Marriott has established strong brand equity due to its excellent processes and an openness to adapt. Yet, there are areas where it could improve, leading it to the position of a leader in the field of Hospitality Management.
One of the areas where the Marriott management could look into is its Corporate Social Responsibility program and think of making it more effective. It is right now a vogue among corporate institutions to state that they treat the larger society the same way they treat their customers and shareholders. But this is usually nothing more than lip service and token/unsubstantial measures. Marriott’s CSR program is drawn up in earnest purpose with consideration to all sorts of current social problems, including poverty, environmental degradation, welfare of children, etc. But the amount of resources it actually allocates to these programs is rather small. This is one area where the management could reassess and make more substantive allocations. Another indirect manner in which Marriott could act as a socially responsible corporation is by adopting a Green code, whereby, they will pick and choose vendors and suppliers based on their environmental standard records. This way, Marriott could actually participate in preventing environmental deterioration rather than contributing funds to its repair after the fact. Moreover, a meaningful environmental policy is also self-serving, as it prevents reduction in tourist traffic patterns due to climatic issues pertaining to Global Warming.
Another method through which Marriott could improve the quality of customer service is by embracing cutting edge telecommunications technology. It is quickly becoming the norm in the service industry to incorporate social media and Wi-Fi Internet technology into the customer experience. For example, each Marriott room can have a Local Area Enabled (LAN) Tablet devices. An interactive customer interface could be built on top of the LAN to enhance interaction between customers and Hotel staff. This facility could be linked to the Marriott online reservation system already in place, thus handing customers a whole range of plans, orders and reservations they can make. It is important to remember that technological adaptation will have to respect the political and cultural restrictions of the region of operation. For example, in China, access to the Internet and the social media is restricted by the government. Hence the Marriott.com site will have to be customized to be acceptable to Chinese regulators.