Hyatt is trialing a personalized reservation and concierge service for frequent guests.
Loyalty Lobby reproduced the message Hyatt sent out to members invited to participate in the trial.
What Hyatt is Trying to Accomplish With the Program
Here’s what Hyatt told me about the pilot project several days ago:
We are constantly in touch with our members and using their feedback to think of new ways Hyatt Gold Passport can provide value to our loyal members. One way we do this is by piloting new ideas with members. We recently selected a small group of Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members to provide feedback on a new iteration of the Personal Line service in Omaha, which we’re currently calling My Hyatt Concierge. Members with current Personal Line service are not included in the pilot. We look forward to hearing member feedback, and we will use it to enhance the program for more members next year.
My understanding with the trial is that they’re trying to figure out how the existing private line program can be made better, and how they can offer customized service to members beyond what can simply already be done with a tweet to @HyattConcierge.
I’m sure the members who were chosen for the program will value it, and hope that the trial hits whatever marks Hyatt is looking for so that it can be expanded. The more customers with access to this sort of service the better, I suppose the relevant metric is how much incremental business it earns from frequent guests to justify the cost of personal service.
My Experience With Hyatt’s Personalized Service
I’ve been a member of Hyatt’s Private Line program since around 2010, back when any Diamond member could be added to it if they knew to ask. (You could simply ping Hyatt’s social media representative on an online forum and they’d get you added.)
I believe they closed that option a couple of years ago. Fortunately they didn’t kick out those that were already in it.
I’ve been through several dedicated agents since I was added to the program. I’ve found some to be excellent and others to be awful (when I had an awful agent, I asked to switch and the request was always granted, I had heard through the grapevine of other frequent flyers which agents were good and made specific requests).
In general I’ve found the program to be useful:
- I love being able to e-mail an agent for reservation requests (combining different rate types into a single reservation, querying whether cash and points rates are available) and confirmed suite upgrade requests instead of having to call for things that cannot be accomplished on the website.
- The better agents have done followup work for me — perhaps award nights weren’t available when I asked but they kept checking and made bookings for me without further prompting when the space did open up. The same goes for suite uppgrades. I wouldn’t have to place new calls constantly, they would check and even reach out to hotels about non-standard room types.
- I’ve even had agents proactive check for lower room rates, and re-book reservations for me.
- I have someone to query when I have questions like an email address for a reservations manager at a property.
At the same time as I say the quality of agents have varied. Some are less proactive than others. Some have consistently made mistakes with my reservations. And one – my first one – was simply non-responsive.
On the other hand, one was so good that they had a habit of sharing too much internal information with the members in her portfolio. When one of those members posted a list of hotels that were going to be changing in award category before Hyatt Gold Passport was ready to release it she was terminated.
How Well Will it Work?
Ultimately, the value in a program like this depends on several factors:
- The parameters for the program, what expectations are set for agents.
- The training offered to agents and the latitude they’re given to be helpful in ensuring stays are top notch (can they contact hotels on your behalf? can they lean on properties even for top treatment?)
- The quality of agents assigned to the program.
- The tools they’re given to do their job. Can they phone properties? Email them? Do they have full internet access, and full access to make adjustments to member accounts? (I love just emailing missing point requests and requests for hotel folios.)
In general I have found it easier to secure reservations, especially non-stqndard reservations, and simpler to confirm suites using Diamond suite upgrades or Gold Passport points.
But I haven’t seen any on-property benefits or better treatment booking through a private line agent. Others’ experiences may vary.