July 06, 2017
Fun fact about H4H: we’re data nerds. And we fully embrace it. At our core, we’re a tech company with a majority of our Crew coming from the hotel industry. So thoughtful hospitality is a big part of our end goal. When we can use the power of data to give hotel guests an experience beyond their expectations, well, we consider that a win.
And sometimes, all you need is to ask the right questions to find out how to give your guests an experience beyond their expectations.
About a month before the NASCAR® race in Sonoma, California, we received a booking on nascar.com/hotels from a guest named Erin. Erin booked one of our “NASCAR DEALS” rooms, which means she got the lowest possible rate online and saved $135 on her booking. [That’s what we call a “win-win!”] We reached out to her just to say congrats on scoring an awesome deal, and she quickly replied to say how much she’s looking forward to going to see NASCAR at Sonoma for the first time.
When Erin made her reservation, we gained the usual data insight: name, her hotel location, length of stay. But on the payment page, she was also presented with a simple request to choose her favorite driver. She chose Kasey Kahne, who also hails from her home state. When we mentioned we noticed she chose him, she happily shared how she became a supporter of his:
“I’m a huge sports fan and when my Seattle Seahawks lost the Superbowl in 2015 I needed something to make myself feel better so I bought tickets to my first NASCAR race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. I visited the Kasey Kahne store in Enumclaw, WA to buy all my #5 gear, flew down and met up with my friends in So Cal, and had the best weekend of my life! The entire fan experience was unbelievable. During the garage tour they took us though the garage where my favorite driver, Kasey Kahne’s car was, so I was able to see it up close and personal. During the race the sound and feeling and smell of the engines, tires and speed got me hooked.”
At this point, we knew we HAD to create an experience for Erin…and we could do it well because of data gathered from one simple request. So we decided to do a hotel room drop for her.
We reached out to brand-new NASCAR partner, YETI coolers, who also happen to be from Austin (be sure to stop by their flagship store on South Congress if you’re ever in town). One of the awesome things that YETI has is their Custom Shop, which now carries NASCAR-licensed products. We shared Erin’s story with YETI and they, being good neighbors and generally cool people, immediately sent us a Kasey Kahne-branded tumbler to surprise her with.
Just before Erin’s hotel check in time, we were ready to make the top secret room drop. We coordinated with her hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott in Fairfield, to place a tote bag filled with NASCAR-themed treats in her room. This included the YETI tumbler, Hotels for Hope-branded lanyards for her passes (after she shared her awesome story with us, we hooked her up with a couple of garage passes), earplugs and a handwritten note welcoming her to The Golden State.
After the race, we got this note from Erin:
“THANK YOU so much for the goodies and the amazing experience this weekend! Sonoma Raceway is absolutely beautiful and we cannot wait for next year’s race! This was my first road course race and it was so much fun. The hotel was great! Very comfortable and the staff was really friendly. It was really fun in the garage & pit area and we ended up staying there most of the race. It was VERY exciting watching them pit and being right there where all the action is!! I also met Kasey Kahne!!”
Mission accomplished. And all we had to do was ask the right question.
. . .
Thanks to Erin P for allowing us to use her feedback and photos.