Hospitality industry is a very challenging environment for many companies due to its constant change in preferences of consumers. If a consumer does not receive all of the services which he needs at the hotel where he has stayed during the last 5 years, he will undoubtedly change the hotel. Managers of hotels need to be aware that even when they have a steady relationship with a consumer, they can never take him for granted. The consumer might really like the hotel but he will shift to competitors if they offer better value.
Consumers’ needs have changed dramatically during the last years because the supply of hotel services is very large and there is a large selection in the market. Consumers want to use the services only of those hotels which offer them the best deal. “Today’s customer wants it all: comfort and style, excitement and sophistication, warmth and reliability. ” (Marriott International, Inc. Annual Report. 2004. Available at URL: http://www. marriott. com). In order to satisfy the needs of the consumers, companies functioning in the hospitality industry need to develop efficient tools of relationship marketing.
Most of the hotels nowadays tend to focus on the following tools of building a successful relationship with customers: frequent research of consumer market; maximum quality of services and maximum satisfaction of consumers; customer loyalty programs; application of e-marketing strategies; construction of hotels in new popular destinations; building a positive image of the company. Some of the best known hotel chains in the world include Marriott International, Four Seasons, Hyatt Hotel Corporation, Radisson SAS and others.
All of these hotels have been very successful in building a relationship with their customers. However, each one of them has some weak sides of relationship marketing. One of the unquestionable leaders in the hospitality industry, Marriott International, to a large extent owes its success to the application of relationship marketing strategies with its customers. The company is known for the best in the industry customer loyalty program and the best in the industry website. One of the strongest sides of the company is its constant innovations in order to serve customers better.
Marriott International remains on the top of the industry for many years due the philosophy of its management. According to the company’s Chairman and CEO J. W. Marriott, Jr. , “great companies are nothing more than great people and great customers” (Marriott Celebrates 75 Years in Business. Available at URL: http://marriott. com/news/detail. mi? marrArticle=11122). By establishing firm relationships between the employees of the company and customers, Marriott International manages to retain its customers for many years.
Hyatt is another outstanding example of successful relationship marketing. The experience which the hotel offers to its customers makes them return to the hotel many times in the future. The quality of service is always the highest. Hyatt boasts of one of the most beautiful resorts worldwide which attract customers with the highest income levels. Four Seasons and Radisson SAS also focus on the highest quality of service. Their rooms are equipped according to all of the modern requirements and all of the services offered can satisfy even the most exquisite taste.
The secret of these companies’ success is their focus on the highest quality of service. Customers all over the world know that Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Four Seasons, Radisson SAS are synonyms of the highest quality and universal number of services. It is up to the customer to choose which brand he prefers among these four, because any choice will guarantee maximum satisfaction. In most cases, customers who have established a relationship with one of these hotels are going to stay loyal to it for the rest of their lives.