9
Apr
2019
7
min

Simplified customer data management for hoteliers

In a previous article, we highlighted how complex the hotel IT ecosystem is, with a wide range of software with different functionalities and purposes. It took two articles to cover all types of players.

The myriad of software applications involved in hotel management means that there are as many databases containing customer information as there are software applications. These databases often do not communicate with each other, which makes it difficult for hoteliers to use the customer data.

CUSTOMER DATA, A GOLDMINE FOR HOTELS

Lack of relevant tools

Yet customer data is essential to provide the most personalised customer service and experience possible.

According to Mathieu Pollet, CEO and Co-founder of LoungeUp, "Knowing your customers is a sine qua non condition to offer a high quality service. Hoteliers store a large amount of customer data which is a goldmine for those who want to personalise their customer relations in the most relevant way.

However, all this data is scattered all over the place and is therefore difficult for the hotel to use.

In addition, the guest index functions of PMS are often limited in their use and do not allow the aggregation of customer data present in the other tools used by the hotelier. This is the problem we wanted to address with Guest Profile.

The multitude of databases

All this customer data scattered in the many software programs used by the hotel would be very useful to better serve its customers.

For example, this software contains key data such as :

  • PMS with all booking (past, present and future stays) and payment information
  • E-reputation software with the list of reviews left by the customer online
  • Restaurant or spa software with table and treatment reservations made by the client
  • Social networks with the customer's public data (photo, interests, profession, number of connections and followers, etc.)
  • The customer portal (sometimes called e-Concierge) with the messages exchanged by chat with the hotel and the activities booked or that interested the customer
  • The e-mail and/or SMS platform with the data from the check-in, the history of e-mails and SMS exchanged between the guest and the hotel, etc.

The value of a unified customer view

For hoteliers, extracting, cross-referencing and exploiting this data themselves are extremely tedious and time-consuming tasks that they do not have the opportunity to perform. Yet this data would allow them to optimise the experience and the little things that make a difference to guests.

Indeed, certain types of customers need to be given a personal welcome and special treatment. Unfortunately, it is not easy for the hotelier to detect them without a customer relations tool.

Here are some examples of profiles that the hotel should be able to identify to ensure a specific welcome:

  • The guest who is dissatisfied with his last stay: he comes back to your hotel, and this time his stay must be perfect, he must be given a special welcome and follow-up
  • The client who has shown interest in your Spa or Restaurant in the pre-stay period: offer him a visit to the Spa when he is on site and thus generate the order of a treatment
  • The "influencer" guest: With more than 25,000 followers on Twitter, it is better to ensure their satisfaction and thus create some visibility among their network and especially avoid a negative tweet

The hotel itself can set up other "special guest" profiles with the combinations of criteria it deems important. Every day, LoungeUp Guest Profile automatically sends the list of these "special" guests arriving during the day to assist the operational teams in managing and welcoming travellers.

Customer knowledge concerns all the hotel's teams

The sharing of information between the different teams in the hotel is essential to ensure a uniform relationship between each guest and the hotel. From Reception to Management, each team has different needs regarding customer knowledge:

  • The teams in charge of customer relations, such as the Receptionist, Guest Manager or Concierge, will have practical needs, such as the list of important customers who require special attention in order to adapt their welcome and propose appropriate additional services. Recovering the customer's photo, his influence on social networks, or even knowing if the customer has already been to the hotel and if he enjoyed his stay are key elements.
  • As for marketing teams, being able to segment customers by type of stay (business/leisure/weekend/weekend, etc.), length of stay, degree of satisfaction or influence on social networks is an asset that allows them to carry out effective and automated customer loyalty and retention campaigns.
  • Finally, management will be keen to easily monitor the ROI of each tool and strategy, and to have an overview of the health of the organisation and customer satisfaction.

"All these functionalities must be grouped together on a single interface where each team can manage the information and indicators that concern them.

The interest is to have a single database, easier to secure and manage. This is what we wanted to create with Guest Profile, which is similar to a CRM adapted to the needs and specificities of the hotel industry, allowing establishments to manage customer relations on all communication platforms while capitalising on them.

