March 20, 2014
Recently, my son and I had the good fortune to stay at the Marriott Marina Hotel in San Diego. The views overlooking the bay were beautiful. The hotel is elegant and spotless.
But the thing that struck us from the moment our taxi pulled up to the front of the building, was the warmth and friendliness of the employees. The doormen greeted us as if we were long lost friends. When we stepped into the lobby, another employee smiled and welcomed us to the Marriott. It appeared that her role was simply to greet the guests and direct them to the right counter for check-in.
A manager was training the counter clerk who waited on us. They both looked up and smiled warmly when we approached the desk and explained the situation. The whole check-in process took no more than five minutes but they upgraded our room to a bay view to thank us for our patience due to the training. We stopped at the gift shop to buy a couple of snacks and the employee stepped out from behind the counter and practically jogged around the shop to gather our items for us. A housekeeping employee was polishing the elevator doors during our ride up. She asked where we were from and wished us a wonderful stay in San Diego. Then she thanked us for choosing the Marriott. I was so surprised that I nearly fell out the door when it opened at our floor.
Later that evening, we ordered a pizza from room service. A bouncy, cheerful employee delivered it 15 minutes later. By now, my son and I were grinning from sheer delight because of the friendly contagious spirit we found everywhere in this hotel.
The clincher came the next morning when I thanked the cashier for my coffee at a stand near the lobby. She looked at me with surprise and said, “You’re welcome. But no need to thank me. I’m here for you and my goal is to help you to have a great day!”
Wouldn’t the world be a terrific place if we received this type of service everywhere we went? It almost seemed surreal. The service at this hotel was so consistent and the employees were so friendly, I don’t think I would have believed it if I hadn’t experienced it first-hand.
You may be asking, “How did the Marriott find these great employees?”
Great question. The answer? They attract them by clearly stating their standards and expectations on their recruiting materials and at their website. The company makes service a priority, communicates it to everyone who is interested in a Marriott career, and reinforces the message through extensive training.
The quality and commitment to service is clearly stated.
“Take care of associates and they will take care of the customers.” This is our founder’s philosophy and it has made Marriott International a great place to work for more than 85 years. Our people first culture has consistently earned us awards and recognition around the globe. Giving associates opportunities to grow and succeed is part of the company’s DNA. Check out this message on the Marriot Careers web page “A perfect place for someone just like you. What makes a workplace feel like home? It’s a place that brings out your best, every day. Because it makes you want to be better, every day. It’s a place where your strengths are appreciated. Where people welcome you as you are. And applaud you for where you’re going.”
Quality companies proudly state their commitment to service.
Marriott is not alone in stating their standards to attract quality employees. Companies that are committed to service are proud to advertise their standards. Here are a few examples of companies who their employees first in support of exceptional service.
Exceptional customer service begins during the recruiting process. Clearly defined service standards are a valuable tool in attracting quality employees. Customers are the winners when companies put their employees first by investing in training, rewarding great customer care, and creating opportunities for career growth. The companies win through greater customer loyalty and retention.