From booking to check-out, every guest transaction with your hotel gathers valuable data that can be used to boost your business and bring the travel experience to the next level. Here’s how you can harness your data to learn more about your guest base and cater to every individual preference, request, and need:
Get to know your guests before they even walk through the front door of your property! When a guest makes a booking through your front desk/call center or through your online booking engine (OBE), the reservation data gathered can tell you a lot about your customer. For example, guest contact information, room and rate selection, add-on services, and preferences are captured as soon as a booking is made. This data should be consolidated with guest profiles to establish a stay history, noting information such as important dates (anniversaries and birthdays), special requests (such as room preferences and allergies), services used, and much more that can be used to enhance the guest experience now and in the future.
Reservation data can also be used to increase your bottom line by contributing to property statistics and performance metrics, which can then be used to make decisions regarding pricing and marketing strategies. Taking advantage of this data can benefit your business and help you make guests feel appreciated by offering services specific to them. By identifying booking and occupancy trends, hoteliers can identify the various types of travel bookers that stay with them. For properties that book many business travelers, for example, offering special business-stay packages or even conference room rentals can make guests feel supported and valued.
Email and SMS
Guest email addresses and phone numbers are crucial for hotels to establish and continue guest relationships both pre- and post-stay. In addition to the above-mentioned reservation data, your property’s OBE can gather guest contact information, with properties having the ability to make these fields required for guests to fill out when booking. Also, when the OBE is integrated with the property management system (PMS), reservation and guest data are automatically recorded in the PMS, making data collection seamless.
If complete guest contact information was, for some reason, not collected at the time of booking, this information can still be obtained (or verified) and added to the guest profile during check-in or check-out in person or via contactless check-in applications. You can tell guests that you’d like to send them special offers or ask them if they’d prefer an emailed receipt instead of a printed one. Guests are much more willing to share their contact information when they feel like they will benefit from it. Using contact information to send automated communications that offer value (for example, upgrades, add-on services and discounts) helps cultivate guest relationships long after check-out, increasing the chances of repeat bookings and building guest loyalty.
Integrating your PMS with customer relationship management (CRM) software and guest messaging solutions improves the guest experience by constantly and conveniently communicating with guests about their in-the-moment needs. These integrations work together with the PMS to build rich guest profiles by collecting data at every point in a guest’s journey.
With most travelers using social media to share their experiences, hoteliers can gather helpful guest data by viewing their customers’ social media profiles. Much like travelers gathering information on properties through social media, hoteliers can view guests’ profiles and find out what their interests are to provide a more personalized stay. For example, if a guest posts about hiking, you can tell them about the amazing trails near your property. If a customer loves coffee or tea, a bag of locally roasted beans or tea from a local café is a small, personal touch that guests greatly appreciate and remember.
With so much data processed from booking to check-out, it can be overwhelming to determine the importance and potential of the information you collect. Allow your PMS and PMS integrations to automate the collection of data and create guest profiles that help you get to know your guests. By effectively utilizing this seemingly basic information, you can provide an unforgettable, intuitive travel experience and boost your business.