DATA CLEANING AND ENRICHMENT

However, the tool should not just centralise the information and present it to the hotelier as it is. All this data must be processed and cleaned to avoid storing duplicates and to keep only up-to-date data that is useful to the hotel.

In addition to centralizing and cleaning the data, LoungeUp Guest Profile can automatically enrich it to give it more meaning. For example, a guest who stayed on February 23 or 24, 2019 will be given the label "weekend". Or phone numbers will be automatically structured and characterized (mobile/fixed line), and if the reservation does not contain the gender of the person, this will be automatically deduced from the first name and nationality of the guest.

"A guest who has already stayed is not always identified by the hotel, simply because the information does not easily reach the receptionist! Linking two reservations (sometimes several months or years apart) is not a feature accessible by all tools. Yet it is the basis of guest relations to recognise a regular guest", explains Mathieu Pollet.

Cleansing and enriching customer data is therefore necessary to be able to carry out ultra-personalised loyalty actions and optimise the yield and effectiveness of these actions.

HIGH-SPEED ADVANCED RESEARCH

As a consumer, there is nothing more frustrating than receiving inappropriate commercial solicitations.

Thanks to a structured and indexed database, it is easy to identify customer typologies in a very precise way in order to carry out relevant marketing actions.

Some examples of customer segmentation that can be done almost instantly with LoungeUp Guest Profile:

  • Guests who have made one or more "weekend" stays and who have shown an interest in the hotel's gastronomic restaurant: the hotel could offer them a "Gastronomic Weekend" package
  • All guests who stayed at least 1 year ago, residing in Europe with children and who were very satisfied with their last stay: the hotel could offer them a weekend with a specific activity for children

With the Guest Profile module, it is possible to conduct searches using all the data collected in all the hotel's software as criteria (degree of satisfaction, number and duration of stay, type of stay, influence on social networks, etc.).

The technology employed by LoungeUp allows these searches to be performed on millions of data items in a matter of tenths of a second.

These searches, once saved, can be re-executed with one click and exported at any time or connected to a newsletter software (LoungeUp's or another solution).

SECURING YOUR DATA, A VITAL EMERGENCY

Centralising customer data is not only necessary to offer a better service but also to ensure that this data is more secure. Since May 2018, thanks to the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)Since May 2018, there has been a real awareness of the need to secure and ensure the traceability of its customers' data.

Each company now bears real responsibility and will face severe penalties if it fails to meet its obligations.

Centralising this data in an ultra-secure platform such as LoungeUp is necessary to meet these commitments to the security of customers' personal data.

Moreover, the rights of rectification or deletion imposed on consumers by the RGPD also imply that data should be structured and centralised and no longer scattered in dozens of exports or files.

This regulation concerns all companies and therefore obviously all hotels, whatever their size or clientele.

THE MAIN BENEFITS OF A HIGH-PERFORMANCE HOTEL CRM TOOL

In summary, good customer data management has many concrete effects on the institution:

  • Enhancement and increase of regular customers
  • Increased turnover per customer
  • Improving customer satisfaction
  • Increase in direct bookings
  • Uniformity of communications between the hotel and the guests on all communication channels (facebook messenger, chat in the application, e-mail, SMS, push notifications, ...)
  • Facilitating the management of customer requests
  • Better customer support throughout the stay
  • Datasecurity and traceability
  • Reduction of tedious tasks and better monitoring of human guest relations
  • Increased customer retention
  • Refining and increasing the effectiveness of post-stay marketing campaigns with more precise guest segmentation

Mathieu Pollet, CEO and co-founder of LoungeUp, concludes: "In the hotel industry where knowledge is essential to ensure a high quality service, having a tool such as Guest Profile capable of helping the hotel in its customer relationship management is an investment that pays off after the first few weeks of use.

Having rich, visual guest files that facilitate the daily life of every team member of the hotel is an asset for focusing on the physical relationship and perfecting the quality of service. A luxury that is within the reach of all hotels, and no longer reserved for the big international chains.

Request a demo of LoungeUp Guest Profile

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