up enough points to have any benefit is probably not realistic. In these uncertain times, vacations and even business travel might come on to the “chopping block”. But, even in the best of times, only a small part of the population travels quite frequently.
For all these circumstances, the Reward programs is of no benefit. Again, this is not unusual for businesses to give out coupons, punch cards, or reward points that will never be used. Who doesn’t have frequent flyer miles, $10 off coupons for stores that will never again be visited, or credits towards a cruise or dinner that has expired and not used? The guest could then feel that only other people reap the “rewards”. One alternative would be to allow a guest to “opt” out of the Rewards program and instead to offer an immediate “reward. An example would be for a 2 night stay, the guest could choose from several food items to be delivered to the room, such as a late night dessert. Or, for a 3 night stay, the guest would receive a free spa visit if available on the premises. An alternate “reward” would be a coupon for free gasoline, or something commonly available. The idea would be that for some customers who knew that the point system would not be a benefit to them, could still know that Marriott was customer oriented and that if they were to be traveling again, they would remember ot only the personal service, but that they were rewarded for just being a customer. A Review of the Marriott Rewards Program. (2010).
Retrieved November 2010, from About. com: Business Travel: http://businesstravel. about. com/od/rewardsprograms/gr/marriott_reward. htm Executive Blueprint. (n. d. ). Retrieved 2010, from Case Study: Increasing Sales by Service: http://www. executiveblueprints. com/_cases/service_marriott. pdf Marriott Reward Program. (n. d. ). Retrieved 2010, from Marriott : http://www. marriott. com/rewards/rewards-program. mi