23 Replies Latest reply: Oct 5, 2011 3:37 PM by zukracer RSS

Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?

zukracer Alumni Steward Platinum 4 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Maybe its that my current project has me looking at nit picky stuff and getting way deep into how things are setup, configured and used.  I seem to be particularly aware or at least taking more notice of small details in and around the various properties I've been staying at while on this project.  Little differences, things that to the average guest would seem normal but to a seasoned MR person would just seems slightly out of line/place.

 

Something as simple as where the floor mat and soap is placed in one floor vs the other in a hotel.  The way the property looks, the way the checkin is handled...right down to is the key the right key (elite guest key vs normal).

 

Is there any value in having elite members do these types of audits, filling out a form that perhaps Marriott puts together and we can fill in based on our stays?  Am I the only one that notices these little things and thinks "could this be better".

 

Thoughts?

  • Re: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Zukracer,

    That sounds like a good idea to me.  One of the things that regularly disturbs me is when I find a towel folded on the shower shelf, but doesn't look quite right. I always wonder whether it was a leftover from the previous guest.  Another thing that I've often found to be a problem is either not enough (or occasionally no) electrical outlets at the desk where you put your computer.

     

    I'm all in favor!
    ProfChiara

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Dear Zukracer, exellent idea.

     

    Why not have a website within Marriott.com where elite members can comment on specific places during their stays, either as a formatted reply set or as free form?  How about a small flash drive given to us at checkin with the format already installed?

     

    Marriott used to have secret shoppers (a third party) who evaluated associate and hotel standards--I am not sure if they still do.  We, as Elite members are certainly qualified to comment and critique our stays.

     

    I noticed at a recent stay that there was mold around the soap dish that is part of the marble wall in the bathroom shower, for example. It never got touched during my week's stay.

     

    Also, I noted an inconsistency in cleanliness depending on the day of the week and the person claening the room.  I put a paper clip at the foot of the couch in the suite's iving room and it was not noticed for three days, and then placed on the desk.

     

    So yes, we can be good observers and commenters--great suggestion!

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    arkwright Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Dear Z,

    A good, very helpful idea, the outcomes of which would be of even greater value if somehow synchronised or coordinated with the quality assurance procedure which I believe applies to each Marriott site, and is operated on a regular basis from Marriott's central operational base in Washington. Putting the two sources of data together might increase the likelihood of remedial action, or whatever, being taken.

     

    Best wishes

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    pingreeman Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I generally agree with the concept - but I'm in favor of filling out the survey cards found at the front desk - these go directly to management.

     

    Marriott post-stay surveys also go to management, but I wish they were less frivolous about breakfast area, lobby, etc. and more brief or simply "free form." I hate answering 15 or so pages just to type in some overall comments.

     

    Perhaps Marriott can update the member profile page to include, "Would you like to participate in a survey for every property stayed?" but then, I realize that random surveys provide a more statistically significant analysis of all guests.

     

    Finally - while I support quality improvement for Marriott, I find it someone interesting that elite MR members are willing to "step up to the plate with comments" rather than Marriott self-enforcing their own quality analysis. I think the fact that "Secret Shoppers" were once used in the past is a SIGNIFICANT red flag that this level of feedback is not being monotired. Why should we do the work Marriott should be doing?

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Pingreeman, those paper comment cards are being phased out, according to the hotels where I've stayed. Instead the hotels are hoping that the randomized surveys will make them happier, I suppose.

     

    Sorry, maybe we should be copying those comment cards as blanks and keeping copies in our luggage?

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    zukracer Alumni Steward Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    all great ideas. I guess my thought would be best summed up by calling us elite member secret shoppers.  Perhaps rewarded with points after X surveys of X properties that can be documented or something.  I dont look at it as much like I'm doing their job or that they dont want the feedback, I think in a lot of cases they want the feedback.  The mechanisms for getting the feedback is the issue IMHO.  I never fill out cards, I simply ask to talk to the manager/sup on duty if its important enough, I typically dont mention the little stuff because its generally not the right time/place for it.

     

    These attention to detail issues though are things that can be done to help drive quality for everyone.  Little things out of place for regular elite guests get annoying....dont know about you but if the remote isnt where I expect it for the property type I get miffed LOL  I think its more of a chance to help make the brand more consistent and better for all of us.  We also can offer insights that hotel management and staff do not have.  Yes they are in the rooms/properties as much as we are but they dont live there like a lot of us do.  The difference is pretty significant and the view point from a seasoned guest might help drive chagnes we can all appreciate.

     

    I actually think though that this would have to be driven from the top down.  This would require a refocus from the leadership to be effective across the brands but I think it would certainly help with keeping elite members as well as possibly attracting new ones.  There has to be a measure of checks and balances though and it cannot just be a forum to beotch and complain about whatever...rather very to the point observations on the state of things at the properties.

