Hotels are increasingly using secret programs, as well as extraordinary and extravagant service, to cajole loyalty from their best customers.
“I challenge everyone on my team to be creative and to provide important clients with their own personalized VIP service,” says Matt Van Der Peet, general manager of the Seattle Sheraton Hotel. “Whether it’s for a couple celebrating a 50th anniversary or a high-profile executive, that may mean flowers, champagne, an upgraded suite, 500 red M&Ms or six Diet Cokes.”“Roberta Nedry, president of Hospitality Excellence, a lodging consultant, agrees. “Perks and special recognition are important,” she says, “and are at the GM’s discretion when service recovery issues are at hand. How they handle difficult guests on the spot is key for any employee in terms of long-term impact.”