When Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Revenue Management System (RMS} solutions are synced, you can create one-of-a-kind experiences guests crave, while also moving the needle for every revenue source at your resort. Here we explore eight powerhouse benefits hotels experience with a tight CRM and RMS integration.
1-Segmentation & personalization
An integrated CRM/RMS system merges customer spend data with behavioral information from across multiple touchpoints and channels. It enables you to create a single, robust guest profile that includes specifics such as demographics, preferences, source markets, visited locations – getting as granular as preferred room temperature and pillow type. Every member of your team has access to this data and can use it to create highly personalized experiences that are proven to drive guest retention and create more loyal brand advocates.
Moreover, research from Epsilon shows that 80 percent of customers are willing to make a purchase when they’re offered custom-tailored experiences.With an integrated solution in place, you can determine the optimal rate to charge for those customized services, revenue managing them in the same manner you do your room rates to help increase profitability throughout the guest travel journey.
2-Understand best guest value & target look-a-likes
Integrated CRM/RMS not only tracks what a customer spends on rooms, but on non-room sources as well, including restaurant, bar, spa, golf course, retail shops, and excursions. This lets you accurately calculate total guest value and identify those who are truly your most profitable customers. You can then leverage insights gleaned from this data to develop more efficient customer acquisitions by identifying and targeting new customers who match the profile of your current high-value guests.
3-Targeted & cost-effective marketing
By consolidating RMS and CRM data into one centralized warehouse, you can optimize your marketing spend by creating highly targeted interest-based marketing campaigns. The system can collate guest segment shopping patterns and behaviors with data analyzing the dates, seasons, segments, and channels that are performing best at any given point in time, as well as determine the price level that optimizes your profitability while considering the guests’ willingness to pay.
So, instead of simply sending out a monthly newsletter to every customer and hoping for a response, you can automate relevant marketing messages based on where guests fall in your different audience segmentation buckets. You’ll be providing the right message, at the right time, to the right customer, through the right channel, at the right price – sending less marketing emails while driving higher conversions and greater profitability for your hotel. Properties using targeted digital marketing strategies typically see a 20 percent average increase in sales over properties that don’t. A further benefit is that you can analyze the effectiveness and cost of campaigns, allowing you to continuously improve each initiative.
4-Optimize loyalty program strategy
According to Kalibri Labs’ report, Book Direct Campaigns 2.0: The Costs and Benefits of Loyalty 2018, loyalty members represent the largest customer base for branded hotels in the U.S. And research compiled by Invesp show that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer versus keeping an existing one. Plus, existing customers are more likely to spend 31 percent more when compared to new customers.
With today’s loyalty programs becoming less about transactional point accruals, and more about member-only experiences, it’s crucial for your hotel success to ensure your loyalty program is delivering the results you need. When CRM and RMS information is combined into a single guest profile, it empowers your team to deliver stellar customer service in ways that result in guests feeling special and unique.
Say for example that a guest profile reveals they fall into a foodie segmentation. Upon arrival, you could send a text message welcoming them as a returning loyalty member and mention that the chef is running a special that evening which they may be interested in. Furthermore, a consolidated systemlets you monitor and evaluate the success, revenues, and costs generated by your program, ensuring it’s producing results that truly benefit your bottom line.
It’s important to note that loyalty member benefits in the form of personalized touches, add-ons, and upgrade offers solve the problem of dilution that can occur when a hotel focuses solely on offering free rooms and discounted accommodations. While typical road warriors may be looking for those benefits, top-tier loyalty program members are often willing to pay full price for a room. And if managed correctly, hoteliers can drive higher revenues while keeping loyalty program costs down.
Predicting how many customers will stay at your resort on a given night, anticipating sales of non-room products and services, and understanding how those bookings break down by guest segments and respective profitability, help resort owners develop effective growth strategies and maximize revenue opportunities.
A good RMS uses science-based demand forecasting, utilizing historic, real-time, and future data to improve inventory allocation and lift revenues by establishing higher average rates per customer. During low-demand periods, an RMS can zero in on guest segments likely to generate optimal revenue, while your marketing can draw from CRM data to selectively target those high-value customers with promotions that inspire bookings. An integrated system also ensures that you always have rooms available for your highest-value guests.
6-Strategic pricing for transients & groups
A unified CRM/RM system provides hotel owners with the knowledge and technical resources to implement a highly customized and profitable pricing strategy, accounting for room and non-room revenues, booking pace, trends, events and holidays, customer preferences, and more. By drawing from detailed customer data, you can boost revenue by sending marketing messages pre-, during, and post-stay. Perhaps a guest profile reveals she used the spa on her last visit. Prior to her visit, you can offer a package that includes spa treatments and fitness classes, encouraging her to use services she may not have previously thought about. Or send a customized post-stay email thanking a guest for their stay and promoting the benefits of your loyalty program.
