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How Much Does A Hotel Know About Me?  
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2471 times:

This thread is prompted in part due to an article in today's Wall Street Journal referencing "U.S. Airlines" (unclear from what I scanned if this was US, the airline, or "airlines in the US" in general) adopting Customer Relationship Management to more closely track customers, offer personalized service and apologies, etc. Anyway, the article mentioned that hotels have been doing this "for years".

I'm a Hilton HHonors Diamond elite member, and along with that are suposed to come certain benefits... among them is one or two bottles of watter per stay, and usually a snack. About 6 months ago I noticed that this wasn't happening about 90% of the time, so I just sent in a quick email with a "Hey, I thought this was suposed to be happening, it's not... am I mistaken or what's the deal?"

I got a response practically within minutes appologizing quite profusely (a little over the top, IMHO) and crediting my account some obscene number of HHonors points (way over the top).

Ever since then, the water/snack has been in the room, and quite frequently reference has been made to it at check in. I've also noticed a much higher % of my stays include a call from the front desk to ensure that "everything with your room is acceptable".

Cooincidence? Or are my reservations somehow flagged that I'm a "troublemaker"?

I guess the ultimate question is how much information aside from the basic reservation (room type, number of nights, non-smoking preference, etc) is passed to a hotel when I book my reservation with my HHonors number?

Lincoln


CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineScrubbsYWG From Canada, joined Mar 2007, 1495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2446 times:

if that's the kind of service you get for being a troublemaker, make more trouble.

User currently offlineAsuflyer05 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2371 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2392 times:

You're a trouble maker. Had an issue at the Westin in Guam with the in room internet. Since then, about 50% of my arrivals at other Starwood properties include an extra hardwire cable on the bed.

User currently offlineSNA752 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 2365 times:

Keep making trouble  Smile

On the serious side, I can't go into too much detail as to what we do in particular, but at the resort I work at in Laguna Beach, CA... we keep records of almost everything. In most cases, we know who you are, what you do, how many kids you are bringing, what time you are arriving, etc. There is a log of all of your complaints (and compliments); we make note of all allergies; we know about your likes and dislikes...

Every associate has a daily calendar of events, just in case a guest asks where X company is having a banquet or Y wedding reception is... As for the information we keep, it's kept completely private and we all sign a NDA in order to work at the resort. Mind you, this may be on the information-heavy side, but I'm certain most other reasonable hotels and chains have a similar guest log/file.

If you have any specific questions you would like me to answer, PM me!

Cheers!



Dare to think different.
User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2337 times:

Comes from trying to give the best customer service around and keeping you loyal to them.

Nice of them to make an even better effort to make your stays with them as good as possible.


User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1616 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2296 times:
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I am Hilton Gold, the lowest elite level, yet I find that in 90 percent of the times there is the complimentary bottle(s) of water and snacks in the room when I check in. There have been a few occasions where there they have forgotten to put the items in the room, so I just call the front desk, and they will deliver them to the room.

I find this occurs more at hotels that do not cater as much to the business traveler, like Hampton Inns along the highways, as opposed to other Hilton Products that have a larger percentage of their clientele are people traveling on business. But in the times when I check in and I am upgraded to a better room and get what available at the time, they will give me the items at the desk or deliver them to the room.

On my last stay at the Las Vegas Hilton 3 weeks ago, I booked a room at the non-refundable rate of $45.00 a night. At check in, they honored my Gold status and upgraded me to a room on the pool level floor with a patio with lounge chairs and gave me a complimentary breakfast buffet. I was told at check in they would deliver the water and snacks to the room, but they never did, so I had to call again. But for $45.00 a night, with the upgrade and breakfast, I could have care less about the water and snacks.

JetStar


User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2260 times:

Thanks for the responses  Smile

Quoting SNA752 (Reply 3):
we know about your likes and dislikes...

Maybe this is best answered in a PM but how do you know my likes and dislikes? Do you ruffle through the garbage cans to find out what brand of candy bar I had?  Wink

Quoting LHR380 (Reply 4):
Nice of them to make an even better effort to make your stays with them as good as possible.

Yeah, I have to say that for the most part Hilton takes good care of me... I can't remember the last time I got a room upgrade, but you know... the room I reserved is there when I need it, it's clean, and if I complain it's usually dealt with.

Quoting Jetstar (Reply 5):
I find this occurs more at hotels that do not cater as much to the business traveler, like Hampton Inns along the highways,

That was one of the things that prompted my inquiry in my case is I realzed that it wasn't happening at Hamptons, Embassy Suites, Hiltons, Homewood Suites, or Double Trees... urban, suburban, or rural...I was actually wondering at the time if they had nuked the benefit which is why I sent the email.

