Recently, I participated in a webinar targeting the loyalty marketing industry. One of the features highlighted the winners of Hyatt's, "Big Welcome" contest launched earlier this year.
This article, "Hyatt Puts Out the 'Big Welcome' Mat for Loyalty Members," recaps an interview with John Wallis, head of Hyatt marketing. Wallis sums-up Hyatt's intent:
"The Big Welcome is not only marketing to our customers, but something we can market internally, to increase the importance of our customers in the eyes of our front-line staff." *
What a revelation for Wallis. In the context of my experience with Marriott over 3 decades, it's actually amusing. Thinking about the Marriott brand, I ask myself, 'Does a big 'welcome mat' sum up the Marriott experience?
I have very high expectations about Marriott being guest-centric, making certain that associates are engaged and promoting loyalty. These are among the cornerstones of the Marriott experience that I am so familiar with, that often, I'm embarassed to admit, I take them for granted.
Hyatt and other lodging players are coming late to the party, but perhaps that's not enough? Seems to me that you can't instill the customer service ethic in those who are not predisposed to it: I always fall back on the California In'N'Out Burger model for this--give someone a good value and high quality, served with genuine enthusiasm and the customers will be there in good times and bad.
Marriott has been, since its founding, a company that measures success in terms of satisfied and well-taken-care-of customers. From the first Hot Shoppe in which I ate in the mid-1960s to the latest hotel that I've visited anywhere in the world, I know what to expect and often find that my expectations are exceeded
A recent (November 2009--article is not on-line) Washingtonian Magazine cover story listed Marriott International as one of the 50 best places to work in the national capital region, citing the ethical standards that the company maintains and its devotion to its employees worldwide.
Marriott is the brand standard and is certainly a leader in providing service to me and millions of others.
Greetings Stepping Stones,
Marriott's Core Values embodied in the "Spirit to Serve" philosophy is more than lip service. Unlike Hyatt's 'welcome mat,' Marriott's 'Spirit To Serve' effectively communicates across the entire value chain. The importance and role of every stakeholder is clearly outlined. To your point, that's why Marriott is the recipient of so many awards including the one you mentioned.