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Monday 21 July 2008

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Affinia Hotels is a small hotel company consisting of six branded properties. It has recently launched a new US $250,000 web-based database to help improve customer service and satisfaction.

The "My Affinia" strategy involves customers setting up profiles on the firm’s website, which gives them the opportunity to define exactly what they would like to have in their room before they arrive. Customers can choose to have options such as an acoustic guitar, golf putter, yoga mats, laptop chargers and even the type of pillows preferred. The service also gives customers the opportunity to pre-book extra services - such as dinner reservations and spa treatments.

The service was launched in early May – and before the end of the month there were 350 customers on the database. Affinia’s Chief Marketing Officer John Moser estimates that about 30 per cent of customers will create a profile (the brand currently has a 30 per cent repeat business rate).

The database is backed up by a US $1.5 million marketing campaign across outdoor, online and print media – spread across two months. This includes mediums such as USA Today, AOL, MSN, Yahoo! WSJ.com. Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. The initial online strategy includes between 60 and 70 websites, which will be cut down to the 25 most successful based on click-thrus.

The strategy does not impact on the staff’s time. If anything – it helps to simplify the processes, whilst keeping key information of the firm’s customers.

This is a fantastic example of a firm taking the time to understand their consumers and help significantly improve their experience and loyalty in the long-term. Consumers are more likely to want to stay at a hotel where they know they will enter a room that meets their needs and requirements without the immediate need for room-service.

Reference:

Moser, J; Hotels; June 2008, Vol. 42, Issue 6, p30

 

 

 

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