We love the Marriott Hotels and during our location independent adventure have amassed enough ‘Marriott Points’ to qualify for Gold Elite status (just recently with our 50 Marriott stays in a year). Marriott is one of our most trusted brands as we blogged about here.
Marriott, as many of you know, is our hotel chain of choice. They have so much selection from the premium brand, JW Marriott (which we can rarely afford) to the main Marriott and Renaissance Hotel brands (which we love) and the ‘lessor’ Marriott brands like Courtyard Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott and Springhill Suites by Marriott to name a few. In almost all cases our interactions with the employees of Marriott have been very good or exceptional. Many of their brands have now begun the service process of coming out from behind the counter to hand you your keys and in some cases walk you to the elevator. (More on the exceptional JW experience later).
How Does Your Staff Experience Fit Your Brand
Recently we stayed at the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel. We’ve stayed here before and were very much looking forward to it. It is a luxury Marriott property with great rooms, a fantastic lounge and restaurant and a Starbucks located right in the hotel (for Tara). The Renaissance brand is unique and modern with there own level of design and even their own hashtag #renhotels so visitors can show off the designs on Instagram.
We stayed at this Marriott two different times in the same week (a Friday night and a Monday night). The two check-in experiences couldn’t have been more different. We’ve always felt that Marriott Hotels take customer satisfaction (service) to the next level. They certainly embrace the use of technology as we wrote about here. Do your customers get the same check in experience every time they visit your facility? Probably not, but shouldn’t they?
Trust is one of our main core values. You can read that blog here. Do you trust your staff to provide the same experience to every customer?
Consistency is also one of our core values in managing a golf operation (posted in the blog above). If your staff aren’t consistent then every experience and customer interaction will be different. What one team member does will reflect in the experience your customer has. Are you consistently good or in-consistently average? Your team and the experience they offer will determine that each time they interact with a customer. If they are consistent (whether good or bad) the customer experience and expectation will at least be the same.
It’s The Little Things
On this stay at the Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel we had two different experiences.
On Friday it was seamless and the front desk experience was quick and easy. We always check in on the Marriott mobile app in advance of arriving. It speeds things up, keys and the room are ready when we arrive. We pulled into the parking lot after getting our parking ticket, entered the elevator and went to the check in on the second floor. The keys were ready, we were asked if we wanted to charge the room to the credit on file (we did), we were offered the Marriott parking rate (which we excepted, $10 cheaper), thanked for being an Elite Marriott member and headed up to our room. The whole thing took about three minutes.
On Monday it was completely the opposite! Again we checked in on the Marriott mobile app about three hours ahead of our arrival. Once there again we got our ticket to enter the parking lot and went to the second floor to check in. This time we had a different person at the desk and the experience was totally different. I went to check in and Tara was talking to a friend. I was asked for my credit card and another piece of ID. All of our reservations at all hotels are under Tara (same last name). The reservation agent asked me to pull her away from her conversation to verify who she was and show her drivers license (remember we had already checked in via the mobile app). Once that was done I asked about the Marriott parking rate and was promptly told I had to return to my car and get the original parking ticket to exchange it for the new one. I asked if he was sure as three days ago they just issued me a new parking pass. Nope, you’ll be charged twice if you don’t was the response. Back to the car I went. This time the check-in experience was more the 20 minutes.
The whole event was a bit of put off. While not a big deal it got me thinking again about our core values and one of them is consistency. The two experiences were completely different, how do your staff interact with each customer? Is the experience and the message the same? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts!
We, Jeff and Tara Ciecko of CK Golf write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other an Industry Blog where we comment on general business and internet marketing best practices, sales strategies and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf for 10 years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf and other industries. As of August 2016 our life and our business will be ‘location independent’. Our 19th Hole Blog is about the places we visit and the things we do. If you have any questions or comments, or happen to be in the same location as us please reach out and contact us anytime.