How do hotels say 'thank you' to their guests?
In this day and age, they blog about it, sometimes they tweet it and in some instances, they put up a friendly Facebook post. But over at Marriott, they're going old style and picking up the phone to say thanks to their most loyal guests.
Bill Marriott, executive chairman of Marriott International, will join other senior executives and associates making phone calls to more than 125,000 customers around the world, just to say 'thank you.'
The old-school gratitude initiative is part of company's annual Global Customer Appreciation Week, which extends through Marriott's global portfolio of brands.
Stephanie Linnartz, Marriott's executive vice president and chief marketing and commercial officer, said in a press statement, "This is our 20th year of rallying our associates and executives to personally tell our customers how much we appreciate their business, support and loyalty. Global Customer Appreciation Week is a tradition at Marriott and an important part of our culture and strong focus on the guest."
Taking to a digital level, J.W. Marriott, Jr., executive chairman, blogged his appreciation of guests on the Marriott blog site.
The effort by Marriott - while generous and admirable - does beg the question: while every day should be Customer Appreciation Day in the hospitality industry, what's the best way to show a hotel's thanks?
Not everyone can be upgraded to a suite or given a free night's stay as a sign of thanks - the hotel's would run out of inventory faster than they could hand over a room key. But the personal touch - the one that Marriott employees are showing by reaching out with a phone call - goes a long way.
Just a few weeks ago, I received a hand-written note from the general manager of a hotel I frequently stay in in New York City. The gesture to put something in writing showed effort and value - something every hotel guest should experience, whether they're a "loyalty member" or a first-timer.This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.
Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com