Today’s systems regularly collect large amounts of guest data, from transactional activity to guest demographics and staff notes. In our increasingly connected world, the collection of data is necessary; as guests increasingly expect more personalized services, particularly in hospitality, using guest data to provide personally relevant experiences and build stronger guest relationships can help hotels stand out from competitors.
However, with so much information available, hoteliers often struggle to use their harnessed data to its fullest potential. Here are the typical sources for collecting guest data, and tips for building guest profiles that empower hoteliers and elevates the guest experience.
Where Data Flows in
The data used to build rich, effective guest profiles largely come from three central systems. This includes the following:
PMS – Industry-leading PMSs grant hoteliers with the ability to aggregate stay history and folio spend data, key data for many revenue-driving personalization efforts. Another important piece of guest information that PMSs provide is special requests. A key factor in personalizing the guest experience, special requests like room preferences and allergy information can be used to anticipate guest needs for future stays. Available through a PMS’ reservation folios, special requests are recorded at the time of booking or noted through direct interactions with staff and manually recorded in guest profiles. A PMS with mobile housekeeping functionalities can instantly alert staff of guest requests, further increasing the visibility of special request data.
POS – a property’s POS system into the PMS can enhance a hotelier’s view of spend while the guest is in-house while simultaneously provide clues about guests’ interests. While many hoteliers manually record this data into the PMS, when the POS is integrated with the PMS, these purchases are recorded automatically on guest folios. With Event Management systems also available for integration, data from on-property amenity services like spa and golf bookings and purchases are also seamlessly integrating into the guest folio.
Reservations – data collected from reservations and customer service staff are also key to providing personalized guest experiences. Crucial booking information such as the guest’s reason for stay and associated mobile phone and email addresses are commonly collected through booking systems, which allow hoteliers to control pre- and post-stay communication with guests. To make the process even more seamless, properties that offer direct online bookings can often integrate with their PMSs, automatically recording critical information in guest profiles.
What to use Data for
With the data collected from these key sources, hoteliers can develop rich, well-rounded guest profiles that grants a deeper understanding into who a guest is, what their spend trends are and how to reach them across multiple channels. Data can be used to personalize the guest experience by:
Personalizing guest communications before and during stay – hoteliers can develop and implement pre-stay email and text message communications, offering automated confirmations based on the guest’s reservation and data preferences. With a guest’s personal interests and spending information at hand, hoteliers can offer personalized revenue-driving additions before a guest’s stay. During the guest’s stay at the property, continually using communication channels to send automated check-in information and offer guests with the ability to send requests can provide an enhanced, seamless experience, while a PMS’s mobile task management features can allow operators to assign tasks to the appropriate team member and ensure swift, personalized responses to special requests. Post-stay communications, like surveys and thank-you messages, can ensure that staff can continually improve the guest experience.
Driving higher ROI on email marketing – equipped with an understanding of guest interests and behavior, hoteliers can invite guests back with personalized offers. Email marketing campaigns can be segmented and targeted based on guest profiles, ensuring the guests most likely to capitalize on an offer is reached. When a marketing platform is automatically integrated with a PMS platform, hoteliers can eliminate the time-consuming need to manually export and import segmented guest lists.
Driving Loyalty Program – Loyalty programs can be a key factor in catering to the modern traveler, but guests increasingly prefer personalized programs over traditionally strict point systems. Hoteliers who often struggle with offering relevant rewards can use guest data to enhance loyalty program participation by developing personalized rewards based on a guest’s previous stay data. With powerful services aimed at developing enhanced loyalty programs available through industry-leading PMS platforms, hoteliers can further increase the likelihood of guests utilizing loyalty systems. In return, this can further improve an operator’s ability to build guest data by learning more about customers’ travel habits, spending and preferences, allowing hotels to tailor reward programs, offers and future service to guests more successfully.
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