Group business can substantially impact your resort profits.The advanced functionality of a group-inclusive CRM/RM solution helps you drive more group business and optimize your entire property – including convention spaces. Automation lets you capture first-responder advantage, and you increase conversions by delivering highly personalized media-rich requests for proposal (RFP) replies. You’re also able to move beyond minimum available rate (MAR) and transient displacement analysis to evaluate the total customer value displacement of each opportunity – in comparison to both transient and other group business – looking beyond rooms to revenue from meeting spaces, F&B, audio-visual equipment rental and more. You can then quote group rates with confidence, knowing they will boost overall profitability for your property.
7-Increase ancillary revenue
The Eye for Travel report, Ancillary Revenues in the Hospitality Industry, stated that more than half of hotels surveyed found that ancillary revenue contributed at least 10 percent to their profits, with another third reporting that it made up 25 percent of their bottom line. An integrated CRM/RM system captures data on both broad and granular levels – combining rich guest behavioral data with information on guest spend across all resort revenue sources. This makes it easy to spot additional upsell opportunities. And an integrated CRM/RMS lets you manage this incremental revenue just as you would manage your room rates – effectively generating growth and profitability.
Furthermore, an integrated cloud-based combo makes all guest information easily accessible by every team, on every property in your portfolio. So, if a guest visits one property, then books a sister property in another destination, you’re able to provide that guest with a seamless, personalized experience that enhances their satisfaction and helps boost revenues. For example, during check-in, a front desk staff member could say, “I see you stayed in an upper-level suite away from the elevator at our sister property. We have one of those available, would you like me to upgrade you now?”
8-Combating the OTA squeeze
Beyond the high customer acquisition costs with OTAs, a major negative is the fact that OTAs provide almost no information about the guest. An advanced CRM can pull data from multiple sources to build a bigger picture of each guest – often adding in social media profiles, and demographics, as well as interests and lifestyle data. It also allows for email capture opportunities as well, so you can covert that generic OTA booking into a potential loyal guest you can market to directly. Your integrated system can use this information to create enticing marketing initiatives, provide highly personalized experiences, and ultimately win future direct bookings. The forecasting and historical reporting capabilities of an advanced RMS can help you optimize OTA contract negotiations by allowing you to distinguish between the incremental revenue OTAs bring during need periods versus the revenue-diluting effect they create during peak periods.
An integrated CRM/RMS platform automates many time-intensive and repetitive tasks, freeing up your employees to become more involved in the “personal touch” side of service. It ensures that every member of your resort is on the same page, and connects properties across your portfolio. It allows you to determine total guest value and create more granular segmentation, which in turn improves demand forecasting, marketing, and loyalty program strategies. Linking these systems future-proofs your business, guiding you onto a path toward increased customer retention and loyalty, as well as measurable revenue growth.
About the Author
Angie Dobney serves as vice president of casino & gaming sales for The Rainmaker Group, a Cendyn company. An industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in revenue management and hospitality operations, she provides hands-on optimization of total resort profit to Cendyn’s industry-leading gaming and hospitality clients.
The Rainmaker Group, a Cendyn company, is the premier provider of revenue and profit optimization solutions to the hospitality industry. Rainmaker’s intelligent profit platform helps hotels, resorts and casinos optimize revenue, drive increased profitability, save valuable time & outperform competitors. As part of Cendyn, Rainmaker offers a complete set of software services for the industry, aligning marketing, sales and revenue teams to optimize their strategies and drive performance and loyalty across their business units. To learn more about Cendyn and its suite of hotel revenue management and profit optimization solutions, visit LetItRain.com or www.cendyn.com.
Cendyn is the leading innovative cloud software and services provider for the hospitality industry. With a focus on integrated hotel CRM, hotel sales, and revenue strategy technology platforms, Cendyn drives sales, marketing and revenue performance for tens of thousands of hotels across the globe. The Cendyn Hospitality Cloud offers a complete set of software services for the industry, aligning marketing, sales and revenue teams to optimize their strategies and drive performance and loyalty across their business units. With offices in Boca Raton, Atlanta, Boston, San Diego, London, Munich, Singapore, Sydney, Bangkok and Tokyo, Cendyn proudly serves clients in 143 countries, delivering over 1.5 billion data-driven, personalized communications on behalf of their customers every year. For more information on Cendyn, visit www.cendyn.com.