Brought to you by Cendyn.
Travellers today are more connected, informed and tech savvy than ever before. This has opened a multitude of new ways for hotels to gather data and use it to enhance the guest experience. However, there are challenges when it comes to gaining a 360-degree view of that data. Hotels need technology solutions that can integrate together to help build a more detailed view of the guest and use it to deliver more personalized services and marketing.
Today, a hotel may use a dozen or more applications, from revenue management systems to guest survey solutions to marketing automation software. “Guests leave a tremendous amount of data in their wake at the various touchpoints during their stay—website, call center, PMS, mobile app, POS, activities, survey, loyalty program, just to name a few,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Revenue Office at Cendyn. “The challenge is that each of these systems captures a sliver
of information about the guest, and it’s housed in disparate data silos.”
When you consider the entire lifecycle of a guest, which may encompass multiple stays at properties and brands within a hotel group, the amount of data increases exponentially. The challenges arise out of the evolution of technology in hotels. New tools have been developed piecemeal over the years, some as standalone applications, others as add-ons. Because many of the systems do not communicate with one another, a hotel company may have multiple profiles of the same guest scattered across its properties and databases.
In today’s competitive marketplace, hotels need to know their guests and earn their loyalty. Customer relationship management (CRM) utilizes a combination of technology and human hospitality to create rich profiles of guests and cater to their individual needs and preferences.
By mining these profiles, staff can make informed decisions about the services, amenities and marketing campaigns they need to gain an edge over competitors. And with a single view of the customer, hotel staff can ensure that engagement is meaningful and relevant at every touchpoint during the guest journey. For example, a single profile within a CRM can include the guest’s photo, stay history, total spend, interests, preferred room types, links to social profiles, loyalty program status, and feedback from previous stays.
In addition to the single, consolidated view of every guest, hotels are also well positioned using CRM, to be transparent and upfront about how they use and store guests’ data. By centralizing their data, hotels know exactly where the data is stored, who has access to it, and who controls it.
Some hoteliers have misconceptions of CRM, that it provides an email marketing platform and not much else. CRM has capabilities far outreaching that of email marketing, by providing a consolidated view of every guest, it allows hoteliers to act on their data through segmentation, personalization and accurate, real-time reporting.
A great example of this is how a central profile within a CRM can play a pivotal role in improving the guest experience across the whole travel journey. Hoteliers can automate, segment and tailor how they communicate based on data points such as:
• Spend per stay
• Frequency of visits
• Preferred locations and booking patterns
• Reasons for travel
This wealth of data and activity means they are now communicating via the right channel, at the right time, with the right message. Here are a few examples of how using segmentation and personalization can improve every day activities at a hotel:
• Tailor transactional/confirmation emails based on reservation and preference data
• Up-sell room upgrades, and amenities based on reservation type, room type and preferences
• Provide a tailored check-in experience based on arrival times
• Display and provide personalized welcome gifts in the room for arrival
• Send reminder emails to guests to book again based on stay dates and preferences
To find out more about the CRM data warehouse and how it can improve engagement and operations at your hotel, download this guide.