Everything you’ve always wanted to know about hotel CRM
In recent years, there has been a shift in hotel strategy from an inventory room-centred logic to a customer-centred logic.
This small revolution is leading to a major change in organisation: CRM is entering the heart of operations, redefining how it’s used within operations, and this means that a number of questions are arising for hoteliers. To shed some technological light on these questions, we have grouped together the questions that come up most often among our customer community; we hope that these questions and our answers will help you to understand and make the most of your CRM.
What is the difference between a hotel CRM and a regular B2C CRM?
Unlike a regular CRM, a hotel CRM must be interfaced with the many different platforms you use, whether it’s your PMS, your CRS, or your website. Hotel CRMs have been designed with this need in mind. The hotel CRM centralises all data, and your hotel staff can access the same information, whether it’s at the reception desk so your guests are welcomed in the most personalised way possible, in marketing and revenue management to set up personalised actions, or for room service to access and respond to the particular requests of each guest.
At D-EDGE, we believe connectivity is key to giving hoteliers what they need to distribute their properties online. That’s why, in addition to connecting you to over 500 partners, we have designed a range of fully interconnected, integrated solutions to support you all the way. With this in mind, in 2019 we launched our Guest Management range, giving you access to a hotel CRM, as well as customer feedback and loyalty management tools.
I have so much data... how can I keep it up to date?
With the advent of Big Data comes the question of data relevance. There are countless teams who feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they have to keep up to date. A study by Marketing Sherpas has shown that more than 22% of data decays after one year. And the situation is particularly complex in the hotel industry, with data stored and used on multiple platforms: CRS, PMS, website, OTAs, etc.
Two solutions are available to hoteliers. The first is manual processing: the teams regularly update information on all platforms. And it’s a constant struggle that is never won.
The second is automation. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the D-EDGE Hotel CRM offers a patented Data Laundry solution, which identifies all invalid data or duplicate data on your different tools, corrects input errors, to finally centralises and groups this information into a single profile for each traveller. Thanks to this technology, we have recorded an average decrease of 7% in the number of registered profiles. The best part? When you update your customer’s unique profile, the information is updated on your PMS in real-time. This ensures that you can rely on the quality of your customer data at all times.
Does a CRM ensure that I am GDPR compliant?
Of course, GDPR compliance depends first on your team and their level of awareness and training. They must integrate new habits, like collecting non-tacit opt-in agreements, and not gathering ethnic, religious, or medical/physical information, etc.
But the goodwill of your staff is not enough.
The GDPR regulation has reinforced the idea that the customer and their data must be at the centre of a hotel’s strategy. By centralising your customers’ personal data in one place, the CRM plays a key role, making it easy to take into account individual preferences and ensure that data is monitored.
Opt for a CRM that is connected to your various systems, and in particular to your PMS, so that every information update is properly reflected on all the tools you use. To comply with GDPR regulations, you also need to choose a CRM that allows you to easily export or anonymise a contact’s data, if requested. To make life easier for hoteliers and to ensure that their properties are always GDPR compliant, the D-EDGE Hotel CRM gives the hotel staff access to a Privacy Dashboard to manage preferences all in one place with one click, before they are transmitted to the various tools using this data.
How can I implement more effective marketing with my CRM?
Centrally managing your data on a CRM is a good start.
But then, what can you do with this wealth of information? The amount of data available can eventually drown hoteliers. This makes it important to identify the criteria you should base your contacts segmentation so you can offer them adapted and personalised communication.
Ask yourself the right questions: the idea is to concentrate your marketing efforts by sending the right message to the right target. For example, communicating your holiday offers to your corporate clients could be a waste of your time, and this client segment wouldn’t see much point in it either. With this target group, why not opt instead for communications highlighting your hotel’s facilities? Wifi, meeting rooms, restaurant, or a spa or gym to relax after a day’s work, etc.
Also since the COVID-19 situation, identifying the targets that will enable you to restart your business is key: local customers, or even neighbours who might be interested in your F&B offer or workspaces…
Ask yourself about the types of customers who are most likely to return soon: is it your business or leisure customers? There are so many segments that you can easily identify with the help of a CRM, and then you can use this same tool to broadcast your personalised messages.
The personalisation of your communication is key to creating a real relationship with your customers, building loyalty, and generating direct sales. Even Pepijn Rijvers, chief marketing officer at Booking.com says: “Every property owner in the world should use Booking.com as a customer acquisition channel and then try to do everything to make that customer become loyal and book repeat stays direct […] That would be a more profitable, higher-growth approach.”
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