I don't know about anyone else, but the thing I value most when checking in is a smile and recognition that I am a valued member of Marriott Rewards. It would be wonderful if every visit included an automatic upgrade, a free meal every day, and free parking, but I am enough of a realist to know that this is going to happen infrequently at worst and semi-regularly at best.
Maybe my age is showing but it's the respect that an associate shows for my loyalty that matters above all else to me. I realize that every lodging chain has significant turnover and that training of front desk and other personnel is an ongoing struggle, but the time when it pays off is at the first meeting in a hotel.
I do ask about upgrades, about weekend meals, about parking. So, for me at least, the tone is set at the front desk. That's why I stay at this brand and have for over 40 years.
Stepping Stones ----- In my opinion and experience, you are spot on.
Can't say I have had 40 years with Marriott, but I can say 26 years and counting.
The Marriott attribute I appreciate most is consistency. Most often, I know what I am walking into.
Ironically, it was Holiday Inns - and not Marriott - that said it best many years ago in its TV ad campaign ----- "the best surprise is no surprise".
Kudos to Marriott management for consistency and attention to detail.
20 years (1990) and strongly disagree, at least anymore. I mostly stay at Courtyards, and while some staff can be great, frequently I am greeted with "Checking In?", and for my loyalty "points or gifts for your stay?" Almost never a thanks for being an Elite member. Lately, Marriott seems to have trouble honoring preferences. I have sent emails and complained, and the lack of response I get is frightening, to the point that I am going to switch brands after 20 years, and 192 stays in last year.
Everyone has a different experience and yours is one that others may have shared. It is too bad that the Courtyards did not measure up to the standards we've come to expect, but that happens, sadly. Best of luck in whatever chain you choose, and if you decide on Marriott in the future, welcome back!
" frequently I am greeted with "Checking In?", and for my loyalty "points or gifts for your stay?" Almost never a thanks for being an Elite member."
Marriott celebrates Customer Appreciation Week with a focus on "listening". With 192 nights on the road, anyone's expectations about feeling recognized and welcomed will be high. It doesn't take very much to say two words, "Welcome back." The point is well taken and connects with a sentiment I feel very strongly about when it comes to listening, 'walk in our shoes.' In my experience, a seasoned and experienced front desk person can make all the difference in making a guest feel welcome and at home.
When you vote with your feet, will the grass be greener and more comfortable at another brand? Perhaps. Given the pressures in the hospitality industry and the rate of staff turnover, there is the possibility of unmet expectations that will give new meaning to brand experience.
Consider contacting firstname.lastname@example.org with the specifics about a stay that did not meet expectations under the subject, 'Unmet expectations Confirmation 12345678'. Customer.care will take ownership and might even surprise you.
I could not agree more with you on this. Yes, I am disappointed that upgrades are few and far between, but I understand that it is a treat not an entitlement, and simply enjoy it when it does happen. Nonetheless, simple recignition goes far in starting the stay on the right note. While elite recognition is nice, recognition by name is much nicer. Unfortunately, I receive neither more often than not. That blows me away. Employee turnover aside, how difficult is it to make that a "must do" in the training manual??? As far as tjc's suggestion that a "welcome back" be simple enough, I find that greeting demeaning. The desk clerk could just habitually say that to everyone, no personalization at all. IMO don't bother.... That said, I choose to make a game of it and greet the desk clerk by name (easily done by reading the name tag).
By the way, I stay in Marriott hotels between 100-125 nights a year. Complain because I think they can do better, but would be considered very loyal by any standard. Most stays at full line Marriotts, a few at jw marriott, a few at renaissance, and a few at Ritz carlton. No more than 5-10 nights outside the marriott family, and then only because of availability at a particular location.
Dear Shoeman--very well said. Nothing wrong with complaining in my book where complaining is required, though I temper my complaints by adding a suggestion on how to improve the situation for the next guest, even if that's not me.
I find that the best route to getting an answer is to describe the problem, to suggest a remedy and to ask for a response. About 90% of the time this generates an answer, normally from management.
I am part Irish (1/4) so I never let a matter drop when there's no response, and I gently challenge misrepresentations of facts that are repeated in responses. I have been fairly successful in making the points that I want to, and never expect anything other than an acknowledgment of the original email in return.
This is hospitality after all, and incumbent on us to make every stay as good as it can be, even if that involves making comments that are critical of things we encounter.
I haven't received a special greeting in a while. Perhaps it's because I'm just a lowly gold-level member, who usually stays at Courtyards or Residence Inns instead of full Marriots. Besides not receiving any recognition (which isn't that important to me anyway), I don't receive any gifts or other perks. Every now and then my key will look a little different to recognize my status, but that's about it. For a while I was commuting almost weekly to the same city and staying in the same Residence Inn, but nobody recognized me or said anything special.
As far as comparing this to other brands -- the few times I have to stay in other places, my experience is pretty much the same: no better or no worse. "Checking in?" is the standard greeting no matter where I stay. After looking me up, the next question is "We have you here for four nights. Would you like to keep it on the same credit card?" I don't want to sound negative, but I can't really see a single benefit of being a gold member on Marriott.
wow. a good friend always reminds me that perception is reality. Your perception of the Marriott Elite Program should raise some eyebrows corporately. Unfortunately, it will likely fall on deaf ears. That said, there are clear benefits to being Gold elite. Obviously, those benefits do not resonate with you, but they do exist. I would list them, but they are easily found on the website.