Three private communities of roughly 300 members each—all from IHG’s loyalty program—pipe customer ideas and opinions into their organization everyday. Using traditional methods such as surveys and threaded discussions and more innovative techniques such as photos, video, and even voicemail, IHG turns to the communities for help in developing promotions, new features and services for their loyalty program, hotels, brands, and everything in between.
IHG connects daily with their communities to listen to their ideas and ask members everything—from what is most important to them during their typical hotel stay, to what they think of an upcoming promotion. Customer insights are funneled back to stakeholders and executives, giving management an ongoing connection to their most important customers. Insights are integrated into strategic business decisions, training documents for the hotels and call centers, creative briefs for promotions and ad campaigns, and marketing materials.
By truly listening to their most valuable customers, IHG achieves many important goals:
Increased revenue: Using community members’ photos in global marketing collateral, IHG saves on stock footage and agency fees, with a 24% lift in revenue since they began using them. A viral promotion initiated with members drove $250,000 in sales in 6 weeks, with little cost to run.
Customer conversion: Net Promoter Score with community members is rising at the rate of 1 to 1.5 points per year, on average. Community members’ advocacy has increased because they feel heard—IHG has logged hundreds of cases of turning potential brand detractors into advocates.
Decreased costs: IHG taps into members’ passion and expertise by having four members from its private communities blog for IHG’s public community. Members also serve as community ombudsmen on the public community—not only saving IHG money—but creating a true forum for customers by customers.
April 2007 - present
Overall Rating: (1 vote)
Reviewed July 19, 2009 by Just Starting In Social Media
This is an inspiring example of how a company uses its community to listen to its customers and make money. This is the model we should all be following.Report Inappropriate Review