Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants
Kathleen Reidenbach, the VP of Revenue Management & Distribution, has always been a firm believer in closely monitoring reviews. She says, “Logically, I knew there must be a correlation between positive reviews on online review sites and sales. With review sites becoming the go-to place for hotel information, it seemed obvious that good reviews would drive bookings and bad reviews would turn off travelers,” she added. But while all of the hotels were trying to keep up with the review sites and responding as needed to guest feedback, there was no systematic way to cover all the review sites or draw a correlation to sales.
In 2009 Kimpton launched a pilot program to test Revinate within eight hotels. Sarita Moore, Kimpton’s Regional Director of Online Marketing, East Coast was responsible for the rollout. Sarita eagerly watched the enthusiastic adoption of Revinate. “Each hotel immediately recognized the benefits. In some hotels the GMs were the primary users. In others it was sales and marketing leads or the distribution and revenue teams. I was so excited to find a product that worked for so many groups and was adopted so readily,” she said.
In addition to being able to aggregate and systematically respond to reviews, the pilot hotels found tremendous value in the keyword features and reports. Sarita explains, “Kimpton was a first mover in many hotel trends such as pet friendly, eco friendly and women friendly hotels. It’s rewarding to be able to search on these terms and report back to leadership and ownership how these trends are positively impacting our business. With Revinate we can accurately measure the results of our initiatives based on qualitative data provided by our guests.”
On January 5, 2010, Reidenbach rolled out Revinate to all 51 hotels, where it is being actively used by multiple departments within each hotel. Revinate’s ‘by hotel’ versus ‘by seat’ pricing means that anyone at the hotels can have access.
Revinate Scorecards have become important in weekly management team meetings and in roll-up reports for ownership meetings. Brent Oswald, Director of Online Marketing, explains, “We attach the Rating Comparison to P&Ls for our ownership meetings. Knowing how important online reviews are to sales, the owners really appreciate seeing how we were scoring in online reviews vis a vis our competition.”
The Allegro Chicago is using data from Revinate to make business decisions by actively looking for and tracking service and amenity requests. In combination with Market Metrix surveys, Revinate provides decision makers with the data needed to justify adding services and amenities.
Steven Rubin, Regional Director of Revenue Management & Distribution noted how the Eventi hotel uses the Market Ranking report to motivate employees. He says, “Since we are a brand new hotel and we started with no reviews, we started at the bottom of the list. Every week I would report on our rank and it really got people fired up. It’s great for our employees to see our position jump from 428 to 28.”
And of course, by monitoring all social media mentions, Kimpton hoteliers are able to use Revinate to surprise and delight customers. TweetConcierge allows the hotels to easily track and respond to mentions on Twitter. When the Allegro in Chicago saw a tweet that a guests was celebrating an anniversary at the hotel, the front desk employee surprised the guests with an upgrade. The guest was touched and tweeted about her experience, ending with @kimpton rocks!