Winning Customer Loyalty via Personalization

The Mandarin Hotel Group, which operates 42 luxury hotels with more than 10,000 rooms in 27 countries, does not believe in customer loyalty programs, though. Instead, the Group has achieved success with a culture of personalized customer service built atop a mountain of clean, actionable data.

“Clean data is the core of what we do,” says Nick Price, the Group’s Chief Information Officer. “It lets us know who our guests are and know their likes and dislikes, which we use with effect to deliver personalized customer service.”

The Group has a long list of awards for outstanding service and quality management in its deluxe hotels around the world, from London and New York to San Francisco and Singapore.

Every time a guest interacts with any of the Group’s hotels-whether through a room reservation, the beverage service, the spa, or a retail experience-that information is “captured, cleaned, merged, and matched” in real time in the Group’s information system, dubbed Global Guests.  

Global Guests leverages a well-known marketing technique called RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) analysis, which determines how recently a customer has purchased, how often they purchase, and how much the customer spends. The system has collected information on 4.5 million unique guests.

This personalized attention can only be achieved with precise, current information that is applied across the organization. “If we don’t have clean and accurate data, nothing else works,” Price says.

In a 2009 Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services study, only one in five C-level executives reported that the use of business analytics is integrated across their entire organization. And more than three-quarters of the responding executives cited “variable data quality, integrity, and consistency” as a stumbling block to organization-wide implementation of business analytics.

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