The Importance of Capturing Hotel Guest Data
Creating the ultimate guest experience should be a hotel’s primary goal. Today, leading hotels implement CRM functionality to capture guest behaviors, communications, interests and spend data in one single source of truth, leveraging and customizing this data to provide these unique and personalized communications and experiences.. Managing guest data via a rich profile gives the hotelier the ability to understand their guests needs even before they check-in and can create personalized marketing and experiences during stay and throughout the lifecycle of the customer.
The 3 Functions of Data
Connecting with your guests needs to be memorable, making data an extremely valuable component of a successful Hotel. The three main phases of data collection include data in, data storage, and data out. When looking at your Hotel’s main objectives to drive profit, increase guest satisfaction, and earn guest loyalty, identifying your most valuable guests allows you to connect during their stay, entices them to come back, as well as finds others similar to them.
Hotels need to collect their guest data for continuous flow of:
Data In – Guest data flows in from multiple channels such as PMS, CRS and POS
Data Storage – Stored in a central rich guest profile within the CRM platform
Data Out – Operations and Marketing uses data to target audiences and deliver tailored communications
“Capturing guest data and creating a single source of truth via a rich guest profile, allows the opportunity for the hotel to truly understand their guests needs and desires and to provide seamless customer experiences throughout the lifecycle and staycycle of a customer. This is no longer a nice to have for hotels, it’s a must have in the eyes of most hoteliers.” says Matt Renner, Senior VP of Business Development, TravelNet Solutions.
The Data In
There are multiple sources of data to bring into a rich guest profile, here are the 3 most widely used scenarios
- PMS – sync your CRM with your PMS to get stay history and folio spend data
- POS – sync data from your POS system to enhance your view of spend while the guest is in-house
- Reservations – sync data from your reservations and customer service staff such as reason for stay, communication data and associated mobile phone and email address
By pulling in data from these different sources, you are able to gain a deeper insight into who your customer is, what their spend trends are and how to reach them across multiple channels.
The Storage of Data.
Many hotels successfully extract guest data, unfortunately most data gets stored in siloed systems such as CRS, PMS, POS, surveys, and social media, making it troublesome to use the information effectively. When these systems do not communicate well, hotel staff must find ways to aggregate the information leaving room for error, incomplete information, and duplicates. The time it takes to sort through guest data will be minimized by the proper use of a CRM.
The All in One Solution
For the data your staff works tirelessly to collect, cleanse, and aggregate it needs to be stored in one central database to make it truly useful. In the past, the PMS would be a critical player in this scenario, but if your PMS is out of date technology you will be hindered to build and extract the rich profile data that is needed to create accurate customer profiles.
The alternative answer to this that many hotels are turning to is the CRM. With many built-in integrations the CRM can:
- Create a single source of truth for all guest data and communications
- Automate personalized marketing based on guest profiles and collected spend / stay data
- Enhance the guest stay with during-stay personalized communications
- Decrease data security risks
- Save time managing multiple API’s
- Deliver improved customer service
Creating one profile per each guest allows your staff to build a complete view of the person, not just the “head in bed”. Profile capabilities in a CRM go well beyond those of a PMS by providing fields to capture all relevant information. For example, when the guest profile and CRM is natively integrated with a well trained reservations department, when an agent is speaking with a guest who has called in-in the past, the agent is able to reference their preferred room, amenity types, reason for stay, reservation history, loyalty program, reviews, previous communications, and more. This will promote your agents to create a genuine relationship with their guests while providing exceptional service.
The Data Out
Now your hotel has successfully extracted the guest data, consolidated it to one profile in one centralized database. What’s next? The data out will help bring back guests on return visits and new guests receive five star customer service even prior to their stay!
The CRM can perform these functions with data out:
Pre-Stay – Email and Text Message Communications
- Automated confirmations based on reservation and data preferences
- Automated pre-stay communications for the planning phase of their stay
- Upsell opportunities with personalization
In-Stay – Text Messaging
- Create conversation upon arrival
- Offer multiple channels of communications throughout stay such as text
- Automated feedback surveys mid-stay
- Reach guests based on behavior and interests
- Invite guests back with personalized offers
- Follow up stay surveys to gain feedback
- Identify traits of loyal and valuable guests
Once your hotel staff has the basics of a CRM guest profile down, it is time to implement all the features it has to offer. TRACK CRM offers advanced functions such as:
- Sales Link API to sync your PMS and additional data sources
- Lead Management – Capture leads via your reservations team and reduce lost bookings due to non-follow up
- Text Messages – Utilize text messaging to manage guest communications throughout the booking including pre-stay, in-stay and post-stay for improved customer service.
- Campaign Management – Knowing where your guests are coming from can be difficult to track. Easily implement tracking numbers and assign campaigns to them to measure revenue and ROAS by source and channel.
- Email Marketing – Integrated email marketing with customized segments, auto-synced with your PMS data to eliminate the need for exporting and importing and manual list management. Create campaigns and reach the right guests to drive repeat bookings with integrated email marketing tools powered by AI.
- Surveys – leverage customizable surveys to engage guests pre, mid and post stay