As this article points out, while international business travelers make up just 2 percent of Starwood’s customers, they drive 30 percent of its profits. For these elite customers Starwood is adding a new lifetime status level, ambassador service, and 24-hour check-in. Improved benefits for all Starwood Preferred Guest members will include enhanced options and rewards as various point levels are reached.
According to the article, over the last three years Starwood has been quietly piloting a highly personalized, one-to-one ambassador service to gain a better understanding of frequent business travelers’ needs and desires. Starwood then used insights and feedback from the pilot program to develop new benefits aimed at its most elite members. Mark Vondrasek, Starwood’s senior vice president of interactive and loyalty marketing, said the travelers indicated they wanted more choice, more control and more personal service, things Starwood is now aiming to deliver. As Vondrasek went on to say:
“Through high touch and high tech, we have a newfound ability to better understand our guests, their preferences and even the nature of each unique trip. By delivering a whole new definition of choice and personal services, we’re moving beyond a purely points arms race to instead build loyalty for life.”
Starwood is the first in the industry to institute 24-hour check in, giving members who spend 75 or more eligible nights per year the ability to check in and check out any time they want. Members with 100 nights per year have access to Starwood’s one-to-one ambassador service. And the most frequent travelers can achieve lifetime status. With 250 total nights and five years of elite status, members will earn SPG Lifetime Gold status. Members with 500 total nights and 10 years of Platinum SPG status will keep their top-tier status for life.
So as to not alienate its members who are less frequent travelers, Starwood is also enhancing benefits and options for the various levels, with opportunities for bonus Starpoints, complimentary in-room Internet access, complimentary breakfast, and room upgrades.
Whether you’re an international business traveler or a weekend road-tripper, we can help you keep track of all of your loyalty points and rewards. Contact us for more information.