Hospitality is an industry that thrives on customer relationships, and as they quote to their customer ‘your wish is our command.’ Lately, the customer’s expectations and ways of engagement have changed. To enhance their customer experience at point of time, hotels around the globe are now adopting modern technologies.
Let’s understand how a CRM in hospitality industry can help provide premium customer service.
What Is Hotel CRM?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a process of implementing a software solution to strengthen relationships with existing and potential customers to generate quality leads and boost sales.
A hotel CRM focuses on strengthening customer relationships in the hospitality industry. This system provides complete customer information, a customer feedback system, promotional deals, customer loyalty programs, etc. to enhance customer experience at hotel or lodge.
This system can also include a telephone IVR and call distribution mechanism allowing hotels to quickly address customers’ needs and take their feedback through automated voice calls.
What’s the Need of CRM in the Hospitality Industry?
Undoubtedly, every business wants to serve the best to their customers. But a hospitality business is primarily created to provide a lavish and seamless experience to every guest.
A well-designed hotel CRM software can help hotels manage their customer database, stay connected to their customers, take timely feedback, and provide personalized services. Let’s understand why there is a need for a CRM in the hospitality industry in detail.
Track Occupancy: Human errors are inevitable, but with the help of a CRM system, you can minimize them. For example, while manually managing the rooms of a hotel it is possible for an employee to allot one single room to two clients. But with CRM’s room occupancy tracking feature, this issue can be avoided.
Provides a Centralized Database: A CRM provides a centralized platform where authorized users can access all the guest’s information. The CRM software for hospitality includes customers’ personal information, their check-in, and check-out date, time, services availed, etc. This information can be used by the marketing and sales team to re-target these customers and invite them back.
Boost Customer Engagement: With a CRM system, a visitor can be contacted and engaged during their stay by receiving updates about some offers or events happening in the hotel. Also, guests can be asked for feedback through a quick form or even a voice call. This enhances customer experience and makes them feel valued.
Enhances Customer Loyalty: The CRM software helps you to acquire and retain customers and earn their loyalty. Hotel CRM’s features like real-time reporting, personalized notifications, and communication-based on customers’ purchase history make it easier to upsell and cross sell.
Boost Conversions: A hotel CRM provides you the status of a customer or a prospect in the buyer journey, this helps a sales representative to understand the journey and then pitch accordingly. For example, if a potential customer has asked for an offer for his/her birthday, then the sales representative can use this information and pitch a customized package during that time to increase sales.
Work Efficiently: A hospitality CRM helps marketing, customer service, and sales team to collaborate work efficiently. It allows you to delegate and assign work avoiding miscommunication and confusion.
Automate Communication: A hotel CRM software enables you to automate communication related to personalized offers, wishing birthdays, anniversaries, or sending out feedback forms after check-out.
IVR Integration: The IVR system integration not only helps you in keeping a record but also automates the process of transferring the call to the concerned person. It reduces waiting time, required workforce and cost for hotels.
Suggested Read: Best Open Source and Free CRM Software for SMBs
How to Use CRM in the Hotel Industry?
We have already learned that the hospitality industry runs purely on the customer service and experience they provide. So, it is imperative for them to provide a wonderful experience at every touchpoint. Due to online bookings trend, the first touch point and interaction has been eliminated. Therefore, it has become crucial to have frequent communication with your customer in later stages.
First of all, CRM solution helps marketers in running personalized, segmented and more targeted campaigns. A hotel can use a CRM system to identify the channel through which the customer has been engaged or communicated, it can be through social media, notifications, or even emails.
This information will help you identify more responsive channels and you can further concentrate on strengthening them. Along with this, the information saved in CRM also helps in designing personalized communications for clients and prospects.
Additionally, a hotel CRM also enables you to strengthen your relationships and communication with your employees. It helps you to keep your employees engaged, measure performance and understand job satisfaction. Your employees who are performing well can be rewarded by measuring their performance through CRM’s feedback system.
Apart from this, a CRM system in hospitality can also be used to measure business growth. Various stakeholders can access data and generate reports to understand what measures are helping the business to perform well and which areas require their attention. The data analysis function in the hospitality CRM software allows hotel owners to make informed and data-driven decisions.
Suggested Read: What are the Key Capabilities of CRM Platforms?
Features of CRM in Hospitality Industry for Marketing
Implementing a hotel CRM software offers an advanced level of marketing automation tools that can help in running targeted and segment-specific marketing campaigns. Especially with digital marketing evolving like never before, it is important for hotels to integrate their marketing with CRM.
This will also allow them to get insights into customer needs, address buyers’ pain through marketing, understand what is working, and derive a higher ROI of each campaign.
Customized Notifications: Customized notifications are a wonderful way to increase customer engagement and give them a personalized WOW experience. A CRM software enables you to send notifications of different offers on customers’ birthdays, anniversaries, or during festivities. This ensures that the customer never forgets you.
