4 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2013 9:43 AM by ssindc RSS

What is an "Elite Experience" to you?

andrew_p Platinum 3 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

I recently took a Marriott Rewards survey which referred to the "Elite Experience".  This got me thinking about what this really means, and more importantly what MRIs believe it should mean.  Here are my thoughts on what I think this means today and what I would like this to mean.  Perhaps more importantly, I would be interested hear what everyone else thinks to get some ideas going- there are no right or wrong answers:

 

Today:

 

- Recognition of membership i.e. Call centre and hotel staff acknowledge membership tier

- Access to exec lounge (this is one of the key benefits for me)

- Welcome gifts

- Upgrades as available

- Early/Late Ceck-In etc. (all the standard stuff)

 

Future:

 

- Personalised offers: Based on travel history and disclosed travel prefences (the offers I receive appear fairly generic to me)

- Greater recognition of travel preferences e.g. I don't mind an exec room for business as don't require a suite but like a suite for leisure travel.

- Flexibility in terms of rewards redemption e.g. Ability to use points for water sports, massages, meals, drinks etc.

- Surprises: Marriott holds a lot of information about loyal guests which should make it fairly easy to anticipate their needs e.g. A pair of theatre tickets may be more emotive than a cheap bottle of plonk in teh room

- Exclusive offers: When Marriott opens new properties or restaurants or completes a refurbishment, it would be nice to have priority in booking this.  Whilst this period is often when the wrinkles are being ironed out, MRIs are well placed to provide honest constructive feedback whilst continuing to be loyal to the brand.  

So, those are my quick thoughts.  Any other ideas?

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What is an "Elite Experience" to you?
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I would like my Elite Experience to be one where you are made to feel as an important guest to the property, one they value based upon your status and/or number of visits to the hotel.

     

    What would the future hold in a more perfect Marriott Rewards world for myself:

     

    Access to any and all room types in a hotel when using points for the stay.

    Access to the lounge everyday for water, soft drinks, juice, etc., even if no lounge associate is on duty.

    Advance notification of special deals at hotels/resorts that go out to the highest elite levels before they are issued to the general public.

    Positive room upgrades before check-in at the hotel.  Why be punished simply because your travel schedule doesn't allow you to arrive at the hotel at 3PM or so?

     

    Just a few off the top of my head and hope others will voice their opinions as well.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What is an "Elite Experience" to you?
    trippin' Alumni Steward Member 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Since I'm not s business traveler, I'm sure this doesn't mean the same to me as it does to you. However, if I did travel on business, I would want every perk available.   Elite should mean just that!  I've found that writing to the CEO/ Corporate Headquarters if I have an excellent stay/cruise/ or a mediocre/bad one helps.   I've had some great feedback from this. Appreciation from a cruise CEO and an upgrade for a horrendous stay at a Hyatt a number of years back.   Even from the old Northworst when my new suitcase lost all its wheels between DTW and PLN-a short hop.

     

    Best of luck, Mary

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What is an "Elite Experience" to you?
    pingreeman Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Elite - one who has dedicated many nights to your brand; Experience: show that you appreciate the business.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: What is an "Elite Experience" to you?
    ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    The key here - in a modern, information savvy world - is customization.  Having followed this site for awhile, one thing that becomes clear is that the benefit you savor most may be of little or no value to me (and, of course, the reverse is true). [This poll makes the point to some extent: http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/polls/1191.] And, even then, our own personal preferences change with time.  Accordingly, my sense is that the big challenge for Marriott Rewards in the future is greater flexibility in rewarding its best customers. Consider:

    • Many MI commentators disparage Category 1-4 (or 1-5) coupons, while others savor them. 
    • Some of us use our points war chests to splurge on fancy vacations we would not otherwise take (or could not afford), while some of us surgically allocate points to maximize the number of nights they can spend exploring (or visiting or whatever). Some folks simply ignore their points - they travel so much that all they care is about is how they're treated when they're paying for a room... See, for example, the survey here: http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/polls/1074
    • Andrew_P is spot on, when he notes that: "I don't mind an exec room for business as don't require a suite but like a suite for leisure travel."
      • Given the frequency with which this issue is raised (and the passion it inspires), it seems that MR probably needs to use a two-tier system like the airlines: (1) x number of points per night per hotel category, and (2) maybe 1.2x (or 1.5x or, who knows, even 2x) points for the suite. (Yes, most of us would rather Marriott simply give us the upgrade we expect (or desire) when we're paying (but don't always get) - but what most of us really want is the certainty that we can enjoy that suite on vacation as a reward for our loyalty)
      • When travelling with the family, I once convinced the manager at a Renaissance (in Toronto) to give me the super-duper suite instead of the two rooms I'd previously booked - it was a wash for me (same price/points) - and the manager ended up with an extra room.  It shouldn't be that hard to make that kind of upgrade an option that the Platinum line phone representatives could handle.
    • Heck, some folks like the Courtyard breakfast bistro, while others resent it.  (But, it's pretty obvious how MR could find a middle ground, for example, simply offering bistro credit for Platinum members (or others that would enjoy concierge lounge access at a Marriott property.)
    • Even in the big promotions, we've learned that - by calling the Platinum line - you can switch from the mega-bonus (with high minimum night requirements) to coupons (stay two, get one free).  For the folks who don't want category 1-4 coupons, why not have other options: stay-three-nights-get-a-category-6-coupon, stay-four-nights-get-a-category-7-coupon, etc. ???

    The challenge, of course, is that Marriott is a (very) large enterprise.  The oft-cited problem is that Marriott tries to please everyone, and, in so doing, frequently disappoints everyone.  My sense is that the real issue here is that Marriott's most valued customers want to be treated like valued customers. And valued customers get special, preferential, extraordinary (as in out-of-the-ordinary) treatment. Attention, flexibility, and responsiveness is what will please them (us) most....

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)