Quoting Jetstar (Reply 5):
On my last stay at the Las Vegas Hilton

That's just a funky property all around... they use their own PMS/reservation system (not Hilton's OnQ) so when you have a convention booking and need to get a HHonors number added it involves a conference call with three different people (Hilton central reservations, the hotel's Reservations desk, and someone who I'm still not entirely sure who they are) -- but everyone took care of me.

And in my case the bottles of water were in the refrigerator when I got into the room, right next to the $9.95 non-complimentary bottles.

It seems like in genereal, Hotels have the whole customer service/taking care of the customer/"Be Hospitable" thing down much better than other industries.

There's a blog I came across a while ago that seems incredibly appropos
http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2006_3rd/Jul06_Mundy21.html

"That’s why we have to make it easy for them. If we say or do anything that requires the absent half of their brain to respond, they will be confused and irritated. A fungus spore, equipped with a valid credit card, should be able to complete your check-in process."

And when you think about it, some hotels get that down better than others (THere's a Hilton Garden Inn in Columbus where I've sucessfully checked in after a long drive at the end of a long day by mumbling "Reservation....King-Cliby...2 nights" and signing my name. No Credit Card, no ID, no "What's the make, model, year, license plate number, and VIN of your car" -- very nice  Smile



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1616 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2213 times:
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Quoting Lincoln (Reply 6):
That's just a funky property all around... they use their own PMS/reservation system (not Hilton's OnQ) so when you have a convention booking and need to get a HHonors number added it involves a conference call with three different people (Hilton central reservations, the hotel's Reservations desk, and someone who I'm still not entirely sure who they are) -- but everyone took care of me.

They must be tied into Hilton’s reservation system.

I was there for a trade show as well, and got a much better rate than the convention’s special rate, you can’t beat $45.00 a night with an all you can eat buffet breakfast included

I made my reservation at the Las Vegas Hilton online through Hilton’s reservation system, not through the hotel or the convention web site, along with the other Hilton properties I stayed at on this trip. The Las Vegas Hilton had my Hilton Honors number and status on my reservation when I checked in so they already knew I was HH Gold, they even told me I was being upgraded because I was Gold.

When I go to any convention, I never use the convention’s reservation system, I always book my own rooms directly through Hilton and always get a better rate than listed through the convention web site.

The only Hilton that I know about that you can’t make a reservation on Hilton’s web site is the Hilton in Atlantic City, NJ. From what I heard the owners only lease the name from Hilton Corp. so no points for staying there are given and Hilton Honors status in not honored.

When I check in at any Hilton property, unless they acknowledge they are upgrading me, I always mention that I am Hilton Gold and ask are there any upgrades available. I would say in more than 50 percent of the times I will get upgraded to a better room or a suite.

JetStar


User currently offlineWindowSeat From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1311 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2119 times:



Quoting SNA752 (Reply 3):
On the serious side, I can't go into too much detail as to what we do in particular, but at the resort I work at in Laguna Beach, CA... we keep records of almost everything. In most cases, we know who you are, what you do, how many kids you are bringing, what time you are arriving, etc. There is a log of all of your complaints (and compliments); we make note of all allergies; we know about your likes and dislikes...

That is quite right. You'd be surprised how many hotel chains now store this information and use it to offer personalised service. As you say, it's kept very confidential, but the information is there. For example information like:

- which of our hotels you've stayed in your lifetime with our brands (so, don't tell the check in agent you were in Prague when she knows you were in Berlin last week)
- how much you paid and which room you got (so no chance of saying, I never got my Diamond/Platinum upgrade
- If you had any issues and what the resolution was. (again this information is used so that the mistake is never repeated again)
- birthdays, names of spouses, children, their birthdates, what you do, who you are, other than your likes and dislikes, such as what do you order at Starbucks. (wouldn't it be cool if on your way out to work in the morning, the concierge handed you exactly what you get at Starbucks?)

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 6):
Maybe this is best answered in a PM but how do you know my likes and dislikes? Do you ruffle through the garbage cans to find out what brand of candy bar I had?

Most of this information is taken when you converse with the hotel staff, if you say things in a matter of speaking, they will be noted down and added to your profile. If you're seen walking with a can of diet coke always, then guess what will be in your minibar. It's not very difficult to gather this information, trust me. The fact that it is now shared systemwide means that if you mention to a hotel staff in Boston that you like gummy bears, your next hotel in Brisbane will know it too.

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 6):
"That’s why we have to make it easy for them. If we say or do anything that requires the absent half of their brain to respond, they will be confused and irritated. A fungus spore, equipped with a valid credit card, should be able to complete your check-in process."

