The Travel Department

Hotel Management’s number one “Club” complaint is the overwhelming negative social media postings generated by the overly aggressive Club Marketing Team. Because of these complaints, Hoteliers continue to believe that “Fewer Club Marketing locations, fewer complaints.” To the contrary, the Catch-22 of our industry is the fact that fewer Club Marketing Stations will generate more complaints, while more Club Marketing stations generate fewer complaints!

Here's Why!

Traditional Hotelier thought: “Tolerate, but limit Club Marketing and their access to Hotel Guests.” Limit the complaints by giving the Club one or two Marketing Stations. Fewer stations, fewer complaints! Even when camouflaged as Concierge or Guest Service, at heart, they are street OPCs attacking our hotel guests in the Lobby.

The Core Problem with Traditional Thought – One Lobby station offers a one-shot opportunity to book a hotel guest when they arrive. With a Marketing Team that is paid commissions on couple-production, it is easy to understand the aggressive approach of the Marketing representative. “Book them on arrival because you will never see them again.” Their misrepresentation of being a Hotel Concierges or Hotel Guest Services compounds the aggressive approach and generates even more complaints.

THE “CATCH 22” SOLUTION: “More marketing stations, more restrictions, fewer complaints, and greater production!” The objective of any Hotel Management Team is to eliminate hotel complaints with excellent service. The goal of any in-house Marketing Team is higher penetration of the available hotel guests. Both the Hotel and the Club aim to generate Happy Hotel Guests – unhappy guests don’t buy Club memberships.

These are crucial steps to implementing the Catch-22 Solution.
  1. Club Management should request multiple Marketing Stations throughout the Hotel, with strategic access to hotel guests throughout their stay. Why just one Guest Service desk or Concierge Desk when you can offer “service” throughout the Hotel?
  2. Club Management should request full access to the Hotel’s CRM Software system, with an interface allowing the Club to predefine inbound and current couples as Qualified or Unqualified. The more information the Club can gather will enable them to eliminate approaching hotel guests that have been predetermined as “Unqualified”, thus eliminating unnecessary complaints. The software allows the Marketing Team to focus on booking the predetermined “Qualified” hotel guests but with a “Service” approach.
  3. The Hotel Management Team should create a written list of every complaint the Club Marketing Team generates. For every complaint, Hotel Management should establish a reasonable rule that will eliminate the complaint (see below).
  4. Club Management should replace their aggressive “OPC Marketing Approach” with “Service Oriented Marketing,” making their team true Concierges or Guest Service representatives.
  5. The new Marketing Mantra is “SERVICE, SERVICE, PITCH, and MORE SERVICE!
  6. For every potential booking, the Marketing Rep must ask three questions, with a “Yes” response, before proceeding to the next.
    1. Are you enjoying your stay?
    2. Are you planning to return to our Hotel?
    3. Would you like to learn about special discounts and benefits available to our repeat guests?
    4. If “Yes, yes, and yes,” proceed to the booking but be ready to provide more service after their acceptance or rejection of the Club invitation.

New Hotel Restrictions for More Club Marketing Stations: Some of the special restrictions or rules that the Hotel should establish when extending more marketing stations:

  • Want to be a Concierge or Guest Service Representative? Accept training from the Hotel and be one.
  • No inviting guests upon arrival. Service only!
  • No inviting guests, staying at the Hotel for six nights or more within the first three days. Those guests staying for five nights may be invited on the second day. Those guests staying for four nights or less may be invited after they are in their room.
  • No calls to the rooms other than for services or driving the hotel guest to a marketing station “for service”.
  • If a hotel guest rejects your invitation, accept the “No” with a simple – “If you reconsider, please let me know.”And then proceed to offer more service. Only excellent service will overcome their rejection and reconsider your Club invitation.

You have now created a Marketing approach that provides multiple opportunities for your marketing team to invite your hotel guests. This increases your penetration, generating more Club Sales and lowering your marketing cost.

I don’t want to over-simplify the transition from a traditional in-house “OPC” approach to a Service-oriented marketing program. However, failing to do so will drag your Hotel and Club down with the Marketing department’s ever-growing negative posts. Avoid this slow death by Social Media and implement the Catch 22 Solution.

Correcting the negative Social Media of your overly aggressive sales team is a subject for another day, but easily resolved.

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