By Terri Miller, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Concilio Labs
Business today is all about choice — a surplus of choice. In this world of abundant choices, consumers hold the cards as they equip themselves with information to make educated buying decisions. The digital age has also created an ever-evolving online forum for both positive and negative consumer-generated reviews. As a result, the standard of business offerings must remain competitive, or risk being painted in a negative light by vocal consumers.
This understanding holds true for the hospitality industry more than ever before, as hotels look to data-driven insights to gain a better understanding of their guest. Once you understand your guest, you can precisely serve them the experience they’re looking for — an approach that will act as a catalyst for the creation of happy, loyal guests.
Only Intelligent Hotels Will Thrive
Most hotels have access to valuable data about their guests, giving them the ability to better anticipate guest needs. But sometimes they lack the knowledge what to do with the data. That said, the key to providing a personalized experience lies in guest insights and intelligence. Like Amazon and anticipatory shipping, being in the unique position of knowing exactly what your guests want and need opens massive opportunities for service, revenue, and loyalty.
This requires hotels to gather, enhance, and take action on the data derived from each guest’s behavior, in real time. It’s not just a matter of what guests do, but why they do it, which allows hoteliers to provide exceptional service, establish unique one-on-one communication with each guest, and generate more bookings and repeat guests. In fact, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that recognizes them by name, recommends services based on past purchases, and knows their purchase history. In addition, the effective use of data to drive guest personalization also leads to increase buying behaviors. According to reports, 77% of consumers admit they have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized experience, with over 78% of consumers stating they will only engage with personalized offers.
The data required to curate these actionable insights should be drawn from multiple sources; demographic-based data, travel purpose, buying behaviors, online engagement and social media, past feedback, and more. Ultimately, this data needs to be actionable, pulling back to curtain on each guest… creating a clear, measurable strategy to put in place that will meet (and exceed) their expectations.
The Who’s Who and Why, of Each Guest
To gain guest intelligence and insight, hoteliers need to collect and analyze data while also establishing the specific context of that information. Identifying the context means, for example, learning that a guest books with your hotel because of on-property family-friendly offerings and competitive pricing. This guest might be a young, fiscally-conscious family that likes to participate in activities during each trip to keep the kids engaged and happy. We know this family also books at a competitor property because it’s cheaper. Then, you could decide to act on this contextual data and build loyalty by offering a family focused offers for future bookings, or packages that include services they have previously used during their stay(s).
This personalization practice could also apply to a business traveler who frequents your hotel during client visits. When observing the data captured from their guest profile, you learn the guest frequently ‘checks-in’ to your hotel on social media during their stay, as well as the restaurants and events attended during each visit. With this in mind, your team could engage with the guest via social media and offer a loyalty incentive, or a promotion for your on-property restaurant, to encourage positive social sharing.
According to recent studies, over 60% of guests are happy to provide their personal data if it means they gain access to a more personalized experience and exclusive deals or, in some cases, a one-time discount or special offer.
Beyond Collecting Data – Using It
To better identify and view this contextual data in a functional manner, hoteliers look to insight-driven guest engagement solutions that can provide all of this information at a glance within an impactful, integrated platform. Ideally, this platform should offer guest scoring within a dynamic guest profiles, reservation information, and automated prescriptive insights pushed to hotel systems. With the creation of comprehensive guest profiles, hotels are always just a touch away from critical guest data such as their persona (based on their travel purpose), their social influence, loyalty, and perceived long-term value to your hotel. Armed with this information, hoteliers know what to offer each guest, at the right time, through the right channel — ensuring guest satisfaction. Additionally, hoteliers can then explore and segment data to understand key market drivers and uncover trends — which is, without a doubt, the beauty of bringing data to life.
The hospitality realm is about catering to each guest and providing them a memorable experience. Fortunately, with intuitive, data-driven tools in place to help hoteliers understand today’s empowered guest, they can ensure each guest becomes a long-term, loyal visitor.
To learn more about Concilio Lab’s Insight Engine and how it can transform your guest personalization, click here.
About the Author
The capability to understand today’s hotel guest is a priority for Concilio Labs. Terri Miller and her team developed a way to leverage hotel and public data to help hoteliers provide exceptional relevant experiences to its guests. As CEO of Concilio Labs, Terri is responsible for driving the strategic and tactical growth of the company, while ensuring innovation is at the forefront when delivering solutions hoteliers truly need. Her wealth of experience in business, management, and technology guides all facets of the company’s success. Prior to Concilio Labs, Terri was the Vice President of MICROS eCommerce leading the creative, delivery, and technical departments. With a passion for delivering results, Terri continues to grow Concilio Labs with a focus on becoming the leader in developing and delivering smart hotel products and services.