“More isn’t always better, Linus. Sometimes it’s just more.”
~ Sabrina Fairchild, Sabrina (1995)
Big data is big right now and getting bigger. Every guest visit, website click, and front desk phone call can provide information that’s analyzed to fuel revenue-making decisions and improve overall guest satisfaction. However, it’s not more data, but better data that provides deeper insights into the realm of your guests. And it is better data that holds the key to your competitive advantage. Let’s take a closer look at what guest data offers the best guest insights to drive personalization and profits.
Getting to the Core
Understanding who your core customers are influences your marketing efforts and overall branding. By strategically combining contact information, demographic data, and personal preference information gleaned from social media, hotels can develop rich customer profiles. Insights from this data can lead to creating targeted marketing messages – before, during, and after a stay – that help build long-term relationships with guests. Personalized emails connect with customers, achieving 25 percent higher open rates and 51 percent higher click rates.
The Past Informs the Present
Keeping track of past spend on hotel services and amenities guests used during their stay, as well as any special requests, helps hotels positively impact guest experience in the present. A study by MCD Partners showed that 74 percent of travelers were interested in letting hotels use personal data to make their visit better. Touches as simple as stocking the mini fridge with a favorite beverage or putting extra towels in a room in advance because they were requested on a previous stay, impresses guests and inspires those coveted return visits.
Understanding the Why
Knowing if your guests are visiting for business, leisure, or a special occasion, helps you tailor your services and messaging in ways that improve guest satisfaction. Presenting an “Anniversary Celebration” offering a few months before a couple’s next anniversary will likely deliver a high conversion rate and help build long-term loyalty.
Understanding the Where
Determining whether your guests book their stays via travel agents, online travel agencies (OTAs), or your hotel website will directly impact your revenue management and marketing strategies. For example, if a particular OTA consistently brings in guests who stay longer at a higher average daily rate (ADR), then it may be wise to improve your ranking on that site.
Analyzing your website and booking engine data helps you understand at what point guests leave before booking. For instance, say a guest visited your site and looked at your spa rate page several times, but left without booking. Sending a well-timed spa offering could inspire them to make the move to book.
Make better decisions and enjoy a stronger bottom line by scrutinizing guest satisfaction surveys for valuable insights into traveler behavior, likes, and dislikes. Another benefit of during- and post-stay guest surveys is that they allow guests to provide detailed feedback in a non-public venue, giving hoteliers the opportunity to respond before anything negative is posted on review or OTA sites.
Rating Your Rates
By looking at historic pricing data, and comparing it to that of competitors, a hotel can measure the extent to which ADR and revenue per available room (RevPAR) have been optimized. And real-time data allows you to adjust pricing as necessary to maintain a competitive advantage in your market.
Responsibly harnessing the right data helps you generate powerful improvements in guest engagement, loyalty, and retention, establish competitive differentiation, and ultimately increase profits. We recently partnered with Concilio Labs to create an infographic on The New Era of Data-Driven Guest Experiences: How the Vast Amount of Your Hotel Data Can Help Personalize the Guest Experience. Click below to download the latest aggregated research on how to leverage data to personalize guest experience: