We’ve heard from the experts, so now it’s time to hear from a hotelier who knows exactly what it’s like to seek, design, purchase, install, use and, as you can see from the above quote, get results from a CRM system.
The quote belongs to Jamie Fox, the Director of Rooms at Hotel Emma in San Antonio. The 19th century riverfront landmark and former brewhouse became a 146-room hotel in 2015. The team behind it wanted to make an impact in the city by learning from their customers.
For the third installment of CRM: A Hotelier’s Guide, we spoke to Jamie about his journey with CRM from identifying the right partner to training and incentivizing colleagues to make it part of their daily routine.
Why did you begin CRM?
We’re still a recently new hotel, we only opened in 2015. Our first goal therefore was to capture guest data, guest feedback and manage our online reputation. We also wanted to generate confirmation and pre-arrival emails. We looked at Revinate [a provider of software for hotel operations, marketing, revenue management and CRM] for that first piece and had great success. Then we learned more about the marketing part and campaigns and are trying to tie the two things together. The full CRM set up took over a year.
Why did you choose to focus on feedback first?
We were a brand new property in a city that is typically a convention city. We were coming in at the top of the market, asking for a top rate. So we were looking for immediate feedback about how we were doing. We also needed to track how we were doing in online reviews as we knew we had to make our mark on San Antonio. Surveys were important for that. Through surveys we could also gauge staff performance. We have a property-wide incentive plan and wanted to determine incentives and bonuses for the team.