Hilton to Devalue Honors Points in 2010

Hilton HonorsHilton is taking a lot of heat after announcing they will change the number of points required to book a free night stay, essentially devaluing their Hilton Honors points by about 20 percent.  Check out the full USA Today article and the nasty comments, here

Our take:  We agree with the travel industry analyst who said ‘it is the absolutely the wrong decision to make at a time when hotel demand is down from corporate business, conferences and leisure.”  It will save cash, but the timing is very poor.

In a follow up post, found here, three other brands seemed to distance themselves from Hilton’s strategy. 

Our favorite comment was from IHG’s Jim Abrahamson who said that rewards members are twice as profitable and elite-level members are 12 times as profitable.  He goes on to say “if one platinum-level member leaves us, we’d have to go out and find 12 new customers just to replace that one.”

How to 86 Your Customers

When I am not in a hotel, I swing by the occasional chain restaurant for a good meal.  There is one chain that I really like because they have awesome baby back ribs.  The problem is that my wife will only eat one thing on the entire menu.  Here is our experience and a good lesson in how to lose a regular customer.

86The server came by to take our orders.  I ordered the baby back ribs that I love and my wife ordered the fish (the only thing on the menu that she really likes).  The server took down the order and left for the kitchen.  My wife and I enjoyed our beverages and a little conversation.  About 15 minutes later, we were wondering where our food was when one of the restaurant managers came over and said ‘I’ve got some good news and some bad news.  The bad news is that we are out of the fish.  The good news is that we have everything else on the menu available.’

I have no idea why they took 15 minutes to tell us that they were out of the fish.  Did they not know this when we ordered?  Maybe they were fishing out back and the fish just weren’t biting.  Who knows.  Anyway, we were annoyed but willing to move on.  My wife requested a menu so she could choose another entree.

Not even one minute later, the server brought on my baby back ribs and held them in front of my face while asking ‘would you like these now or would you like me to bring them back when your wife’s food is up?’  Apparently, the server wanted to see me get a divorce!  I told the server that I would wait and eat with my wife so that I don’t have to sleep on the couch tonight.

The server came back and took my wife’s second order.  A few minutes after that, a different manager came over to tell me that the restaurant was out of fish.  It was almost like they were rubbing it in at this point.  We told him that we already ordered something else.

About 10 minutes later, the server brings my wife’s entree along with my ribs that were sitting under the heat lamp.  They had a nice twice baked taste to them.  I also enjoyed the twice baked potato that was now a three times baked potato.

The restaurant kindly offered to give us a free dessert for our trouble.  We rarely get a chance to go out to eat; a free dessert was not worth the ruined meal.  Needless to say, we have not been back.

Got a bad service story to share?  Add it to our comments section!

Quit Ignoring My Guest Request!

ignoreWhen we evaluate new hotels for our overnight stay reports, more than 1 out of every 3 simple guest requests is completely ignored.  The analyst’s requests are simple things such as a toothbrush, more towels, or to have an engineer or bellman come up to the room.  The analyst will make the request and never hear from a hotel associate ever again.  Here are some simple do’s and don’ts to make sure your requests are handled perfectly:

Do require the guest service agent to log the request on a proper Guest Request Log

Don’t allow them to scribble the request on scrap paper, the back of their hand, or anything else but the log!

Do make sure the log has space for the GSA to log the following:  time of request, room number, guest name, item requested, teammate who handled the request, time request completed, and the time of the callback.

Do make every GSA log down every request on the guest request log.  If a guest requests a toothbrush or requests a room change, it must be on the log.

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