When loyalty program manuals that are given to hotels leak, they make for interesting readings — about the economics of the program, what hotels are expected to deliver, and how programs ensure (such as through fines) that hotels comply.
I’ve written about several of these in the past:
- Secrets that Holiday Inn Express Tells Hotel Owners
- Secret Rules of the Club Carlson Hotel Program
- Best Western’s Hotel Manual Revealed
This is an Asia Pacific guide although the published program itself doesn’t vary by region. The guide doesn’t specify the hotel brand it’s for, though it’s written towards higher end so presumably for Sofitels at least.
Hotels are to prepare each day’s arrival list 7 days in advance, identify Le Club Accorhotel members, and benefits are pre-arranged.
Platinums should receive hotel ‘VIP’ status. At the morning briefing, discussing each day’s arrivals, member birthdays and anniversaries and special requests should be discussed.
“Never refuse any member a welcome drink.” (Although a welcome drink is a published benefit only at the first level of status, and not for general members, the guide says that a welcome drink must be offered to base ‘classic’ members.)
Platinums should receive the best tables in the hotel restaurant.
Early check-in and late check-out requests should be honored when possible, even though these are benefits only of upper tier status. (Preference should be given to Golds and Platinums.)
Gold and Platinum members should always be escorted to guest room on check-in, while Silver and base level members should be provided this when possible.
Platinums and Golds should receive an upgrade. “If room upgrade is not an option, offer member a room with a better view.” This is described as ‘the next best room.’ Put another way, a better view is not actually considered an upgrade for elite purposes. The ‘next best room’ is a consolation, not the expected upgrade. Silver and base members should be offered an upgrade at a discounted price.
New hotels, and those with low occupancy, should go above and beyond with upgrades – free upgrades for Silvers, and lounge access for Golds. This appears to be a suggestion, not a requirement.
Surprise and Delight
This guide seems a little more ambitious than any Accor hotel is likely to take on seriously. It recommends offering balloons and candy to children.
Accor is apparently developing ‘sightseeing packages’ and includes them in surprise and delight elements, suggesting that hotels offer leisure travelers free tickets to movies and shows as well as decorate rooms for anniversaries and offer customized gifts to Platinum members. I want the suggested ‘customized car model’ with my name on it!
What This Means for Accor Loyalty..
Hotels in Asia Pacific tend to go far above and beyond in customer service and recognition that elsewhere in the world.
Accor has a variety of brands, and the level of service suggested would only be provided at their top properties — and most of the elements here are unenforceable.
Unlike hotel documents I’ve written about for IHG Rewards Club, Club Carlson, and Best Western Rewards, this isn’t an operating manual but a recommendations document. It doesn’t detail economic consequences of failure to deliver benefits — just tells hotels how to deliver quality experiences consistent with the loyalty program.
If any member finds an Accor hotel acting at this high level, I’d love to know!