Marriott Hotel’s mantra: ‘Take care of our people and they will take care of our guests’

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Seth Adler

Podcast interview with the Senior Director of Operational Excellence on the importance of balancing a focus on CX with the focus on the bottom line.



Sally Toister is the Senior Director of Operational Excellence, Six Sigma – US & Canada for Marriott Hotels. She joins host Seth Adler in the CX Network podcast theatre and discusses that the organisation’s entire business is around customer experience.

With her background in Sig Sigma, Toister has adapted her expertise into hospitality. From a process improvement perspective she is always balancing running a business and delivering on the customer experience. Toister always finds the freedom within the framework that ensures that she’s speaking to the bottom line while at the same time delivering an outstanding CX which establishes loyalty in the brand.

“When you’re looking at the larger metric of loyalty, you’re creating that relationship with the guest that’ll continue on forward.”



1. Balance a focus on CX and the bottom line

We're a business, but we are a business based on customer experiences. And so, there's always that balance that you have to have when you're looking at it from a process improvement and driving the customer experience. There has to be a balance in the focus of the bottom line and delivering the business metrics that are needed, while at the same time delivering outstanding experience for the guest. That way you build loyalty and they want to continue to come back and be with your company on an ongoing basis.

2. Take care of your people

Our mantra is: "take care of our people and our people will take care of our guests". So, it's all around that process and from a Six Sigma standpoint it was a natural draw. Because we're focused on solving the paying points of our guests, which falls right in line with that "take care of our people and our people will take care of our guests" philosophy.

3. Continuous improvement

I was on vacation at one of our hotels – a personal vacation – and the chef came out of the kitchen. He had taken green belt training five, six years ago, and talked about how, to that day, he still looked at a line and said, "How can I do this better? How can I get the food to the guests better?" That will bring a tear to my eye.