Turning a loyal customer into a friend

Over the past weekend I had the pleasure to meet someone special to one of our loyal customers. 

Mr. Pham is a Platinum Level Elite (the highest level of Marriott Reward Guest) who stays at our hotel on a weekly basis since the beginning of the year. 

This is literally his home away from home. He stays with us for several days and by now, he has “trained” my entire team on his room preference location in the entire hotel.

Mr. Pham also has two essential requests on every trip that he can’t live without and should always be part of the room.  He must have a refrigerator and a microwave. These two things are his “non-negotiable”.

When you tell me Mr. Pham is arriving, I ask two questions of my team-“Did we block him into a nice room and did we make sure we have a refrigerator and a microwave?” Mr. Pham buys his groceries on the first day he arrives and instead of eating out all week; he has everything he needs for the week in his suite.

When you spend almost 52 weeks in a hotel, your family away from home is the hotel staff. It’s like coming home to your spouse, but instead you are greeted and taken care of by several team members. We have become Mr. Pham’s “family” away from home for almost the entire year.
Well…since I mentioned spouse, I wanted to share with you who Mr. Pham introduced to his “second family” this past weekend with happiness and joy.

Her name is Ann, soon to be his fiancée! Ann drove from Houston to stay with Mr. Pham over this past weekend in his special upgraded room.  To make the moment more memorable, we surprised and delight the couple with our Romance Package amenities. It includes Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and breakfast for two.

The couple was delighted for the memorable weekend together. They both have families in the Dallas area to get to know and break the news.
On one of the days as they came back, Mr. Pham introduced his future fiancée. 

Our team had the opportunity to engage and connect with the special person in his life. Ann had a very inviting, warm demeanor and easy to chat with. You can tell by her genuine smile that she was delighted to meet the team.

These moments make my heart melt for several reasons. First and foremost, our loyal guest had felt comfortable with our team to share this special moment in his life. We felt part of the family. We created a relationship that goes beyond the transaction of checking a guest-in a guest to the hotel.

Secondly, and probably more significant, was a moment of happiness and joy for Mr. Pham’s new chapter in his life. We became his friends.

These moments go beyond customer service. 

These moments are relationships for a life time. 
These moments are very meaningful and inspiring to my growth as a service  provider to customers.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes experiences can create the same emotional connection to create another memorable chapter in our life.

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