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Kimpton Karma Rewards

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Kimpton Karma Rewards
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Kimpton is credited with introducing the boutique hotel style in America and has blossomed into the largest boutique hotel chain in the United States. Founded in 1981 by Bill Kimpton, there are several brands in its portfolio, including Hotel Monaco and Hotel Palomar.

Wikipedia defines “boutique” in the hotel category as conveying the idea that its operation is small, elite and highly specialized. Kimpton fulfills the definition as it is known for outstanding customer service and unique design, and is stretching the definition to apply these service qualities to a larger chain structure.

Kimpton Karma Rewards was launched on July 16th, 2014 after scrapping the Kimpton InTouch loyalty program. The new program is taking a different route than its predecessor, as it assigns tier status to members based on the number of rooms booked and other engagement elements such as tweets or direct booking.

The launch of Karma Rewards took place in conjunction with the relaunch of the Kimpton website and its blog were being redesigned. During the launch of the new program, Kimpton offered bloggers and other online “influencers” free hotel nights in exchange for social endorsement of Karma Rewards.

To gracefully manage the migration of InTouch members to the new program, user accounts of the previous program will automatically sync with Karma Rewards, enabling members to pick up where they left off, while enjoying additional benefits.

The previous program enticed members with the promise of free Wi-Fi and a “raid the minibar” bonus (a $10 or $15 credit if you’re in NY awarded each eligible stay) for joining. Kimpton is keeping these offers in place, adding them into the new program. Members can also earn a free night after 7 visits or 20 nights stayed, with additional benefits and rewards (e.g. compliments from the chef, exercise class credits, etc) based on tier status and engagement factors.

Personalization is the driving force of this new loyalty program, enabling members to personalize things such as pillow type and room location. But the Kimpton program takes personalization to an interesting new level, letting hotel associates in on the fun. After observing a customer’s behavior, Kimpton employees can add information such as things they “overhear” or “observe”, as well as information from a customer’s questionnaire when first joining a program into Kimpton’s database. These data points can than be used later to make special, personalized offers to guests.

Karma Rewards Members can earn and redeem rewards at over 60 affiliated hotels. Complimentary night certificates expire after 12 months from the date issued. Rewards are transferable to other members of the program and will rollover as long as the member books a room at least once every two years. With no activity in 24 months, points do expire. Another neat benefit available is the “Last Minute Deals” feature which offers member-only hotel pricing.

Tiers can be achieved based on the following night and stay rules:

  • Tier 1: 0-3 stays or 0-10 nights
  • Tier 2: 4-7 stays or 11-20 nights
  • Tier 3: 8-14 stays or 21-40 nights
  • Inner Circle: 14+ stays or 40+ nights
  • Tier status resets each year on January 1st

Kimpton’s foundation of sensational customer service has set it apart from its competitors and Karma Rewards is helping Kimpton redefine the possibilities of success for a “boutique” hotel chain.

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