The chocolate chip check in

by. Tom Picciano

I was pleased recently to try a different brand in my favorite hotel company’s family.  Less than a minute after getting to the front desk, I signed the register, and had a key.  The smiling desk clerk handed me a warm chocolate chip cookie then pointed me in the direction of the elevator. I was in my room three minutes after walking in the hotel’s front entrance.  I wonder is that how they treat all customers…or was it because I’m a silver-status cardholder?

My loyalty card offers a dozen brands to choose from, depending on where you visit or if you have a preferred hotel.  The card didn’t cost me anything.  I’ve earned enough points over the years for a number of free or reduced price rooms, including London!  My frequent stays since January have upgraded my status for this…and next year.  I earn more points as a result.  Wondering where I’ll have a free stay in 2014?

Best of all I can connect to the brand website, with my ID and password.  In seconds I can search hotels where I’m headed. With a couple of extra clicks it brings up all my information, plus credit card number and I’m booked. Reservations are easy, check-in is a breeze, and there’s no-stop check-out.

Call it loyalty…call it relationship pricing.  Whatever name you put on it, it keeps customers coming back to the same hotels, stores, or airlines.

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