Gaylord taps Clarabridge for customer understanding

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Gaylord Entertainment Co., a hospitality and event planning company, has plans to use Clarabridge's text analytics customer experience management (CEM) software to gain a better understanding of its customers.

Clarabridge's Content Mining Service analyzes text from customer communications, allowing Gaylord to gather data on customer satisfaction and loyalty. Data are gathered from customer satisfaction surveys, e-mails, chat messaging, call centers and online forums.

“We're very focused on understanding guest comments,” said Tony Bodoh, manager of operations analysis for Gaylord. “We've seen substantial growth in the number of surveys coming in and the number of comments on those surveys, and keeping up with that with our old manual process proved to be impossible.”

With its previous system, Gaylord processed customer comments manually once a month. It took three to four weeks to deliver results, and they were not as accurate as the company would have liked, said Bodoh. Last year, Gaylord processed close to 80,000 online surveys.

The hospitality company plans to use information culled from Clarabridge to improve its share of wallet while guests are on-site, understand customer sentiments, evaluate the cost of customer dissatisfaction and better tailor employee training, among other things.

While the technology behind its consumer data mining will change, Gaylord will retain its survey format: a series of structured questions about guest satisfaction, intent to return and intent to recommend, questions about guest treatment by employee, and then an open-ended space for guests to write individual comments. Clarabridge's text-mining capability will help categorize these free-form responses.

“The main value for us in looking at these data is to really understand what a guest perceives as a problem because it could be related to value,” Bodoh said. “People determine value differently and understanding that will help us better market to the right

groups of people at the right time. It could also potentially be used for an internal marketing program – up-selling to guests — based on what we learn through Clarabridge and what people really value.”

Gaylord considered three different systems before deciding on Clarabridge. Full implementation of the software should be completed by April.

Gaylord owns and operates the Grand Ole Opry and three convention resorts: Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.; Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, near Orlando, Fla.; and Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, near Dallas. A fourth location, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center on the Potomac, will open this spring.

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