Marriott has long been known as a leader in the hospitality industry. Like the Ritz-Carlton, which Marriott International purchased in the mid-1990’s, Marriott understands it is the customer experience that drives customer satisfaction and, ultimately, loyalty to the brand.
Marriott also knows that the quality of the customer experience is only as good as the culture of the business and the employees that interact with guests. So, like the Ritz-Carlton, Marriott trains every employee — from concierge, front desk, housekeeping, to maintenance — to interact with guests with a focus on enhancing the customer experience.
The remarkable success of the Marriott brand and their customer service culture is detailed in the highly recommended book by J. W. “Bill” Marriott, Jr., The Spirit to Serve
More recently, and as a tie in to my recent experience chronicled below, Bill Marriott spoke about the role of social media in the customer experience:
Today, social media makes it easy for organizations like ours to ‘listen’ and ask questions of our guests. Our guests and associates have lots of opportunity now to let us know what they’re thinking and how we’re doing as a company. – Bill Marriott
The important part of what Mr. Marriott said is ‘listen’. These days, most reputable companies have some sort of social media presence and the capability to listen to their customers. Of those companies, the impact on the customer experience is in how they turn that ‘listening’ into action.
Case in point:
Two weeks ago I was back on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii for another round of in-house training with a very-valued client of mine. As was the case on my previous two visits, I stayed at the beautiful Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
While working on my laptop from my room balcony I tweeted this >
About a half-hour later I received this tweet back:
Good Stuff! Someone there was certainly ‘listening’ and responding in a positive manner to enhance my customer experience!
The next morning I left for my client early, was out of the hotel all day, and returned to my room early that evening to find a fresh fruit plate, 6 slices of banana bread, 2 bottled waters and silverware on my desk:
As shown, it included a card from the Director of Sales & Marketing, John Dominguez, with a thoughtful message:
Aloha Steven, If you have to work on your lanai, we hope you will enjoy this small treat.
WOW! Now that’s exceeding expectations! Impressed and delighted with John’s consideration, I tweeted again:
Seemingly immediately, Marriott ‘liked’ the tweet and, not long after that, I received an “ENJOY!” retweet response. I sure did!
This is a great example of harnessing the power of social media to engage and, along with taking action, personalize and provide a memorable customer experience.
Well Done Marriott!
This story is also on LinkedIn @ Marriott Gets Social To Deliver Great Service