Great Wolf Resorts, an icon in the hospitality industry, is the largest family of indoor waterpark resorts in North America, with a dozen fully integrated resorts from Niagara Falls, Ontario to Grapevine, Texas, Grand Mound, Washington. The first Great Wolf Lodge Resort opened in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin in 1997, combining quality accommodations with the finest in family recreation under one roof. The Great Wolf concept grew rapidly, fueled by high standards of service centered on a customer-centered mission of “creating family traditions, one family at a time.”
The Challenge: Improve Customer Experience and Drive Revenue Through Data
Great Wolf resorts managed to become a wildly popular destination despite lacking the ability to get a single, 360-degree view of customers. The organization struggled with campaign management; deployment was time-intensive and prone to human errors. There was data from multiple sources, but it was not integrated and thus of questionable quality. Database queries were time-intensive, and there was no access to dashboards or other reporting tools. There was also no integration with customer e-mail lists.
“It was a very manual process any time we wanted to kick off a campaign,” said Steve Mintz, Great Wolf’s director of digital and direct marketing. “We wanted something that would help us build better segmentation, and we wanted to increase our repeat-stay activity and drive more revenue.”
Making Campaigns Smarter and More Effective
Paranet’s CRM experts implemented a marketing solution that gave Great Wolf Lodge resorts across the nation the ability to drive increased revenue with a 360-degree view of customers. Great Wolf now enjoys a more complete snapshot of guest and business performance and consolidated data access to promote faster business decisions and specific customer targeting for promotions.
Paranet’s team of CRM experts assisted Great Wolf in its implementation of Infor Epiphany. Great Wolf found Infor Epiphany to be a cost-effective way to gain customer insights, improve targeting and drive intelligence into subsequent campaigns.
The process started with discovery and requirement gathering, followed by ERP data transfer and system setup, all led by a Paranet team who are experts with Infor CRM solutions. One big challenge was that Great Wolf didn’t have a contract with its email service provider until late in the CRM implementation.
“Even though we had the specs, we didn’t necessarily have a good understanding of how that ESP worked and how it would integrate with CRM,” Mintz said. But he said Paranet’s team was able to use the specs they knew and their past experience to “get us 80- to 90 percent of the way there” before the contract was signed. “They were very flexible, and it ended up working out,” Mintz said.
Paranet’s team also conducted staff training that helps Great Wolf’s marketing team get the most out of the Infor solution and allows the company’s IT staff provide internal support.
From discovery to launch, the implementation took about 90 days – on schedule and on budget, Mintz said. “They were terrific,” he said. “Very easy to work with and always very cordial and friendly. They were fun to work with.”
Better Customer Insights, More Responsive Campaigns
Mintz said he has seen immediate return on investment in Great Wolf’s ability to conduct faster and more responsive promotional campaigns. His email-marketing manager is saving up to six hours per week putting together campaigns, and the company for the first time has the ability to automate some campaigns.
Great Wolf is also empowered now for greater customer segmentation, so campaigns can be custom-fitted rather than blasting everyone the same message. For example, Mintz said, if Great Wolf knows you always stay at its resorts on weekdays, it can tailor promotions to you so you’re more likely to respond. Thanks to the integration to its customer satisfaction surveys, the company also has the ability to suppress Detractors from or target Advocates for campaigns. And using Infor’s query tool, Great Wolf can answer basic business questions in minutes or hours instead of the many days it used to require, he said.
The project was founded and run under the name of Knowledge Tranzfer, the company acquired by Paranet