Sometimes a shout out is required….
Those who know me know my suitcase is always packed, and usually with me somewhere other than home. Even in these COVID times, I find myself checking into hotels.
Last evening, I checked into the brand-new Spring Hill Suites in Alpharetta, GA. Kea was the gracious person at the front desk. Since the hotel was new, so was Kea. When I offered my method of payment, my Bonvoy e-gift card, she did not know what to do with it. After calling for help without success to several folks in her management chain, I got out my sell phone and called the front desk of the Residence Inn in Lexington KY (South/Hamburg Place—if you would like a great hotel experience in Lexington). Sidney answered the phone, and while answering other calls and checking folks into his hotel, he patiently walked Kea through the steps to accept my form of payment.
I was grateful to Sidney, for showing his patience, and for helping someone he likely will never meet (Kea).
Someone else may have railed at Kea for not knowing this aspect of her job. But I have been new in a job and in the same position and know how frustrating it is to be alone and without an answer. I commend Kea for remaining calm as she tried to address the problem. I was also incredibly happy to provide a solution to her problem so I could get into my room.
I am a loyal Marriott rewards member, and this is the kind of service I have come to expect and respect from Marriott. I hope my clients feel the same way towards the customer service we offer at Alpha UMi.
A 2018 article in Forbes pointed out that excellent customer service does not have to be expensive, and in many cases is free1. That was proven out by my experience. And face it, great customer experiences positively impact the bottom line. I am a lifetime Titanium member because of Marriott’s continuing culture of service, and presence where I frequent.
A 2019 Forbes post mentioned that “60% of millennials state loyalty to brands they currently purchase from if treated well through customer-centric experience. To ensure allegiance, companies include loyalty programs with custom discounts as well as active courtship.”2 If this is Marriott’s motivation, I certainly have been a beneficiary over the past 15 years!
At this point in her career, my network at Marriott is stronger than hers, grown from being the friendly kind of customer that encourages staff to remember my name and help me out when I need it. I hope she sees the value of the network and takes time to get to know folks at other properties. Maybe someday they will see an e-gift card, not know how to accept it for payment and call her!
And in the meantime, Sidney, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!