Suppose I handed you a plain paper box that was simply marked PUZZLE, ‘This will be fun!’ I might say, ‘It’s a picture-puzzle of people having fun at the beach, let’s put it together’;
Sure, we probably know what we’d expect to see in a picture of the seashore – sand castles, kids swimming, surfers and fishermen. But just knowing what might be there isn’t enough when it’s time to try and sort out all those pieces and fit them into place. Plus, we have no idea what the finished picture will actually look like.
And that’s the problem many hotels face today, not just in gathering customer data, but in analyzing it to create profiles that offer a total view of travel customers – then, effectively leveraging that knowledge to build loyalty and customer revenue.
New technology promises to help, giving hotels ways to gauge customer value through streamlined guest profile management that’s scalable and consistent throughout the brand. The more complete knowledge of a guest that’s available, the more personalized and compelling the customer’s direct-channel shopping and booking experience will be.
Not only does having this complete picture of a guest help ensure satisfaction and maximize revenue, but knowing how to apply data-driven knowledge will allow the hotel industry to put other insights to work. For example, recent research from Phocuswright tells us that 48 percent of frequent business travelers use their smartphones to book.
Without complete information on a guest, how can hotels tell which business travelers might be more receptive to offers delivered to their smartphones? Or, how can hotels tell which smartphone bookers are business travelers and engage them more effectively?