In Part 1 of this post, I talked about Marriott failing as a brand in the process of trying to resolve a simple request to cancel a reservation. The primary point of my original post was to identify a failure in the human portion of the interaction, and a means to remedy the deficiency. I decided to create a supplemental post (part 2) because I had additional interactions with the brand and feel a fair perspective deserves additional information.
Apparently Marriott corporate and Vacations by Marriott are two distinct entities. It also appears that when you phone Vacations by Marriott after 5pm, the call is forwarded to Marriott corporate. It also turns out that Marriott corporate isn’t aware that they are receiving calls relating to Vacations by Marriott. This clears up a lot of the reason for some of the misunderstandings, and it also illustrates how a major brand can fail in such a simple, procedural way (i.e., not being aware they are fielding calls for a different entity).
I also learned that Vacations by Marriott apparently uses their own credit card (perhaps that of an individual agent?) to hold a reservation. I can only imagine it relates to an agent getting points for travel or something like that, but I’m speculating on the reasons.
In the end, the reason I feel this second post is necessary is because a supervisor for Marriott named Joan M. was able to take care of everything for me, and she did it with excellent customer service. She represented the brand well, and was able to demonstrate all of the elements necessary for solid customer service.
Why couldn’t the other people? Why did one supervisor hang up on me?
I’ll tell you why. Because one single human being made the brand look bad. Another single human being (Joan M.) made the brand look good. The human interface.
If you want to fix your brand, look at the people who are interacting with customers and clients. If they can’t/won’t/don’t solve problems, they are the problem. Fix the human interface and you will fix your brand.