Distinguishing your brand through innovative guest service
The most compelling aspect of creating a new brand is developing the brand tenets that distinguish it, define it and set it apart from all others.
At the genesis of Trump Hotel Collection, my father opened our flagship hotel – Trump International Hotel & Tower New York – in January 1997. During the development phase, discussions of service strategy focused on the commitment to enhancing the guest experience and a brand signature was born: The Trump Attaché. Fourteen years later, this concept is a pillar of the brand, in place in all of our hotels, and it is unique to them. In the case of Trump New York, which has offered the program the longest, we see Trump Attaché as a significant contributor to the hotel’s incredible repeat business which currently stands at an enviable 76%. I hope that this example will get you thinking about your own brand tenets and the extent to which they tangibly illustrate your brand promise.
The mission of Trump Attaché is to ensure that no stay feels like the first, and no request needs repeating. It transcends the traditional concierge or butler service, dedicating an entire department to delivering customized service to every hotel guest. It personalizes the guest experience and is designed to create the sense that every guest and owner is a VIP, and each stay a return “home,” where desires are intuited and requests anticipated.
Complementing the more visible concierge function, the Trump Attaché is an internal department that is staffed by a team of coordinators and runners who assist with virtually any guest request, no matter how particular. Once a guest has made a reservation, a Trump Attaché makes contact prior to arrival to see if there are any special requests or preferences that will enhance the guest’s stay. The Trump Attaché serves as a resource for the guest and is available to handle an endless number of requests. They remain in contact with our guests before, during and after their stay to make sure it was a memorable one.
Services include tweaking accommodations to a guest’s preference – installing a desired desk lamp, for example, or a particular type of pillow. The Attaché can arrange for a chef to provide private dining in-suite, or stock the kitchen with favorite groceries at no extra cost. Making appointments – for personal trainers, before- and after-hours shopping, or private access to salon services are de rigueur. For traveling families, the Attaché may reserve a babysitter or outfit the suite with special appointments for children. At Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, a family was staying with us over Christmas and the children were worried that it wouldn’t feel like Christmas in a hotel. Our Attaché team worked with the family to purchase a Christmas tree – with ornaments – and had it waiting their arrival in the suite.
In working with the guest, the Trump Attaché meticulously records individual preferences in a detailed guest history to be referenced and updated with every visit. Each new guest is introduced to the Trump Attaché service prior to arrival; throughout the guest’s stay, Trump Attaché is as close as the dedicated button on the in-room phone. As the brand expands, the guest history can be shared with our sister properties, strengthening the connection between our guests and our brand.
While there is no end to the types of requests handled through the Trump Attaché department, the mission has just one desired end: to provide the guest with a singular and memorable experience.
As you look to develop, enhance or update your brand through repositioning, I hope you will find this example useful. And if you stay at any of our hotels, I’d love to hear about your experience with the Trump Attaché.