Are Your Customer Relationships Algorithmic?

by Dan Robles on 04/02/2011

Large Hotel chains such as Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (WYN) provide hospitality products and services to individual and business customers.  They have several different brands that cover various market segments from high-end to low-budget, as well as vacation resorts across a wide geographic area.

Hello, what exactly are you?

Yet in order to interact with Wyndham, an “ad-in-the-face” needs to tell me they exist, the search engine needs to tell me they are close to my destination, and Expedia needs to offer them up in a menu of add-ons to my travel plans.  My relationship with Wyndham is not personal – it is algorithmic.

Meanwhile Wyndham is fighting for their rightful place in a downturn economy against splendid competitors such as Hilton and Marriott.  Each deploys advertising, commissions to booking agents, and they join with event sponsors – all while maintaining a variety of amenities to differentiate themselves in the market.  They do not, however, talk directly to the customer and the customer cannot talk directly to them.

What if Wyndham really cared about my travel plans?

By becoming a member of Social Flights, hospitality brands can communicate directly with the traveler to offer specials on inventory and services that resonate with the traveler’s intentions.  Travel Tribes and Travel Traders can interact with each other to coordinate inventories of services and experiences.  Hospitality brands can offer ‘spot’ pricing or non-peak discounts to influence a travel tribe’s willingness to travel.  A new market segment of spot travel can arise offering peace, quite, no crowds and lower costs as “true value amenities”.

A hotel is a shared asset

Much like an airplane, a hotel is a shared asset.  In 2009 the hotel occupancy rate was 58.6%.  This means that 41.4% of hotel rooms were empty at any given time.  Yet, hotel expenses are averaged over 100% of the property.  By selling the 41% of empty rooms – even at a reduced rate –  will, at some point, reduce the cost for all of the rooms.  This is the essence of The Value Game. This is how Social Flights reduce the cost of our private jet travel while also increasing the service levels and allowing us to beat our competition without undercutting our own profits.  The same techniques can be applied to hotels.

A Personal Invitation from Social Flights.

Data is a powerful tool not only for predicting markets, but also for interacting with customers to achieve higher efficiency and lower overall costs.  However, instead of collecting data on everyone else, why not give the market more data about you?   That’s what personal relationships are all about.

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