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Yesterday I posted about the SVP of Hyatt Loyalty, Jeff Zidell, doing an AMA on reddit concerning Hyatt’s new World of Hyatt loyalty program (coming March 1, 2017)

It was a little tricky to find the AMA (the email Hyatt promised to send with the link was AWOL), but eventually I found the link

Key link: Reddit AMA with Jeff Zidell, SVP Hyatt Loyalty

Hyatt AMA Breakdownhyatt-diamond-challenge-hyatt-logo

I admire Jeff and Hyatt for taking the time to answer questions in a new format and try to engage directly with consumers.  Based on the feedback / comments on my post yesterday, I posted a few of the questions that you guys had for Jeff, and there were several other good questions posted about the new World of Hyatt program.

These types of direct interactions with consumers can go either way – either getting real feedback and interaction or turning into a huge trainwreck.  Woody Harrelson’s AMA remains the “gold standard” of what can go wrong in a reddit AMA

Some of the Hyatt AMA questions / “answers”

Unfortunately, I did not get the feeling that Jeff was interested or able in answering some of the really tough questions.  While I wasn’t expecting a serious answer to questions like “What is up with the status names and logos that look like it was created by a college intern?” (actual question), I felt that most of the answers were canned answers any intern could have given, whereas I’d have hoped for real feedback into some of the thought processes that went into the World of Hyatt changes.

Here are a few of the questions / “answers”

hyatt-reddit-ama-answer1

A question on the MLife partnership

One of the questions I had asked was from commenter martinplas talking about mattress running in Jan and Feb of 2017 to get Globalist status through Mar 2019, and while that question wasn’t answered by Jeff, another redditor pointed me to this View from the Wing post which seemed to indicate that would work

This is not to say that there weren’t ANY answers, but most of the actual answers were not anything strategic, or anything that couldn’t be handled by someone more lower level. Perhaps I’m alone in thinking this, but the draw of this AMA for me was to get someone higher up to really talk through some of the strategy / thinking behind some of Hyatt’s recent changes, especially with regards to the change in loyalty programs.

If you want to read more, you can get the full AMA details at reddit here.

It’s too bad because an AMA like this has the potential to be a great way for brands to interact with real users, but the reddit community is not forgiving of brand executives and/or celebrities inviting people to “ask [them] anything” and then giving canned responses and non-answers.  If you look through the AMA, you can see a common theme repeating.  Question asked -> Answer from Jeff -> follow up comments stating that this didn’t really answer the question.  When the main AMAer’s comments on the thread keep getting voted down…. that’s a sign it’s not going well.

But then…. redemption?

I wrote most of this post while participating in the AMA in real-time, then had to set it down to go somewhere else.  But when I went back in to catch the end of it… it got much better!  I was pleasantly surprised that even though it was scheduled to just go for 30 minutes that Jeff answered questions for over an hour.

And while I still would have enjoyed a little bit more in-depth discussion, I got a few nuggets that I wasn’t aware of before. Here’s one example indicating that the changes for World of Hyatt were not intended as a cost-savings program

There were a couple of other good comments in there towards the end. So after a rough start, I thought Jeff redeemed things at least a little bit in the second half of the AMA

Were you at the Hyatt reddit AMA?  What was your take on things?

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