Yep, that's what I'll need to do. Make sure that the new look of Insiders does not influence my overall favorable opinion of the Marriott Brand itself. While I may disagree with the direction and content of Insiders since last Friday, I assume it does not impact the service standrads that I expect at a Marriott hotel.
The fact is that no associate you'll come in contact knows much if anything about the Insiders site, so unlike Yelp and it's ilk, they have no reason to know about complaints or compliments unless they filter through the feedback channel established by Marriott.
Thus we are really talking among ourselves, as it were, and we're a very small (but vocal) percentage of the nearly 40 million Marriott Rewards membership. That means we can take this discussion anywhere we want. There seems to be little Marriott participation (other than the community manager) in the site, which is a good thing.
I got to thinking that I will check in less at MRI until the dust settles and get over my addiction to posting here. (as any addict would say, "I can quit any time!"). Maybe, maybe not. But the site is a part of Marriott (not the whole) and gives me pause.
For now and maybe a long time I'll keep 'em separate. So, here's to a future when I see ease of use on this site and good service at Marriott hotels everywhere.
I am with you SS. I have been a real Marriott supporter in the past because of their focus on customer service. Unfortunately, over the last six months or so, I have seen deterioration in customer servce and not the same Marriott that I had been accustomed to and this has been expressed on the old insider site. I believe a big part of the deterioration is due to the dilution of the Gold/Platinium Status in that it is now so easy to achieve these levels resulting in many more elite members than in the past. I believe the Marriott needs to refocus its effort to recognize their most loyal customers and bring back that superior customer treatment that they once gave. So I toast your comment, Here's to a future where we return to the Excellent Servce that we once received from the Marriott.
(From a post I made on the topic of lifetime nights/points being removed from the My Account section of Marriott's site).....but relevant to your discussion
My question is can Andy, the community manager, manage to keep up with many of these posts? Does Marriott need to think about investing in additional "community managers"? If they truly want the Insiders site to prosper they need to ensure comments and concerns are being addresses. I am not attacking Andy for not doing so, only suggesting at some point it becomes impossible for him to monitor the site for discussions 24/7.
Andy, can we develop a formal mechanism - either sharing posts with you or establishing a new Discussion topic which can be a central place to post feedback / concerns?
You mention that little Marriott participation is a good thing, but I am not sure I totally agree. They created the new site, they should have staff use it and see if they have the same frustrations.
One important point to remember about this site is that it is a cost center and not a revenue generator for Marriott. With the Marriott model going through adjustments that are being dictated by accountants (notice the decreases in service we've all been discussing....the complete overhaul to the MVCI program designed by an accountant and the appointment of an accountant to run the new MVCI spinoff??) So, I don't see them dedicating more resources in staff to this site. There have been many changes and the changes I have seen have somewhat 'polarized' the discussions and postings as they have increasingly become more difficult to follow.
In the past versions, the discussions seem to have gone from a travel post to a complaining post and now Marriott seems to have compounded the problem with their new version of Insiders and its complexity. We'll have to see what becomes the final version when all the dust settles.....
Of course, just my opinion......
As a newbie, I can't help but wonder how we get these problems that I read about on this site, on Marriott's radar? Have they ever had a Marriott User's Group Convention, or anything like that, where Marriott Executives meet with the common customers all the way up to the lifetime Platinum members? If they don't do anything like that, is there any way to bring up issues to Marriott directly, that seem to actually get noticed?
Marriott's business model is designed to engage their users (defined as our group) at the check-in level. They do not engage us at any other point that I am aware of. Their corporate base executives do not, as far as I know, even know who we are. They have had us engage in focus groups to get input, but the folks we engage with are not at the executive level or at the level that can make change that we might desire. That's not a snub to them, but they are limited in scope to what they can do.
I'd guess that Marriott is in the Pandora's Box conundrum: social networking allows more customers to participate opening the flood gates. In late 2008, when Insiders was first launched, it was with a fanfare about the "new" Marriott Rewards program, the end of blackout dates,.and so on. VP Ed French made the announcement in October of that year and a few of us responded--the rest is history. A user's group is a great idea! Hope the community manager will be aware of that idea and pass it along.