In the competitive business that is hospitality, hotels must have their digital strategy on point in order to stand out, and a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is one important aspect of that. In fact, global business revenue was projected to increase by $1.1 trillion thanks to CRM systems that involve Artificial Intelligence.
Hotels that are going to thrive in the future also need to make their operations as streamlined as possible in order to serve customers in a way that aligns with their rising expectations.
This means using a hotel reservation system and other software to keep everything organised and efficient — especially when it comes to customer communications.
To grow your business, you need to know who your customers are, what they want from you, and how they respond to your services. Based on that information, you can tailor your offerings accordingly and maximise revenues.
Read on to find out how a CRM system elevates operational efficiency and expands your marketing opportunities so that your property not only stays afloat during challenging times, but exceeds customer expectations and thrives.
What is a CRM System?
A CRM system is a software solution designed for managing customer relationships across different communication channels. It includes a centralised database that allows businesses to store customer information and track marketing campaigns.
The system can help businesses better understand guests and their needs, and can also to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction.
Why Are CRM Systems Essential in Hospitality Management?
Along with the other core features of a Property Management System such as a booking engine and channel manager, a CRM system takes hotel management to the next level of efficiency. Data from external systems feed into the CRM system, and CRM data feeds into other systems, streamlining many processes.
Reduced Customer Support and Marketing Costs
Automating communications such as transactional emails as well as various aspects of marketing reduces the workload of customer support and marketing personnel, allowing you to divert the associated costs towards other essential activities.
When you integrate services such as chatbots, you can save time and reduce labour costs significantly. Chatbots also vastly increase the amount of data you can collect, allowing for the most comprehensive insights.
Customer relationships are one of the keys to long-term success in any industry. If your customers like you and trust you, they will be more likely to come back and spend more with you. On the other hand, if they don’t like their experience or feel like their needs aren’t being met, they won’t be likely to return.
To build trust with your customers and make sure they feel taken care of, you need to know who they are, what they want and expect, and how they like to be serviced, and staff need to stay on top of communications with them.
Organising Customer Data
A CRM system allows you to keep track of customer data like purchase history (whether through direct bookings or online travel agencies), preferences, and communication with your staff.
You can also use the system to organise data about your hotel and its amenities. This makes it much easier to respond to customer inquiries and meet customer needs.
CRM systems allow you to track interactions with leads in order to target them in the most effective way, boosting conversion rates. Your property has many sources of leads, from your hotel website to online travel agencies to social media. Using management software that includes a CRM system ensures that you tend to each and every one of these sources.
One of the main goals of Customer Relationship Management is to deepen customer relationships by understanding customers on a deeper level.
Without a quality CRM system, this can be difficult. Relying on manual, offline feedback or even online guest reviews is not enough to stay ahead these days, and it can be easy to overlook important details without a centralised place to store information.
Improving the Guest Experience
Tracking guest preferences lets you anticipate their needs when it comes to future reservations. Reporting functionality also helps to identify trends in customer complaints and concerns, allowing you to address common problems and prevent their recurrence.
CRM software allows for continuity in communications if guests have dealt with multiple employees. For example, one member of staff may have answered their queries during the online booking process, while a different member of staff may handle their check-in.
Having all communications visible to all staff through one dashboard prevents the hassle of having discussions with other members of staff that previously interacted with the customer, and removes the need for customers to have to repeat themselves about previous requests.
Improving Customer Lifetime Value
By gathering data about your customers and storing it in one central location, you can track their interaction with your brand over time. That way, you’ll know what services or products they like, how often they use them, and how much money they spend.
This data can help you identify trends in your customer base and tailor your offerings to better suit their needs, giving you more accurate ways to improve Customer Lifetime Value. For example, you can identify VIP customers so that you can offer them special treatment.
The data you collect also allows you to communicate with your customers in a more personalised way. Today’s guests expect personalisation; making the most of the opportunity to do so in an automated way is a no-brainer.
A CRM system makes it easy to upsell and cross sell, augmenting guests’ original bookings. Combined with robust guest profiles and personalisation, this provides a powerful tool for increasing revenues.
Features of a Hotel CRM
CRM systems come with a variety of features designed to improve customer relationships and enhance marketing efforts.
Marketing Campaign Management
CRM systems allow you to keep track of all of your marketing campaigns. This allows you to see what campaigns are working well and increasing revenues, and which ones need to be reworked. You can also see how customers have responded to campaigns so that you can re-target them accurately in future.
The sending of transactional emails as well as newsletters and other marketing communications can be easily automated and monitored thanks to marketing automation functionality.
Surveys are a great way to capture detailed feedback post check-out. Reviews are helpful but they are not a controlled means of gathering data since not all customers will comment on all facilities or services that you want feedback on. Our CRM system makes it easy to send out guest surveys so you can gain insights on the bigger picture.
As mentioned, you have numerous rich sources of data about your customers, from your hotel booking engine to your website, from chatbots to channel management reporting.
Analytics and reporting functionality lets you gain insights from that data in order to improve operations and increase profits.
All of the data you gather about guest habits and the profiles created as a result form the foundation for marketing and revenue management strategies.
Loyalty Programme Management
Loyalty and rewards programmes are, of course, a crucial element of increasing your CLV. Thanks to CRM software, managing these programmes is a walk in the park and customer responses to these incentives provide another valuable source of data.
How to Make the Most of a CRM System
Below are several tips to keep in mind in order to get the best results from a CRM system.
Define Your Objectives
When implementing a new CRM system, it’s important to start monitoring the areas that are most essential to improve. Determine the KPIs you intend to track with the assistance of your CRM and establish the most beneficial integrations you need to set up.
Make Data-Driven Decisions
Based on metrics analysed by the CRM as well as any other historical data your company has gathered, you can begin to develop marketing strategies that make the best use of the functionalities your CRM system has to offer.
Train Employees Thoroughly
CRM software is only helpful if the employees using it know how to get the most out of it. Be sure to provide training in order to leverage the potential of this powerful marketing tool.
Customer Relationship Management is an important element in any business and is especially crucial in the hospitality industry.
By investing in a cloud based CRM system, you can keep track of your customers, identify trends, and tailor your offerings to suit their needs. This can help you build trust with your customers, encourage repeat business, and grow your revenue over time.
Our cloud based PMS comes with an integrated CRM system, booking engine, channel manager, and more, to ensure your hotel management procedures run as smoothly and cost-effectively as possible. To find out more about how our software can enhance your operations, contact us here.
roomMaster Anywhere is an easy to use, all-in-one, pure cloud reservations software solution for hotels, motels, and guesthouses. It’s ideal for small and medium properties (or group properties) needing a pure cloud PMS, with a highly intuitive user interface with powerful rate and customer management tools. Many optional add on features are available and the PMS can be used from ANY device from desktops & laptops to smart devices.
This next generation technology which is constantly evolving includes:
- Configurable booking chart with drag/drop functionality
- Group bookings with online group portals for easier management
- Auto pre and post stay emails and full guest communications
- Powerful rates management with flexible change options
- Digital Guest Registration with the ability to store identification documents
- Seamless connectivity with POS systems like H&L
- Multiple payment gateway options for easy in app payment processing
- An in-built channel manager (it can also be connected to other popular channel managers)
- A delightfully easy Book Now button