|MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Oct. 6, 1999 - On the 10th day of the 10th month of
1999 at 10 a.m., Hampton Inn, the mid-scale, limited-service hotel brand
of Promus Hotel Corporation (NYSE: PRH), will begin a month-long celebration
of the 10th anniversary of the chain’s 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, the
first ever offered in the hotel industry. All 910 Hampton Inn and 63 Hampton
Inn Suites properties nationwide will participate in the event, which will
include a direct mail offer to select Hampton Inn and other lodging customers—the
largest, most aggressive national consumer mailout for the brand.
All Hampton Inn properties will commemorate the anniversary in their own way locally, decorating their hotels with a new “Hamp10” celebration logo on signage, balloons, buttons and merchandise.
October 10-staying customers will be treated to all the “Hamp10” cupcakes
they can eat.
Lodging industry research indicates that a guest won’t return to a hotel and often never stays at any other hotels in the chain if his or her stay was not satisfactory. “That is why the payback from this program has been enormous,” explains Cordell. “Compared to the more than $6 million in free rooms we’ve given away over the past decade due to invoking the Guarantee, we have been able to track more than $41 million in repeat business, a nearly seven-fold return. But more than just dollars and cents, we’ve converted unhappy guests into satisfied customers across the country, loyal to the Hampton Inn brand.”
The Hampton Inn 100% Satisfaction Guarantee concept not only changed the way hotels operate, but also how many companies operate them today. The Guarantee empowers all employees in the chain, from the president to the housekeeper, to refund a guest’s money if he or she is not completely satisfied with their stay.
Guests have invoked the Guarantee for a variety of reasons over the last 10 years, ranging from a UFO encounter to rough toilet paper.
In the UFO incident, the front desk clerk was alerted that a guest had been awakened in the middle of the night by a series of flashing lights outside his window. Upon further investigation, the guest alleged that the lights had come from a UFO. Though no other guests complained of the incident or said they had seen a spaceship, the hotel reimbursed the unhappy traveler. “Though we receive some strange invocations of the Guarantee, we find very little abuse of it. In fact, when we fix a problem on the spot, nearly everyone declines a refund,” explained Cordell. Guest inconveniences caused by occasional power outages or breakdowns in equipment are the most common reasons cited.
“Every hotel company talks about the importance of service, but when we introduced the 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, we changed the whole notion of customer service,” Cordell noted. “Suddenly, every employee was empowered to fix any guest’s problem or prevent a possible service breakdown. We eliminated the bureaucracy, which made both our guests and employees happier.”
Case in point of this employee empowerment is the story of a too-noisy
cow left in its trailer in the parking lot of one Hampton Inn. When news
of a constant “mooing” outside reached a Hampton Inn employee, he determined
to fix the problem. Upon investigation, the employee discovered the cow’s
owner had posted a “Do not disturb” sign on his hotel room door. The employee,
who had been raised on a farm, checked further and found that the cow had
not been milked (a most likely cause of discomfort for the cow). The employee
took the initiative to milk the cow himself, and in the end, helped all
guests that evening (including the cow) have a peaceful rest.
Hampton Inn is part of Promus Hotel Corporation, one of the world’s premier lodging companies. The company operates, franchises or owns hotels throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico and Latin America. In addition to Hampton Inn, it is the franchisor and operator of the Doubletree Hotels, Suites, Resorts and Clubs, Red Lion Hotels, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, Hampton Inn Suites, Embassy Vacation Resort and Hampton Vacation Resort brands. The company also manages non-Promus branded hotels, as well as facilities in its University Hotel Conference Center division.
|Also See:||Amerihost Properties, Inc. Now Offering a 100% Guest Guarantee Program / July 1999|
|Warren Fields, VP, Club Hotels by Doubletree Endorses Outstanding Stay or Won't Pay Guarantee / July 1998|
|100% Guest Satisfaction? / Victoria L. Meyers / Feb 1999|
|Limited Service Pioneer Hampton Inns Now has 800 Properties / Oct 1998|
|100% Guest Satisfaction Program? / Hotel Online Viewpoint Forum|