After outlining how a Customer Intelligence strategy is structured, it is time to move into action. In this second part we will explain what competitive advantages we can expect while improving the quality of our guests’ experiences.
From information to knowledge
Once the data is cleaned up and integrated, we need to transform all the information into valuable knowledge for the company. To do this, we must segment and profile our clients so we can undertake personalized high conversion actions.
One way to segment is to make a matrix where, on one side, we have the customers life value and, on the other side, their needs. When these two variables meet, they generate different segments that we can then fine tune, depending on our knowledge of the business. To calculate the Customer Lifetime Value, we can use one of various different formulas, and thanks to data integration, with a few calculations we can come close to the true value of each client. On the other hand, to define their needs, we can use different level structures, from the most common needs (for example price and quality) to the most specific, until we reach their personal needs. This will result in different segment levels that we can use for campaigns with proposals of more or less specific value.
The moment of truth
The moment of truth is any moment in which the client comes into the contact with the hotel, in any way (in person, on the website, through an app, on the phone, etc.) A common mistake is to think that the crucial moments are those when the client is actually staying in the hotel. However, all contact before the stay (after all, this will generate the first impression of the hotel) and after the stay is very important when it comes to repetition and recommendation.
Once the segments are defined, we will set specific actions depending on the timing (pre-during or post stay) and the means through which the action will be launched. These actions can be to inform, offer upgrades or additional services, encourage repetition or recommendation, etc.
The effect of personalization and automation of these actions can be impressive. Here are some examples of what a Customer Intelligence solution can do:
- Send automated promotional emails based on the client’s profile during the time period when this client tends to book their holidays.
- Integrate the Customer Intelligence system database with the website’s CMS and show content and specific offers depending on the user and the hotel’s present occupancy.
- Manage incidents and communication with the client through the various channels, it doesn’t matter how the client contacts us (phone, chat, social networks, email, etc.) because we will always be able to identify them.
- Offer an upgrade or additional services at reception, based on a client file with their preferences and reservation history.
- Identify the most loyal clients (who repeat their stay) and the most valuable clients and award them through a specific program where they can obtain discounts and exclusive promotions.
- Use social networks as a means to capture more information about a client and to communicate with them.
- Define predictive models of purchase tendencies, behavior patterns, value, desertion, etc. and use the results to improve marketing campaigns.
The possibilities are endless; the only limit is your creativity. Without forgetting the data protection laws.
The implementation of this type of project is long and resource intense; therefore, to avoid the project stalling or even failing, it needs to be divided in phases, prioritizing where there is more likely to be short and medium term returns.
During the first phase, the aim is to integrate all the data and start to use it manually. The second phase has the aim of achieving central, automated management. And the final phase includes implementing the business intelligence solutions and using predictive models, advanced analysis and more complex automations.
Implementing the project can take some years, but once finished we can begin a phase of permanent functional development that corresponds to the Customer Intelligence strategy and the company’s needs.
The investment in this kind of project is considerable and depends on the scope; however, the profits amply justify the cost.
The improvement in client satisfaction results in an improvement of online reputation, which, as has been shown in various studies, has a direct impact on occupancy, rates and RevPar. All this also has an effect on the guests’ direct repetition and recommendations. And the personalization of commercial actions visibly increases the conversion and the client’s perceived value.
A Customer Intelligence project, doesn’t just have a positive effect on income, but also allows a reduction of the information management’s expenses as well as marketing and client communication. Simply put, integrating the information guarantees to lower costs in all areas of the company.
In such a dynamic area, which constantly gains in complexity, knowledge and the ability to process and analyze information is key if one desires to stand out and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. One must take action as soon as possible. The main advantages will be divided between the first to adopt these strategies and for the rest it will be a question of chasing after the first movers so as to not get left behind.
At Innwise, we are at the forefront all the latest technology and we commit to help you and your hotel boast a solid Customer Intelligence system.