|CRM - Customer Relationship Management
Together with the use of technology in hospitality business, comes the question "What to do with all the data"? Hotels are storing unbelievable amount of information about their guests so what can be done with this data? Information about guests can be used to promote loyalty programs, engage with customers, create marketing strategies, help to increase sales and many other things. However, in order to use the information, it needs to be segmented, analysed and nicely structured in order to achieve the best results.
According to 'Hotel Management', 2019 is the year of data mining (hotelmanagement.net)
How to start preparing for the CRM?
First of all, you will need to segment your customers (guests). You need to know, who is your main target and how to reach them. You should find out your weak spots and potential markets to explore. What information about your guests is important:
➢ Type of the travellers (are they coming alone, are your guests traveling in couples, families, company of friends and etc.)
➢ Age of the travellers (youth, mid-aged people, senior travellers...)
➢ Behaviours of travelers (are they tend to book last minute or early bird offers, weekend deals, seasonal promotions, packages and etc.)
➢ Needs and expectations of travellers (are they ordering extra services, are they looking for an event space, do they need concierge service, do they expect breakfast...)
Once you analyse your main guest groups, you can see the trends, paths between their behaviours. This will help you to come up with ideas for marketing and sales strategies.
It is very important to start communication with your customers (guests) as soon as they land on your website or your social media. This is the start of their journey and beginning of mutual relationship.
However, the journey of this communication does not end once guest checks-out. Communication with the customer should be ongoing task and should result in the endless loop that guarantee you a loyal returning customer.
As you will have your guests segmented, you should contact them based on their habits and expectations. Your sales colleagues (or you) should have set various reminders when to contact the guest about the special deals, discounts, events and etc.
Dealing with pricing
Before starting a serious pricing strategy, you need to have a full scope of the data about your customer. You need to see from the reports, what sells the best and what is that your customer wants. Pricing strategy also includes up-selling opportunities. You have to reach out to your guest at the right time with the right offer (a thumb rule of any other strategy). For example: if you have a wedding happening at your hotel - offer a late check-out service for a reduced fee. If you are hosting a seminar or other even at your conference room - offer a snack selection.
Besides up-selling, you also need to focus on your main pricing strategy. Create special offers and rate plans that are targeted for specific guest types. You should never have just one static price and hope that it will fulfil everyone's needs. People should be encouraged to book your place because they saw an amazing weekend offer or long stay rate. Plus, having a dynamic pricing strategy also can be used for communication purposes. What else can catch the eye of the potential guests better than the attractive price offer :)