This past weekend I stayed at a Westin hotel in Chicago, and a few elements stood out to me as novel approaches. I encountered two specific instances where they put the choice into the hands of the consumer, empowering their guest with the final decision, which I think was effective at creating a memorable experience.
Upon checking in, the front desk told us “Since you’re Starwood Gold, you get the choice of perks – would you like complimentary internet during your stay or 250 Starwood points?” My husband and I took the internet (a no-brainer since we are device addicted/internet-reliant), but I thought the approach was unique. Giving customers the choice of reward likely leads to greater satisfaction, a feeling of pride and creating a more memorable stand-out moment. Aside from simply a sense of gratitude and extra thanks for the perk (“they even let me choose”), there’s an additional sense of achievement that customers remember: “I did that” or “I chose that for myself”.
Separately, we noticed a hang-tag that guests could elect to hang on their door (where the do-not-disturb sign goes) that presented the offer “Skip your housekeeping and get a $5 credit daily to the restaurant”. Another way of putting the choice in the hands of the consumers – allowing them to decide what is most important or which they value more highly. Not only is this part of Westin’s “green initiative” reducing waste, but makes sense economically as the cost of fully cleaning a room is likely greater than $5 when you consider staffing needs and associated salaries, laundry, electricity/overhead and other supplies. I’m curious how many guests actually choose this option, and of those that do – what part is most compelling to them – knowing that they are helping environmental practices or the attached monetary incentive. Regardless though of the reason they’d opt for the $5 credit over a clean room, I again think that putting the choice into the hands of the consumers is a wise move.