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    goalie Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'll be happy to give my insights, which as an elite member are very precise, but I'm not doing it just because. I would like a gesture from Marriott, like points. I have been Platinum for years and have a good eye. Makes me wonder if they really want to know but deep down I think they do because they ae still one of the more consistent and clean chains. We are an untapped resource but with so many leased hotels, I think the trial to Marriott is manybe not very direct. Today in my hotel I noticed housekeeping had signs indicating "Ecolab". Are some hotels contracting housekeeping out?

     

    Goalie

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Dear Zukracer:  Itotally agree that we should be Secret Shoppers (rhymes with Stepping Stones sort of).

     

    My personal failed attempt to offer my services to Marriott as a Secret Shopper were met with polite "no thank you's" in past years, most recently three years ago.

     

    Seems Marriott wants to engage an impartial third party to do this and most times the secret shopping is telephonic--at times testing the ability of an AYS associate's response to a series of questions.

     

    But I agree with you that we (as frequent sleepers in Marriott Rewards) are the best judge of what's happening.  Shoudl Marriott ever put touch screen TVs in the rooms this might be a way to engage us one-on-one as we see problems developing?

     

    Thanks for starting the discussion and focusing it, 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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    zukracer Alumni Steward Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Seems Marriott wants to engage an impartial third party to do this and most times the secret shopping is telephonic--at times testing the ability of an AYS associate's response to a series of questions.

    SteppingStones, I agree with your assessment but I think its exactly the opposite data that we can provide as a group that provides the most value.  The third party stuff is wonderful for the ratings game but can Marriott be so bold as to actually look at their true customer satisfaction scores?  And I dont mean the frilly did you enjoy your stay stuff because really unless it was a completely horrible experience folks either ignore those or answer "yes" or "great".  I mean can they take a deep look at their product's quality and work to improve it.

     

    I honestly believe that if they can take a look at even 25% of the things the elite members would critique it could be hugely impactful to the brand.  Just think if there was something that was done better or with more efficiency than any other hotel chain or rewards program.... the possible gain in elite member business could be significant.  Even if there was no change in services the fact that there was that level of interaction could be something that swings over new members.  We can dream cant we

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I completely agree, especially after filling out two consecutive (endless) online surveys for the same (wonderful) hotel.  The fill in the blank from 1-10 or N/A over and over makes me simply not want to do it.  I would much rather have a card or survey that asks me to lists the pros and cons of a hotel then add further comments.

    ProfChiara

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    lone6star Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I notice these things as well.  In the Hartford residence Inn, I had a suite with 1 1/2 baths.  The half bathroom contained no shower or bathtub, yet they placed shampoo and conditioner in here----makes no sense! 

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    techie Platinum 7 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    The problem is that I think I am very observant and pick up a few too many things.  When there are an overwhelming number of issues (which usually is the result of a lot of turnover, or weak management), I fear I might be branded a complainer, which is something I don't want.

    If Marriott would look at it from the perspective of trying to improve their product, I would feel better about it.  I don't want points for writing customer service, and I don't want to be compensated for things they missed by points.  What I want is the issue I've brought up to get fixed.

    Unfortunately, the tendancy is to give points rather than fix the problem - although I will concede that in at least a couple of cases, I feel my comments have resulted - or helped result in - significant improvements to a hotel. 

    If they would understand that I don't *have* to complain, I could simply go stay somewhere else, and that I complain so things get fixed for everyone, and not just me - then I would feel better about it.

    Right now, I'm certain fellow elite members would also find a lot of things wrong and they'd just find an overwhelming number of things to fix.

     

    A couple of cases in point that they may see a deluge with:

    Marriott is not a leader in fast enough internet speeds.

    Marriott is not a leader in dealing with being a "non smoking" property - for example, poor dealings with smokers in rooms, poor dealings with smokers in doorways and windows, inconsistent rules with respect to where smokers can smoke, abysmally poor enforcement, and finally many of the hotels I have stayed in are not even compliant with existing local legislation regarding smoking spots (and yes, I can name properties and specific ordinances, just ask!).

    Marriott is not really consistent with their food.

    What they do have:

    I've encountered consistently polite front desk staff.

    Beds are nearly always comfortable.

    They are most always fair (although they weren't with telephones in the days of 950 numbers which they double billed).  But they have been fair for the last 15 years or so at least.

    I haven't had security issues at Marriott hotels.

     

    In closing, I'd be glad to contribute if it did some good.  Doing a full review takes a lot of work and it is discouraging when it is cast aside.

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    hkloban Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    I think this is an excellent idea.  I'd be willing to complete an audit each time I stay at a Marriott property if I knew that the results would be put to good use.  Perhaps we could be rewarded with a token amount of points for our efforts. 

    Personally, I do this anyway via the Trip Advisor website.  I always rate the restaurants and properties I stay at for the benefit of others.

