At first blush, Ritz-Carlton, Drury Inn & Suites, Four Seasons, Hotel Indigo and Hampton Hotels might not seem to have much in common, other than being places to lay your weary head at the end of the day. Some cater to the high-thread-count crowd; others want to attract those who mind their money but also mind an uncomfortable accommodation.
But according to a J.D. Power & Associates study released this month, those lodgings are "customer service champions," which focus on serving the clientele and not the other way around. In the travel category, the study by J.D. Power of Westlake Village also pointed to Southwest, JetBlue, and Virgin America airlines and Enterprise and Ace rent-a-car companies as customer-service leaders of the pack.
It’s no surprise that Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons are on the list, said Gina Pingitore, chief research officer for J.D. Power. Citing their "great facilities and great amenities," those hotels "really deliver an outstanding customer experience," she said. But "Drury, Hampton and Hotel Indigo, even though they are not targeting the high-end luxury guest ... are still able to delight customers,” she said. And all of them do it consistently, she added.
J.D. Power identified what it calls the five P’s -- people, presentation, price, process and product -- as pivotal to the selection of the 50 champs out of more than 800 brands. The study was based partly on data from 2011.