I usually write about the people in our company and how important they have been and are to our success. It’s true that there’s another part of the equation, however, and that of course are our many, many loyal customers from around the world.
Just like we’ve had associates who’ve been with us for decades, we’ve also had wonderful customers who have stayed with us as we’ve grown and as their lives have changed through the years.
Recently, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson and I received a letter from one of these members of the extended Marriott family. I share it here because it’s a reminder of how important good customers are and if we do our best to serve them well, we can become an important part of their lives too.
Dear Mr. Marriott and Mr. Sorenson,
This is not a letter asking for anything or complaining about a service. In fact, this email might sound corny, but I felt the need to write.
This past January, I was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease. It makes you think about a lot of things in your life and, believe it or not, as I started listing things I realized Marriott was part of many good times and milestones.
So, I wanted to thank you for some great memories.
If one was to ask me about brand loyalty I would only have one company that I'm truly loyal to you.
My first business trip at 20, I stayed at a Marriott;
My first California trip (including a small earthquake) was at a Marriott;
My first [loyalty] program enrollment was with Marriott;
My wedding night was at a Marriott;
The kids’ first trip to Disney, we stayed at a Marriott;
My son’s first Easter egg hunt was at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa;
When we bought our timeshare, it was/is, of course, a Marriott;
When we found out our Jenny was terminal, our last trip together and one of the best memories we will ever have, was a wonderful, bittersweet trip to the Marriott Aruba Resort;
We live on Long Island and we have weathered more than one hurricane at a Marriott property;
My 50th birthday was spent at the Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort;
Last fall, instead of a party for sweet 16, my daughter Courtney and I went to Italy and stayed at the Rome Marriott Park Hotel;
Every summer vacation is at a Marriott;
And now, after saving up for years, we are planning the family's first “out west” ski trip together and, of course, we will stay at a Marriott.
We are not the wealthiest of your patrons and may not have spent a lot of money at the hotels. I may not have ever reached gold status. I am, however, loyal and grateful for the lifetime experiences my family and I have shared with you.
I hope to write to you someday and say, "I danced at my grandchildren's wedding at a Marriott!"
So here is a simple "thank you" for all the memories!
To this wonderful customer, I say thank you, thank you!
I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.
Follow me on Overheard@Marriott on LinkedIn.