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    luv3boyz Member
    Currently Being Moderated
    Prior weekend we stayed at a Marriott in San Diego. My Son got married at a well known resort close the Marriott location.I had a gift I received and paid top dollar for our room and this was not our first visit at this resort. The folks at front desk are great, very nice, the rooms are about a 3 star: 1. Upon entering my room I took off my shoes immediately stepped in something wet? I had to rush off to my son’s rehearsal dinner; I phoned the front desk who contacted housekeeping. After coming back to my room at 12:30a.m. There is a voice mail stating the carpet was dried? All night I smelled sour smell of throw-up, the carpet was still damp and I was sick, thinking about the fact I stepped in some else’s bio not knowing if they were sick or just alcohol poisoned 2. I then begin to shower the day of the wedding, the morning after sleeping through the horrible smell sour rotten ? I begin to wash my hair and look up in the shower and see several bugs (dead) stuck to the ceiling of the shower. Needless to say, I did NOT feel clean!

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
      mskrm Member 2 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Oh my gosh, It seems as if they would of comp'd you a room. I've been thinking about going to San Diego & stying at the Marriott there now I'm wondering if that's a good idea.

      Most of my stays at Temecula, Riverside & Corona have been very nice, so I just assume that all Marriotts have the same quality of cleanliness. I have purchased gift cards for Marriott based on these rooms and would hope that Marriott kept the consistant practice of cleanliness everywhere.

      (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    nolife Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Funny, I jumped in with intent to start a blog on what I consider a decline of cleanliness and detail at Marriott properties and see this blog! I too am a Platinum Elite and spend many annual nights at Marriott properties and must say, the attention to detail and cleanliness is not meeting the brand name. I have recently begun spending some nights at Sheraton properties, where I have no status, and the staff is very courteous and the rooms are very clean. I recently stayed at an ALoft hotel and was WOWed by the immaculate rooms.

    Now, I am not jumping off the Marriott chain but am becoming increasingly disappointed on continued increased rates but decreasing quality of the rooms. I support guest audits and agree that we, the frequent travelers, should audit the rooms and not a third party organization. I would be willing to room audits without incentives; I believe this benefits us and Marriott as well. I hope you are listing Marriott; this is your loyal travelers communicating to you!!!

    P.S.  Is it me or do others disapprove of the one-cup coffee option?  I would like to see Marriott revert back to 4-cup coffee makers.

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    lone6star Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    As a lesson learned I aways check the contents of the hotel room before unpacking.  As in the past i have had to move to another hotel room, for reasons having to do with something wrong in the room.

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    cinngail Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I have had similar thoughts.  When I check into a hotel, I "set up" the bathroom the way it suits me.  For example, I typically move the coffee maker and the tray with soap and lotion off the bathroom counter.  (Usually it is so small but it seems Housekeeping feels they need to take 60% of the available space).

    Typically I will request 3 additional bath mats - 2 for the bathroom and one beside the bed.  I hate walking on a cold floor, and dislike walking where other people who may have who knows what issues with their feet.  Almost always, the room is set up as requested on checkin.

    When the Housekeeper cleans the room the next day, all my set up is gone along with my requested extra bathmats!  HOW HARD IS IT to figure out if I set something up a certain way, I'd like it that way for the duration of my stay.  And, if I have requested extra amenities, why can't I have them beyond my first night???????

    It seems like Houskeeping doesn't recognize who the customer is.

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    lone6star Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I agree!  I think HouseKeeping doesn't know when a Guest is scheduled to leave.   They must think that everyone is in a hotel room for one night!  You would think that the Reservation desk would be in synch with the HouseKeeping crew!

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    zukracer Alumni Steward Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    This one seems to have some legs... wonder if Marriott would entertain such a thing with its elite members.  I'm guessing that folks that would participate in this type of thing would be doing so more as a "lets make it better" thought process rather than "its a different vehicle to complain through" one.  Seems I'm not alone in thinking some attention to detail is in order and that this could help put Marriott and its various brands a leg above the competition.  In this day and age of limited resources, loyalty would seem a huge factor in the bottom line.  Tweaking a process or addressing an often overlooked issue generally costs very little but could have far reaching benefits

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Zukracer,

       

      This really seems like a great idea, even after being commented on for a year!

       

      One thing they gave me on a recent stay at The Ren. AdT/Paris, was a "Key holder", it has the hotel embossed on it and keeps my key from getting "De-magnatized".  It is such a handy item, I use it every day! 

      (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    jasper100 Alumni Steward Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I would support participating in Hotel Audits.

    (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: Elite Member Hotel Audits - A good idea?
    zukracer Alumni Steward Platinum 4 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Lets see if we can start the ball rolling with Marriott then  

     

    What would we think could be some good audit items to look for?  Processes or rooms or whatever.

     

    For me:

    1) hotel check in experience.  Overall experience.  Was proper MR level acknowledged and arrival gift offered?  Did they offer a wake up call or other services (if a spa, etc)?

     

    2) room configuration.  Was the remote in the expected place?  Was the bathroom configured (soaps, shampoo, towels, etc) as expected?  A lot of folks jump between brands but a lot are loyal to say Courtyard.  Those should really have the same layout at most every Courtyard so something out of place would stand out perhaps.

     

    3) ???

    (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.)

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