I am long remiss in posting this but my determination to do so has prevailed. Last fall, I sent a note directly to the Customer Service person at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in the DC area. I mentioned in my note that since I stay at this hotel relatively often, I felt that my concerns should be shared with them directly because I really cared that they be addressed and my experience with writing to Marriott Corp was that I'd get a series of very nice phone calls from general or district managers apologizing for my trouble and maybe a few points, but that things did not really seem to change.
I got a prompt response from Erin, acknowledging my issues and promising to look into them. She apologized profusely, thanking me for letting them know but also expressing a bit of distress that I felt Marriott Corp was rather indifferent to concerns from Platinums outside of token apologies.
Within a short time, I got an update from Erin saying she was continuing to investigate. A few days later, she responded to my concerns, point by point, and told me of the discussions she'd had with responsible staff members and their response. She then went on to ask my opinion on various items vis a vis accomodations and service from the perspective of both a Marriott Platinum and a very frequent traveler overall. We had several productive and meaningful exchanges and in the end, I felt EXTREMELY valued by this Marriott.
I stay at this hotel every few months for a few days, so it's not that I'm a resident guest. The issues I raised were, taken singularly, minor. And I realize that not every issue could be totally addressed based on one customer's input. But in my opinion, the combination and repeated experiences were indicating a trend I was sorry to see in one of my favorite properties. I could have easily just changed my hotel choice and would have done that if I'd have received the 'normal' treatment. But Erin's responsiveness and treatment of me as a valued member of the Crystal Gateway 'team' completely changed my perspective on this hotel, and not only will I go out of my way to stay there--including staying farther away from my work and commuting, but I have made it the base for groups of colleagues when we are traveling together.
This treatment was so far above and beyond that it reaffirmed my belief in Marriott's training and responsiveness potential. The icing on the cake was when I came to the area for business just before Christmas and brought my family, including my two college aged sons, I was amazed the hotel treated us like royalty. They gave us plenty of space, a wonderful welcome gift and basically spoiled us rotten. What a treat for my family, and what a statement of my value as a loyal customer for me.
Erin deserves recognition far beyond the Spirit to Serve, but I am hopeful this public recognition will convey to she and to Marriott even a small bit of my appreciation. You've got a winner in her, Marriott, and you should know that.