For-Sight’s Inbound Marketing Executive Maud Bruyere looks at how data can help identify opportunities to increase guest revenue as the industry re-opens and beyond.
2020 saw a number of restrictions and guidelines that impacted hospitality guest revenue and will linger into the future. As the re-opening approaches, bookings are increasing due to pent up demand, but what about the guest revenue of tomorrow? From multiple data sources across your systems, CRM technology can define a single source of truth to help you identify opportunities, both immediate and long term.
“All knowledge is connected to all other knowledge. The fun is in making the connections.” – Arthur C. Aufderheide*.
How can “the fun” happen, and connections be made for hospitality businesses to identify opportunities? In this article, we discuss how data empowers hospitality businesses and can help to increase guest revenue.
Guest Segmentation – Make it personal
Best practices to optimise hospitality revenue are characterised by your ability to segment your guests to create a personalised guest experience.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has changed your way of personalising your guest journey. With social distancing measures – no more handshakes to greet your guests. The ‘make it personal’ touch has to be re-thought and adjusted while still acknowledging that every single guest is unique and expects to be known as an individual. However, maintaining a personal approach at scale is not easy.
Guest segmentation can help identify and maximise opportunity by distinguishing meaningful groups of guests that share common behaviours and preferences. With the use of segmentation, you can follow a guest-centric approach to building relevant offers and guest matches.
How does it work?
Remember, the fun happens when you can create connections! Data available in your CRM provides knowledge on your guests’ journey by connecting your Property Management System (PMS) data, guest sentiment data, guest contact details, among other data from your core operational and marketing systems. From this data, you will be able to build guest profiles of your ideal guests, delight them and drive loyalty. Having in mind that post-COVID guest preferences have changed, your Guest Segmentation must reflect this. For instance, GWI research show that generation Z looks for new experiences – 32% of the Gen Z craves for ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience’. On the other hand, older guests want familiarity – 32% of ‘boomers’ think about ‘going back to a place they know’ when planning a vacation. Has your segmentation been updated to reflect new 2021 guest concerns?
How can segmentation help you increase your reach?
Building and automating a personalised itinerary based on your guest profiles allows you to develop new services and offers to thrill your guests. As you can reach a very specific audience, the relevance of your guest communication is also enhanced – you speak to the right customers, at the right time.
Your hotel offers a surf class, and since re-opening measures have been announced, you observe strong demand for this activity. From your data, you can tell that reservation comes from the youngest generations of your guest. Great news! As well as being an instant increase in guest revenue, it also highlights opportunities to upsell, to develop this offer and to customise your guest journey. ‘Sophie the Surfer’ can be the one persona you build to create relevant guest communication.
RFM – Insightful and easy-to-use marketing tool for your segmentation
To help with segmentation RFM is a powerful marketing tool. RFM stands for:
- Recency: When was the last time the guest has booked?
- Frequency: How often this guest has booked in a given time period? and
- Monetary: How much money the guest had spent per stay?
This recognised metric allows you to rank and target high revenue generating guests, as well as understanding their behaviour. At For-Sight, RFM categorisation is available to all our customers and many use this quick and easy to use metric, to drive loyalty and increase Customer Lifetime Value.
Guest sentiment – Listen to your guest
Alongside segmentation and use of the RFM tool, Guest sentiment is essential to highlight opportunities and assess the risks. The COVID-19 crisis has raised new concerns for guests. Thus, there is new feedback that hospitality must take into consideration to assure their guest a safe stay. Guest confidence and safety are two challenges that hospitality businesses are facing. Guest sentiment precisely captures satisfaction in a variety of aspects, from the tastiness of the food to the cleanness of amenities or reviews related to COVID-19 pandemic concerns, such as the respect of government regulations.
Other guest reviews and pictures are likely to inform guest decisions. Expedia group research found that “pictures, information, and reviews are especially relevant looking ahead”. ‘Expert reviews’ influence more than 50% travellers, while pre-pandemic that influence was approximately representing 35% travellers.
From the qualitative guest feedbacks, guest sentiment can be transcribed by CRM tools, such as For-Sight Guest Engagement, into quantitative data. Manual processing of that information can lack precision and is highly time-consuming. Automating feedback collection and generating indicators, such as the RFM, will let you track, review your operations and guest communications in order to reach your objectives.
Qualify the data – Pinpoint + and –
Having discussed how you can access business opportunities; it is important in this process to qualify the data to achieve a successful strategy in the short term but also for long term planning.
Identifying opportunities creates scope for improvement and adjustment to this “new normal”. For-Sight’s goal of ‘Unlocking the guest journey’ reflects this, as data give you the key to pinpoint the positives and what could be reviewed to perform better and delight your guests. Arthur C. Aufderheide’s quote “The fun is in making the connections” illustrates the purpose of our article perfectly, as the power of technology allows connections of rich data to give you a single view of your guests, to analyse, support your decision-making process and bring the fun (and revenue opportunities) into your guest journey.
*Arthur C. Aufderheide. 1922-2013. A “mummy doctor” that followed a pathologist career, with pioneering research on the diseases of the ancient world.