Hotel guests today are not just looking for great customer service but are looking for a personalized experience. Attention to personal details as well as guest-centric service presents the pathway to guest loyalty and repeat visits. However most hotels use many different platforms and systems for booking, POS, PMS, loyalty, etc. which makes capturing critical data extremely complicated and understanding it even more difficult! (And not to mention if your guest books via an OTA!) So delivering a seamless customer experience may seem like an impossible task!
But never fear, as the Cloud is here to solve a lot of headaches and make life a lot easier. One of the many benefits of a Cloud PMS solution is its ability to integrate multiple systems, and it’s collation of data cross platforms and the consolidation of all this data into one single point. Below we run through important data points captured by a Cloud PMS and the impact on your business and overall guest satisfaction.
#1 Email: Email communication is quick and easy and it’s little wonder why it has become a vital part of how we communicate. For hoteliers, email is one of the key ways of communicating with guests; it’s a powerful way to exchange and publicize information. Collating guest email address information via your PMS allows hoteliers to email reservation confirmations, email a copy of the final bill and/or deliver an expedited checkout process via email to get guests on their way faster. Hoteliers can also ask for feedback on a stay at the hotel, send out promotional and marketing material as well as carry out other customer relationship management (CRM) actions.
Such pre-arrival and post-stay emails can increase revenue of ancillary services, promote low selling services or hotel eateries and improve reviews and get more feedback. According to a McKinsey’s iConsumer survey, email is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter together in the acquisition of customers, with e-mails prompting purchases not only estimated to be at least three times that of social media, but the average order value is also 17% higher! For hotels, email is a cost effective and easy method for getting the most out from the relationship you have already won and own.
#2 Preferences: “It is more costly to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one” – a phrase we have all heard before and know all too well. Understanding customers is the key to giving them good service and for hoteliers they know that efforts spent on building guest relationships can pay off significantly. However you can only satisfy your customer’s needs if you get to understand them to an extent that you can anticipate their needs and deliver beyond their expectations. Understanding your guests’ preferences and requests helps you recognise what they want and utilizing the data gives you a better chance of yielding results.
Special requests and guest preferences such as in-room extras like more pillows, wine and chocolates, informing the property of any special dietary requests, preferences for a specific floor and room type, whether it’s near an elevator, room with a view and not near any noise – with a Cloud based PMS, all [data] can be automatically and manually noted and recorded on guest reservation folios and can be updated by both the guest and staff.
Armed with the knowledge of ‘who’ your customers are allows hoteliers to anticipate guest needs for future stays. Acting on this data to personalize the guest experience promotes customer loyalty… and of course, customer loyalty results into repeat business – which is what we all want!
#3 Customer Buying Habits: Along with recording guest requests and preferences, when other systems such as point-of-sale (POS) are integrated with the Cloud based PMS, customer buying habits and purchases can be recorded automatically on guest folios also. This allows hotels to provide customised promotions and sending context-specific coupons and offers (which can be triggered at particular locations around the hotel, such as the bar, restaurant or spa). The data can be used to offer discounted upgrades and even the option of an extended stay or late checkout.
Understanding and acting on customer behaviour data can improve customer satisfaction and retention. It can help you to identify customer needs more effectively, allowing you to up-sell and cross-sell and increase profitability. A study by IGH revealed that nearly three in five (59%) travellers say their hotel stay is significantly more comfortable if services are personalised, and more than half (54%) admit it makes them feel more valued. “Fully engaged” customers (those with a strong attachment to the brand, or brand ambassadors) deliver a 23% premium over the average customer in share of wallet, profitability and revenue (Cap Gemini).
The Cloud has exponentially enhanced the possibilities of promoting and selling ancillary services. Not only does it make the decision-making process easier and more personal for your guest, but it adds a viable revenue stream to your business.
Future revenue comes from today’s satisfied guests – and today’s guest like nothing more than a personalised service. By gathering intelligence, understanding preferences and behaviour, and – most of all – continuously acting upon them, research suggests that engagement, purchases, and customer satisfaction soar. With a Cloud PMS, hoteliers are using innovative technology to gather guest data, understand guest behaviours and monetize guest preferences. A Cloud based PMS allows for easier and greater data yields and it’s ability to provide personalized, relevant and useful content, in turn, gives customers greater value and a stronger connection to a brand.
Read more articles on Hotel PMS, Mobile PMS and Cloud PMS.