Hardly any other industry collects as much data about its customers as the hotel industry. Along the customer journey, each guest leaves hundreds, if not thousands, of digital traces.
Modern hoteliers need to be able to profitably leverage the opportunities this creates. However, it requires a sustainable digitalization and CRM strategy. But what can this strategy look like?
Data is created almost everywhere, when visiting the website e.g. as log files, during the booking process whether via IBE, OTA or directly in the hotel, data is located in the PMS, POS, spa system, table reservation system, newsletter tool, loyalty program, Wifi, etc. The list could be continued nearly randomly. Over the last few years, a proliferation of systems has developed, which are operated along the customer journey from the information phase, through the booking phase, the stay, to the CRM, mostly independently of each other. In almost every one of these systems, guest profiles are created and it is not uncommon for each guest to have several profiles stored for one and the same person.
In a study in 2018 of 4.5 million bookings in two of the leading PMS systems, dailpoint identified an average of 2.3 profiles for each returning guest. Due to the large number of systems in operation, experts assume that today a hotel has up to 30 different profiles per guest stored in different systems! The development of a comprehensive guest profile is therefore not possible.
The core task of customer relationship management is to acquire profitable customers. This is achieved by addressing them individually at all touchpoints. In order to be able to offer this individuality, however, comprehensive guest knowledge is top priority. This requires a central, clean guest profile.
The central guest profile is virtually the Holy Grail and should be the central element of any digitization and CRM strategy.
Today, Big Data offers the opportunity to learn everything about your guests, thereby achieving an unprecedented level of individualization in marketing, sales and, of course, service.
The hotel industry lies on a treasure of data that must be used. Two fundamental changes are necessary for this: Hoteliers should accept that the PMS is no longer the leading system in which the central guest profile is managed and secondly, the CRM is not the same as marketing and newsletter dispatch.
CRM consists of the three areas, CR-Marketing, CR-Operations and CR-Analytics. In order to operate a real Customer Relationship Management, first of all it has to be determined where the central guest profile should be located. A study by h2c in 2019 showed that more and more of the central guest profile is located in CRM. But only a few CRM systems are suitable for this. The reason is simple, most CRM systems are actually pure customer relationship marketing tools.
What is needed, however, is a Central Cata Management platform (CDM), which functions as the heart of the system and to which all systems with guest data are connected.
About Dr. Michael Toedt:
Dr. Michael Toedt is one of the most renowned experts in the field of Big Data and CRM. His professional life to date can be divided into two areas: First, his goal was to take over his parents’ hotel business. After two specialist training courses and experience in the star gastronomy sector, he studied business administration with a focus on the hotel industry. In 2000, he started his second career in the field of CRM at the Schörghuber Group of Companies, and in 2005 founded Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH. Since then TS&C, today known as dailypointTM, has made a name for itself as a software company and think tank for data-driven management. Michael Toedt wrote the CRM guide of the Austrian Hotel Association and in 2015 the book “Big Data” was published, which has since become a standard work. He wrote his doctorate in 2016 on the influence of communication on sales figures in the luxury hotel industry.