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I've suddenly noticed a whole bunch of 'good posts' declaring how wonderful people's experiences have been at Marriott. If so, I absolutely applaud the experiences. But have any of you reacted like me? Is this a plant, is it real, are our critical but helpful voices being drowned out? Do tell.
I think Jerry is right. Most of the good posts are related to individuals, not properties. If you are a conspiracy theorist, you could conclude that the "spirit to serve" agenda changes the tenor of posts to positive by promoting positive responses. I suppose you could argue that it is the same as when we insiders came up with our Hall of Shame for properties. The site was then inundated with negative posts. Same thing when the Facebook contest was announced. Many folks couldn't help themselves from sending cheerful posts. I guess it is a bit of "pavlov's dog"....
That's what I think, anyway.
So many things that I think will elicit responses do not.
I am surprised that so many responses are involving something that I personally have not thought about, "Free Breakfasts". Sure I am a minority, but my life, and I do not want to insult anyone, but I do not really worry about "Free Breakfast".
Jerry, its not only about the breakfast to me. Its more the taking away of benefits a little at a time by the Marriott to its loyal customers and the deterioration of service we have seen lately...The taking away the Breakfast/Lounge access on weekends is just another example of this. And to hear that the Marriott has gone out of its way to tell their hotels not to provide this stirs the pot even more!!!
Jasper and Professor,
You are both right!
A breakfast of $30 is a big deal, especially in Europe. I guess I stay at too many RI, and don't care too much for the breakfast buffets. However, when I think about the vouchers for a real breakfast, made to order, it is a great start for the day.
Thanks for reminding me!
You make a great point, SS. I used to LOVE staying at Marriotts, but the service, amenities, and problems with postings have turned me to other hotels, at least some of the time. I am probably wrong about lurkers or plants but it seemed odd to see all those extremely positive comments all of a sudden. But if real, I am happy!
The world is full of used to be great places and even hotel chains. Our tastes change, our experiences color our view of what we've seen as a value over the years, making it less so. For me the perfect stay is one that makes me smile, costs me a fair price, and gives me a good after taste (sounds like a Primitvo to me)
Check out the Spirit to serve section for information on the program where Insiders can nominate individual associates for their extraordinary service.
FYI, the portion of this thread which mentioned specific properties as been branch to its own thread at, https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/39145#39145
How things change in just a day or two.....
Just a few days ago, profchiara was wondering if the 'positive' posts were plants. while we have been assured that they are not, boy has the mood ever changed. Yes, there is a always a 'piling on' effect, both good and bad, but the tenor of many posts has definately gone south for the winter as it were. Of course, timing is everything, but wasn't it just a few months ago that an overwhelming number of insiders voted in a ss poll and said that they felt better about Marriottt than they had a year ago. My opinion is that this shows how fleeting loyalty really is an how companies need to foster that loyalty every day. It was interesting reading Marriott's response to some of our concerns. The comments that struck me were the one that said Marriott is not a leader, and oftentimes slow to react (that doesn't make me feel good), and also the one that acknowledged our concerns, but then made it clear addressing even ONE of the several issues would cost in the "millions" (suggesting to me that NOTHING would be forthcoming). All in all, it doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about the relationship.
And to think much of this consternation (for me) could be set aside with a minimal effort on Marriott's part.
I didn't say we weren't a leader, I said, we are not classically a first mover, which is a conscious decision. We see many competitors make claims before they're able to pull it through to their hotels (case in point, the 'new bed' claim by one brand years ago began when only a handful of hotels had them - and then only in a few rooms). Very shortly, you'll see one of our competitors make giant noise about their newly revised loyalty program - they're notoriously successful on the PR side, but generally slow when it comes to execution. We'll see what happens.
And, you know this as much as anybody - nothing's easy anymore. Nothing. We've all plucked the 'low hanging fruit' while we were busy 'just doing it' and thinking 'outside the box'. The reality check is that Marriott probably relies too much on due diligence, which slows us down and lends itself to a bit of analysis-paralysis on the front end, but that's the way we roll. When it comes to the health of the company, we stand as one of the most ethical and fiscally sound around.
And if nothing is forthcoming, my workload should be going down. If you're ever in Bethesda, stop by and we'll give you all the warm and fuzzy you can stand!
Well Michelle, despite our differences of opinion, i.e.. the difference between not being a first-mover and not being a leader, I do appreciate the offer of a proverbial hug if I am ever in the neighborhood. That said, why is it sooooooooooo elusive to your great company to get your otherwise fine check-in personnel to simply acknowledge my elite status????? If I compare this to my personal life, I would be considered rude if a neighbor or a family member dropped by the house, and my greeting was less than genuine. I do not think that the good folks at Marriott properties are rude, or dis-genuine, but I do think they are poorly trained in the art of welcoming a guest. I will leave it at that.
Thanks again for the offer, could you throw in 10,000 points???
Thanks Michelle, having been accused by posters of being a shill for Marriott (in version 1.0) by other Insiders, I feel your pain. I am one who feels that the free flow of ideas are valuable in any forum, assuming people behave with decorum and respect the views of others.
That being said I hope you're not being forced to defend things that do not need defending, like decisions made inside the tent as it were. Know that we appreciate your hard work, expect honest answers--even "no"--from you.
Keep your head up, we appreciate the answers and we get it--some things are too hard to do. But as you know we have choices, and we base our decisions on the treatment and the price we pay. Not a threat, just a reality of competitiveness in the lodging marketplace.
One more thing: I hope that Marriott can be the Marriott again that I've used over many decades. At the moment it seems to be losing some of the lustre that made it great
As usual, so well put. Marriott, is still my hotel of choice, but Hampton/Hilton has really "Improved in their front desk reception" here is what they handed me last night upon checking in:
January 17, 2012
Dear Mr. Morgan
On behalf of the entire staff, it is my pleasure to personally welcome you back to our hotel. As a Hilton Diamond Member, you are one of our most important guests. As such, your My Way preference of 250 bonus points will be added to your account. Thank you for your loyalty to the Hilton family of brands.
I wish to ensure that your stay with us is a comfortable and enjoyable one. Please do not hesitate to contact me, or the manager on duty, by calling "0" if we may assist in any way during your stay.
Once again, thank you for participating in the HHonors program and for staying with us while in the St. Louis area. We hope to see you again in the near future.
(Signed by the GM)
At least three people, (Who I did not know, nor did I think they new me), addressed me by name, and said thanks for being a Diamond Member. I was impressed and told them it has been a long time that I was addressed with such courtesy.
My $.02, I will praise when I find the experience exceptionally positive, complain when it's at the other end of the spectrum, but for the most part simply don't have the time to randomly and routinely gripe/crow about my experiences with Marriott (or Hertz/Continental/Olive Garden/whoever). If I'm not happy with a stay, unless it's an egregious mistreatment—as a guest, not a PP—I'm not likely to say anything. Same for moderately positive experiences. At the end of the day, I'm a consumer with limited time to respond to things, and have to balance other demands with my level of consternation or joy with a property. Even as a member of USAToday's "Road Warrior" panel, I only respond to maybe one of five requests for comments. I simply don't have the time or energy to respond to every perceived slight.
Does this mean I'm generally satisfied with Marriott? No, but I suppose my continued business with them may be taken as an indicator, or it may also—more properly—be taken as a reflection that they're more convenient to my business for the time being. This is where taking my "loyalty" for granted is a risk, as I will move to Hilton, Starwood, or whomever regularly if they are found to be more convenient, plus reward that regularity to a measurably greater degree than Marriott.
Diminishing recognition and privileges are a slippery slope; Corporate may think we're all fine with it, bet we're really not. We just have different thresholds of bailing out, which is why many members of Insiders are nearer their personal tipping points than others, or at least express themselves in ways that would give one that impression. It would be wise to remember the Business 101 maxim, that it is substantially less costly to maintain a customer than to gain a new one (and a mere fraction of regaining a lost one).
Assuming the "due diligence" argument in Marriott's pace of change is accurate, then I'd say most ideas have been thought to death, and not necessarily for the better. Many of the policy changes that have been noted here, and the branding changes (Bistro, anyone?) are seemingly so far removed from good business decisions as to make one wonder who actually signed off on them. Committees, market surveys, and accountants in the room telling you what services can be cut may result in temporary improvements to the bottom line, but only temporary.