- Marriott International and Salesforce are teaming up on a new customer recognition platform that promises to allow the hotel company to provide a seamless interaction with its loyalty members across different guest channels like call centers, on-property, web and mobile, a news release announced. The Marriott Rewards loyalty program includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest.
- The technology gives Marriott a 360-degree view of each guest so that it can provide personalized service at every touch point. Conversations, no matter where they originate, can continue across Marriott’s mobile apps, websites and call centers.
- Loyalty members, for example, can use Apple Business Chat to request specific services prior to their stay, changing it at any point using Marriott Mobile App, and upon check-in, the front desk staff at a property will let them know if the request has been fulfilled.
Marriott's partnership with Salesforce, a CRM powerhouse, will allow the hotel chain to unify its guest services across its multiple brands and properties to provide highly personalized experiences. This need became more critical when Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels in 2016, expanding its portfolio to encompass 30 brands and 6,500 properties total.
As the hospitality industry becomes more competitive, hotel brands are recognizing that providing unique, tailored experiences is one of the best ways to attract guests and build brand loyalty instead of the traditional one-size-fits-all approach to customer service.
Consumers expect brands to learn about their needs and deliver personalized experiences. In an Accenture survey, 43% of consumers said they were more likely to purchase from companies that tailor experiences, and 31% say they find value in services that automatically learn about their needs and offer recommendations. On the flip side, poor personalization led 41% of consumers to switch companies in 2016.
Most younger consumers are more experience-driven, choosing to spend on travel and other experiences over other products. Among millennial women, 72% say they’re happiest when they spend on experiences, and 54% say their biggest purchases in the next 12 months will be based on experiences, a Merkle and Levo study found.
To help the brand better connect its entire customer journey from its mobile app to digital marketing and on-site experiences, Marriott announced plans in March to consolidate its entire paid media business under Publicis Groupe, shifting it away from WPP’s Wavemaker. Marriott also made Publicis its media agency of record. The move will also help the company as it looks for ways to be more data-driven, tech-focused and streamlined in how it approaches paid media.