How many times has it been said that knowledge is power? Yes, knowledge is power—especially when used to deliver optimal service.By Donna Jackson, Senior Vice President of Operations at Pegasus Solutions
In today’s hospitality environment, we have the opportunity to leverage data and pair insights with smart software for guest-centricity. We can’t rely merely on a “heads in beds” mentality any longer. Instead we must rely on data about guest habits and preferences to create a true one-to-one experience. No longer is it one size fits all.
As the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looms and goes into effect within weeks, it’s more critical than ever to ensure that consumer data is managed within the parameters, while also enabling hoteliers to build better relationships with their guests. The question is, what is the process that aligns the human touch and software to build and strengthen those guest relationships?
Converting means turning phone calls and web visits into booked reservations. Boosting conversions mean the right offers are delivered to the right person. Direct bookings are often the result of consumers being given relevant offers so they don’t book through other channels. Personalized content, like recommendations based on previous stays, or offers based on buying personas, can help. For example, maybe the offer is a free shoe shine for a business traveler, or wine upon arrival for a personal stay. People love personalization. Give your guests personalization, and they’ll gravitate towards your brand.com offerings.
Connecting means fulfilling the guest’s needs. The key is having the right software, and using it within the parameters of GDPR, to know what those needs are. With the right software, hoteliers can connect offers, rooms, and features based on data already stored in the software program, or automatically pull data found on open social sites. Hoteliers can gain a deep understanding of who their prospects and guests are, what they care about, and ultimately how to influence their purchasing decisions. Of course, delivering this level of personalization requires granular data. Luckily, some systems on the market deliver tools that determine personalization opportunities and present them to your guests.
Understanding your guest is critical to being able to engage with him or her. These days – thanks to research, big data, and social media – hoteliers can create detailed profiles of their guests much more easily than they could in the past. This not only helps with personalization but can predict future behavior as well. Again, within the parameters of GDPR, the ability to predict needs is a powerful tool. It can improve the overall guest experience. Guests want to feel that not only are they receiving value, but they are being treated like someone with whom you’re engaged.
Successful hotels understand the importance of taking a holistic approach to personalized guest interactions at every touch point, within the bounds of GDPR. With the right hotel software that pulls guest data from outside sources and delivers the right offers—hoteliers can enhance the total guest journey. Hoteliers can then forge long-lasting relationships in ways that only technology intersected with the human touch can deliver.