"Hotels are a gold mine of data."
You may have guessed by now that we at Triptease are fully paid-up members of the CRM fan club. We believe that done right, it can work wonders for hotels, helping bring about the personal touch that people crave from hospitality at every step of the customer journey. And best of all, that can be achieved with data that hotels already have. But you don’t have to take our word for it. We’ve drafted in some specialists who have the proof.
Revinate provides software for hotel operations, marketing, revenue management and CRM. It works with over 25,000 hotels — a deep database to draw from. For the third part of CRM: A Hotelier’s Guide, Revinate presents the evidence that best illustrates the power of CRM.
CRM is often used to tailor marketing messages, particularly email, to various audiences. Taking the time to group recipients of your emails into segments can really pay off. Revinate’s data shows segmentation results in:
- 20% higher open rates
- 70% higher click-through rates
- 73% higher revenue per recipient
One of the main reasons hoteliers invest in CRM is to create targeted marketing campaigns they can track and assess effectively. Again, email tends to be the method of delivery. Below is a breakdown various types of email campaigns and how they have performed for Revinate customers. Bear in mind, MailChimp’s February email-marketing statistics (which are based on emails sent to 1000 subscribers), show an average open rate of 20.69% for the travel industry.
- Pre-arrival campaigns: 57% open rate, 15.5% click-through rate
- Pre-arrival with “upgrade” in subject line: 61% open rate, 30% click-through rate
- On-property welcome: 48% open rate, 1.5% click-through rate
- Post-Stay “winback” from OTA: 33% open rate, 3.3% click-through rate
- One-time promotion: 19% open rate, 2% click-through rate
- Case study: One hotel campaign offering direct bookers early access to a flash sale achieved a return on investment of 1:100 in just two days.
So the data is pretty conclusive; CRM can lead to some impressive results. But what else can Revinate tell us about what makes good CRM? We asked for the team’s best learnings and observations.
Hotels want to organize their data
We find that overwhelmingly hotels want better database visibility. They know they have troves of information locked away in their PMS, but they’re not able to access it, or if they can, it’s almost impossible to make sense of it. Hoteliers want easier access to their data and they want it presented in a way that is actionable and insightful. They understand that only with this data can they provide more personalized experiences for their guests, whether it be on-property or through their marketing efforts.
It’s essential that CRM integrates with the hotel PMS
When it comes to CRM, integration with the PMS often causes the biggest headaches. Implementation can also be a strain on time and resources, including account setup and training. At Revinate, we work really hard to make the onboarding experience as smooth and painless as possible (and sometimes even a little fun) with a team of knowledgeable implementation managers, training specialists, and marketing strategists. And of course, once the CRM is set up properly, it will save the hotel significant time and resources, all while driving revenue.
Hotels should look for certain characteristics when choosing a CRM system
Once compatibility with PMS has been established, hoteliers should evaluate ease-of-use, the company’s internal support structure, and the speed of innovation. New features and functionality should be coming out monthly, not annually. A good CRM is always getting smarter, more sophisticated, and more intuitive. As the technology around us evolves, so should the CRM!
CRM is most exciting when it solves common business problems
Hotels use our CRM in really creative ways to solve common business challenges (and resisting the urge to turn to OTAs as an expensive band-aid). Typically this creativity involves the hotel targeting guest lists based off specific conditions, like a group cancellation. For example, when one of our customers had a major group cancellation last minute, they were able to send an offer to past guests within driving distance. Since it was a high demand period, they were actually able to generate more room nights with a longer length of stay than contracted with the group, bringing in increased revenue for the hotel.
There are common mistakes to avoid
The first is hesitating to even make an investment in CRM or being hesitant to bring on a new technology. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for hoteliers to fall behind in a rapidly changing industry and technology ecosystem.
A second common mistake we see is failing to leverage the full potential of the CRM’s functionality. Between database segmentation, marketing automation, and actionable reporting, there is really no reason why CRM shouldn’t become part of a hotel marketer’s daily routine. For example, a classic mistake is blasting a campaign to your entire database. This may seem easier and more efficient, but it often comes at the expense of revenue, database health, and, most importantly, relevance to your guests.
It’s an opportunity not to be missed
CRM is about relevance, and it all starts with your data. Hotels are a gold mine of data, so take the time to understand this information and apply it towards your operational and marketing efforts. Your guest data provides the kind of unique insight about your visitors and how they interact with your property you cannot find anywhere else. Stand out in a crowded hospitality market by creating personalized, relevant content that you know your guests will appreciate, all the while driving impressive revenue.
So there you have it. It’s likely that you are sitting on a gold mine as we speak, and you owe it to both your hotel and your customers to make the most of it.
For more on CRM and what it can do for your hotel, be sure to revisit the first three instalments of the Hotelier’s Guide:
- CRM: A Hotelier's Guide, part 1 — The building blocks
- CRM: A Hotelier's Guide, part 2 — The expert view
- CRM: A Hotelier's Guide, part 3 - A case study with Hotel Emma
Next week we'll have our final two posts of the series: a look at how to squeeze every last drop of value from a CRM and a full recap of everything we've learned so far, plus an exciting announcement. Don't miss them!
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