Tag Archives: Marriott International

customer.service

ASU Center becomes a resource to teach service

Customer service was once viewed as the cost of doing business.

“Across almost every industry, leaders are focusing on service as a way to compete in today’s competitive marketplace,” says Mary Jo Bitner, academic director for the Center for Services Leadership at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

But times have changed. Companies that are in search of new revenue streams are finding that in addition to providing great customer service, offering value-added services to their product lines are helping their bottom lines. And the help them make the most of the opportunities, many are seeking help from the ASU Center, which focuses on research and executive education in managing and marketing services.

“Customer demand and the competitive challenges posed by the commoditization of many products has pushed many goods-based companies to take another look at services as a source of revenue and profit,” says Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Services Leadership, who has spent the past 20 years tracking the growing importance of services as a product. “Many are following market leaders to become goods-and-services companies.”

For example, Boeing has broadened its offerings by adding the lucrative market of services to its aircraft manufacturing. The Hewlett Packard and Compaq merger created a new company whose major product is services. IBM’s impressive financials over the past decade — in shining contrast to its competitors — were largely the result of its service businesses.

“In 2001, we were launching our first fee-based service business,” says Steve Church, president of Avnet Integrated and chief corporate business development and planning officer. “We wanted to offer more services and solutions. We knew a lot, but there was a lot we didn’t know.”

Church says Avnet’s membership in the center — which concentrates on expanding service innovation by combining the latest scientific insights from the academic world with the best of business strategy in the real world — allowed the company to “build a culture of service excellence that focuses on the customer and gives each a great customer experience.”

The Center, which was created in 1985, remains the only one of its kind in the United States, devoted to research and education in the services field.  Its research findings form the foundation of the Center’s executive education program, attended by managers and executives of leading firms.  Member companies include AT&T, Charles Schwab and Co., Ford Motor Company, IBM, Mayo Clinic and others, who sponsor research, fund scholarships, host MBA student teams and participate in executive education.

Many member companies sponsor research that is published in academic journals, and shared at the Center’s executive education forums. Bitner, for example, has been studying the effects of self-service technologies (SST), working with Ford and a major pharmaceutical benefits management company.

“The Center is really a tremendous resource for any company that has a strategy to to improve customer serve or add services to augment its products,” Church says. “We learned that by getting our employees engaged in customer service, we built customer loyalty, it helped us compete, and it enhanced our financial performance.”

marriott

Marriott To Open Courtyard Hotel In Scottsdale

Courtyard by Marriott is rolling out its new lobby and room design in Scottsdale, featuring the “refreshing business” makeover.

The 158-room Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River is scheduled to open this month. Located at 5201 N. Pima Rd., the hotel is owned by Salt River Devco and managed by Marriott International.

The Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River is a unique property in numerous ways. First, for its contributions in making the environment a healthier place by reducing waste, conserving energy and water, the hotel is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designed and is the first hotel in the Marriott family built using Marriott LEED volume certification. Also, it is the first Marriott branded property built on U.S. tribal land and thus has incorporated Pima and Maricopa Indian culture into the hotel. And finally it is the only Courtyard property in Arizona with more than  6,000 SF of functional meeting space.

Located in the Scottsdale 101 Corridor and 13 miles from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the Courtyard Scottsdale Salt River offers guests convenient access to Old Town Scottsdale, West World of Scottsdale and Salt River Fields – spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.

Courtyard by Marriott was the first lodging brand exclusively designed for business travel by business travelers. And now it has completely redefined the hotel lobby experience. This Marriott International “power brand” is fast-tracking its lobby makeover.

From day one, Courtyard has prided itself as a brand that listens to what business travelers want from a hotel,” said Janis Milham, vice president, Global Brand Manager, Courtyard by Marriott. “Guests want more control and choice with services and amenities that create a healthy balance between working and relaxing. We redefined the Courtyard lobby so it invites guests to get out of their rooms to work, socialize or for entertainment, whether traveling alone or with colleagues.”

The open, bright and contemporary new Courtyard hotel lobby welcomes guests with vivid colors. The traditional front desk is replaced with separate welcome pedestals to create more personal and private interactions when guests check in. This will allow staff to move about to show guests the lobby features and provide assistance. Flexible seating options range from communal tables in the middle of the action, to more private media booths with high-definition televisions, to a more intimate, semi-enclosed lounge area.

A signature element of the new lobby is the exclusive GoBoard® technology, a 55-inch LCD touch screen packed with local information, maps, weather, and news, business and sports headlines. Guests can navigate using the touch screen to find restaurants, local attractions and directions.

Guests can connect to free WiFi and there are ample electrical outlets throughout the lobby to power digital devices. The enlarged business library features several complimentary computer terminals along with a free printer and separate computer stations dedicated to printing airline boarding passes and checking flight status.

Dining has been completely redesigned with The Bistro – Eat. Drink. Connect.; offering casual, flexible seating; easier access to food and higher quality, healthier menu options for breakfast; and light evening fare, including snacks, wine and beer so guests can unwind. The MarketTM, a 24/7 shop for snacks, beverages and sundries, is always open for late-night cravings or the toothpaste you forgot to pack.

The four-story hotel features The Bistro restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a Bistro Plus offering sit-down dinner service with an upgraded menu, an outdoor swimming pool with whirlpool spa, fitness center, guest laundry and business center.

For more information on Courtyard by Marriott, visit Courtyard by Marriott’s website at marriott.com/courtyard.