The Bavarian Lodge is a family-owned hotel in the popular tourist community of Leavenworth, Washington, that offers all the amenities of a modern hotel with the feel of a country inn. Located near the mountain community’s cultural center, the Lodge serves guests from around the world looking to enjoy a wide variety of activities in every season, from winter sports to summer getaways. Providing top-notch service and understanding the needs of its customers are among the Lodge’s most important business values.
What is machine learning?
Machine learning (ML) is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that can quickly discover patterns in large data sets. It’s a way to leverage historical data and predict the future faster, cheaper and more dynamically than other analytical methods.
A Need to Harness Data
Like most boutique hotels, attracting direct bookings is always a top priority at the Bavarian Lodge. Online travel agencies (OTAs) or other marketing services can help fill rooms, but they also charge acquisition fees, or come with administrative hassles. Nothing beats building loyalty among customers that prefer to contact the hotel directly to make reservations.
The Lodge’s operators have a great business instinct for who those loyal customers are, and how to meet their needs. Yet the hotel also has years of data in their InnQuest property management system that could be harnessed to provide even better service.
Given their appreciation of customer loyalty, the team at the Bavarian Lodge asked: How can we learn from our own data to help drive more return business?
Kurvv’s Solution: A Machine Learning Platform for Small Business
Kurvv’s machine learning (ML) platform can sift through millions of records and discover previously unrecognized patterns that almost any business can leverage to build a better service, earn loyalty, or discover new revenue sources.
The marketing team at the Bavarian Lodge and Kurvv worked together to apply these ML tools to 15 years of customer data, taking care to respect the highest standards in privacy protections.
Kurvv’s analysis examined visits across dozens of variables to identify several previously unrecognized groups of customers categorized by their potential interest in returning. The results were used to design a customized marketing campaign that invited those guests back to the Lodge.
“We take pride in knowing who our best customers are, but Kurvv found groups deep inside the data that we weren’t reaching out to. And when we did reach out to them, they were glad to come back, usually for several nights at a time.” — Jesse Boyd, Director of Development, Bavarian Lodge
Results: More Direct Bookings, and a Better Relationship with Customers
The very first email campaign to the new groups of customers discovered with Kurvv’s analysis resulted in $33,000 in additional revenue at the Bavarian Lodge, and a return on ad spend (ROAS) that approaches 2,000%.
A few of the most impactful results:
A dramatic increase in direct bookings with low acquisition costs: The Bavarian Lodge increased direct bookings within hours of initiating the marketing campaign designed with Kurvv’s analysis.
A simple, fast option to use machine learning: Kurvv works with almost any data structure or report delivered by a hotel CRM, and delivers results in minutes.
A better relationship with customers: The Bavarian Lodge didn’t just identify a new group of repeat customers. The hotel is also using the Kurvv insights to provide better service to customers once they walk in the door.
A tool that gets better over time: Kurvv’s model will continue to learn as the Bavarian Lodge adds data. As a result, it can identify opportunities far beyond new marketing campaigns.
How Kurvv Delivers for the Hospitality Business
At Kurvv, we believe that artificial intelligence and machine learning should be accessible to everyone.
Most machine learning solutions for business require heavy investments in data science expertise and customized computer models. Kurvv applies the same principles of machine learning used by large firms but standardizes the models to the needs of small businesses. The results are comparable to those of the larger AI firms, but can be deployed much faster and at much lower cost.
In the hospitality industry, building strong customer loyalty is one of the best ways to use the Kurvv service. Experienced hoteliers have a keen sense of which customers are the most loyal, but without diving deep into their own data they will always be taking the chance that unnoticed patterns are leaving some opportunities unexplored.
At the Bavarian Lodge, that meant identifying customers based on their lifetime value potential (LVP) and giving each a propensity score that showed which were most likely to respond to a customized marketing campaign for a given time of year. In this case, existing reports available in the Bavarian Lodge’s InnQuest software were uploaded to Kurvv. Once complete, the results reported by Kurvv could easily be uploaded into the Lodge’s existing marketing tools.
“At Kurvv, we do the science for our customers. They only need to bring the data.” — Allen Klein, CRO and co-founder of Kurvv
The result is a cost-effective machine learning tool that small and medium-sized hotel operators can use to drive new business faster than ever before.