Honestly that's not true. You can be just a room number or just another person checking in and out if we so wish it to be. We're providing you quality accommodation and that's what you paid for. The reason why we do the other stuff is because it does mean repeat business and reputation. Of course there will be people who work the system, just like airline mileage hoards, and naturally, people will exploit this system to get the maximum out of the hotel company, but the spirit of this is program is that the company anticipates your needs and realises them before even you know it. Mind you, hotel staff are very quick at spotting these people and you can be assured, they will get nothing for all the kicking and screaming. We're not as dumb as the writer of that quote would suggest.

ps. one of our guests at a hotel I worked at was a big shot in an aircraft leasing firm (not ILFC), not that big, but they do decent business. We found out that his company scored a $1.2billion order in Asia which was NOT announced in the press in the US. But when he checked in to our hotel in San Francisco literally two days later, there was a personal note in his room with a bottle of wine from our General Manager congratulating him on his recent accomplishment. Do you think we made him a customer for life?  Wink

cheers,
WindowSeat



I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
User currently offlineIhadapheo From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 6027 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2030 times:

I may only be a lowly Hilton Honors Gold but the YYZ Double Tree appears to know us quite well. For the past 6 visits we have been given the exact same room (a fairly nice corner jr suite). A few of the staff remember us from our past visits but as of yet no cases of Brahma have been waiting for us upon our arrival. Somehow they know I am a fan of their watersides as the last to occasions as the lifeguards remarked that they remembered my last visits (not a good thing me thinks)

Oh well, I will take the nifty room upgrade !!

IHAP



Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6633 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 2018 times:

They even know if you borrow stuff from the minibar and don't pay for it.

User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (5 years 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1963 times:



Quoting WindowSeat (Reply 8):
We're not as dumb as the writer of that quote would suggest.

I would read the entire blog entry that I linked to; I don't think the author meant to imply that hotel staff were dumb (I certainly didn't read it that way) but that one of the aspects of providing good customer service in a hotel is making the checkin process easy for the guest to complete (i.e. the "fungus spore equipped with a vaild credit card" would be the guest... not the staff)

I know some of my better impressions from hotels have been exactly that -- where I walked in found the front desk (at some newer hotels this alone can be a challenge!) checked in, and got my keycard without conciously thinking about it; on the other hand some of my not-so-good impressions from hotels have been where my brain has had to wake up and I've had to expend conscious thought on the checkin (Where is the front desk? How do I get this person's attention? When amd I checking out? What is the rental car's license plate number and why do they need to know?)

Quoting WindowSeat (Reply 8):
But when he checked in to our hotel in San Francisco literally two days later, there was a personal note in his room with a bottle of wine from our General Manager congratulating him on his recent accomplishment. Do you think we made him a customer for life?

Now that's just cool. I don't think I'm relevent enough to warrant that type of treatment, though I do dream of it. I also don't think I spend enough (my ADR is about $160, I get really uncomfortable once I hit the $200 /night range, and my "target" ADR per company policy is $150 in most markets)...

I will say one of my better memories is the Hampton Inn in Petoskey -- they never got the VIP benefits right, but across the four times I stayed there in a 6 month span for a project the front desk staff and Executive Housekeeper recognized me and remembered me... nice to have that human connection... worth more than any bottle of water.

Quoting Jetstar (Reply 7):
When I go to any convention, I never use the convention%u2019s reservation system, I always book my own rooms directly

In my case this was just this past Summer so I doubt things have changed, I'm sure if you get the HHonors # in there when you book it's transparent, it's just making changes after the fact that's a PITA. Convention reservations are the one hotel thing I don't book myself... our office manager does it using one rule from my boss-- whatever room is available at whatever hotel is closest to the convention site. I got a suite at the Anaheim Hayatt that I'm pretty sure was bigger than my first apartment (definately had more bedrooms!)

Quoting Jetstar (Reply 7):
When I check in at any Hilton property, unless they acknowledge they are upgrading me, I always mention that I am Hilton Gold and ask are there any upgrades available.

I try to avoid pulling the HHonors card... I figure they have the reservation and if they're going to upgrade me they've already upgraded me. Actually, the only time I remember bringing up my HHonors status on property was when I was complainng to a F&B manager for room service that was 45 minutes later than promised, and managed to be both cold, and burnt. Even then I felt a little uncomfortable using that, but he seemed to be a little slow on the uptake and even if it was the company's money a $35 cheeseburger that's worse than what I can get at McDonalds has no excuse.

For the Geeked out part I've read the Hampton Brand Standards Manual, the only one I've been able to find online so I know how upgrades and complaints should be handled and I also know what happens if a property "walks" a Diamond VIP or has an unresolved complaint.



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
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