Activity Logs: This feature of a hospitality CRM enables you to maintain a record of all the conversations with the customers such as calls, SMS, and emails. While using this, the marketing department can analyze which communication channel is receiving the maximum response and focus on the same medium while working on others simultaneously.
Bulk Messaging: Some hotel CRM solutions offer you marketing capabilities like sending out group and bulk messages using emails, SMS, WhatsApp, etc. It allows the marketing team to target mass audiences and send out a common communication from the brand. It can be used to communicate offers, new ventures, etc.
Quality Lead Generation: One of the major jobs of a marketing department is lead generation. Through a hospitality CRM system, the marketing team can effectively generate quality leads after running well-targeted and concentrated campaigns.
Suggested Read: Common Challenges of CRM Implementation and How to Avoid Them
What are the Benefits of CRM in Hospitality Industry?
B2C CRMs, Business to Customer CRMs, are beneficial in industries like hospitality as they directly deal with the end-user. Let’s have a look at some major benefits of using a B2C CRM in the hospitality industry in detail.
Improved Lead Management: A B2C CRM derives leads from different resources and tracking them all manually can be exceedingly difficult. But, in a B2C CRM, each lead is treated as a separate identity which eases the tracking process.
Shorter Sales Cycle: A good hotel experience calls for more repeated customers. A B2C CRM system shortens the sales cycle by triggering repeat purchases from the same leads based on their past information available within the CRM.
Enhance Customer Support: B2C businesses may receive multiple enquires in a day for bookings, cancellations, or just enquiries. A B2C CRM with telephony integration can help you in managing this efficiently to provide a better customer experience.
Increases Social Engagement: For recommending purchases and personalizing offers, a B2C CRM provides you with all the interaction and activity of a customer on social platforms. This information helps you in understanding customer behavior and pitch accordingly.
Establish Personal Connection: This CRM system allows your representatives to directly connect with the customer even before the sales. This allows you to earn loyalty points by establishing a personal connection.
How Does CRM in the Hotel Industry Help Attract More Customers?
The hotel CRM software focuses on providing a WOW experience to the guests, and a happy guest can become your best marketer.
The hospitality industry is extremely dependent on word-of-mouth marketing. It can either be in form of recommendations, reviews, or testimonials. All of this happens when a customer feels valued, special, and engaged.
A hospitality CRM can help you to achieve all this effectively. It allows you to identify various sources of leads and channels of customer engagement. This data and interaction history helps your sales team to target potential customers more efficiently and your marketing team to create targeted campaigns.
In addition to this, the CRM software also allows customers to submit their feedback. This helps the hotel to understand customer experience and identify the areas of improvement. These feedbacks also work as reviews and help your prospects to make a purchasing decision.
Suggested Read: What Is Enterprise Marketing Management in CRM
Things to Consider When Using CRM in Hospitality Industry
There are a lot of CRM options available in the market that you can choose from. But there are certain things you should consider while selecting and using a CRM. A system suitable for one hotel might not be suitable for another, so it is important for you to understand your business and its unique requirements.
Define your goals: The main goal of a CRM is to provide the best customer experience. But additionally, a CRM can help your business in achieving other goals like increasing sales, improving employee satisfaction, tracking performance, setting, and achieving marketing goals, etc.
Train your staff: Don’t skip this part, even if a CRM is simple-to-use, you need to go through basic training to understand the nuances. Make sure to arrange special training for all your employees to understand the importance of CRM for their role, and how it can enhance their performance.
Indulge in regular monitoring: Your business needs might change from time to time, which will require you to tweak the CRM software accordingly. Regular audits of CRM procedures are helpful to derive maximum benefits from it.
Plan integrations in advance: The hospitality CRM software might require additional integrations like call center software. You need to consider these integrations in advance to choose the right CRM software that supports your business requirements.
Understand legal aspects: While implementing a cloud-based CRM, you need to thoroughly check with your vendor regarding all the data privacy protection regulations. For instance, you can ask them which stores the data or if the hosting service is provided by a third party or not. This will help you to prevent any future conflicts and keep your customers’ data safe.
Implementing a hotel CRM in your hospitality business will enhance customer experience, increase sales, job satisfaction for employees, and much more. It can also be used by various stakeholders to understand the hotel’s performance, and design strategies accordingly.
The data analysis can help in forecasting future sales and revenue, and prepare you for the same. It is important that you implement a powerful yet easy to use CRM solution for business.
- What are the features of CRM in hospitality industry?
Quotation management, scheduling follow-ups, tracking sales performance, and centralized customer database are some of the features of a CRM in hospitality industry.
- How to find the right CRM for your hotel?
To find the right CRM, first you need to understand your business goals and preferences. You can take recommendations or opt for free demos of various CRMs and then make the right decision.
- What are the best hotel CRM?
Revinate, For-sight, Sales Suite are some of the best hotel CRM systems. They help your hotel to enhance customer experience and maximize sales.
- What are the best CRM in hospitality industry?
Salesforce, Tripleseat, Amadeus are the CRM software in the hospitality industry. They are very user-friendly and can be easily implemented in a hotel.