As a hotel manager, you may not know the type of customer that is staying at your establishment because you don’t have a CRM software in place.
This means that even if there are some guests who would love to return or refer friends and family, they won’t be able to do it!
In order for hotels to stay competitive in today’s market, they must modernize and get with the times by adopting CRM systems. It could make all the difference when it comes down to retaining loyal customers and turning one-time visitors into repeat guests.
It’s no secret that there are many hotels in the world, and each one of them is trying to be different than all the others.
This blog post will explore how CRM software can help your hotel understand your customers better, and stand out from your competition.
What Is Hotel CRM Software?
Hotel CRM software is a system that helps hotels understand their guests better by storing and organizing information such as customer names, contact information, and dietary restrictions.
Hotels that have CRM systems in place are able to tailor their services to the individual needs of each guest — outstanding customer service!
These software also track a guest’s stay, which means it’s easier for hotels to provide additional perks or upgrades based on a customer’s preferences.
Hotels without a CRM software might find themselves struggling with knowledge gaps when it comes to serving certain guests, which can lead to lost business opportunities and unhappy customers.
On the other hand, when your customers can count on your hotel to meet their needs, you will create an impression that encourages repeat bookings and rave reviews.
Why Is There a Need for CRM in the Hotel Industry?
The hospitality industry is generally slow to adopt new technologies. With so many new hotel chains and resorts, it’s important that owners build a comprehensive database that serves as a common point of information.
This can include location or residence, workplace, work industry, age, family details, birthdays, contact details, and so much more.
A hotel CRM software can help hotels manage customer profiles, and accordingly, provide personalized service. Happy customers advocate for your business; so, using hospitality CRM tools can help facilitate long-term growth.
Let’s take a look at all the benefits.
Offers a centralized database
Since a CRM system works as a common database, hotels can store all guest information that allows them to understand and analyze customer preferences.
Chain hotels, for example, can make a note of which guest prefers which room — this allows them to deliver a consistent experience across hotels.
A hotel CRM solution will also store information about past inquiries, stays, bookings, etc. A centralized database will be accessible across departments as well, so hotel managers can ensure that all teams are on the same page.
Read also: Automation in Restaurants: How to Streamline Ordering
Keeps your customers engaged
A hotel CRM software enables you to map your guest journey and find out the important touchpoints between you and your customers.
Identifying your customers’ expectations will help increase customer value as well as guest satisfaction.
You can segment your guests and customers based on which stage they are in — research, pre-booking, booking confirmation, arrival, or check out.
Using CRM solutions, you can run targeted campaigns at various contact points to attract customers and enhance their experience.
Helps gain customer loyalty
CRM software can also improve your customer service by providing real-time reporting, giving management insights into guest activities at each hotel location.
Since the system keeps track of client preferences and purchase history, it’s easier to upsell guests or offer special promotions.
Customer success stories are a major influence on other people’s decisions. The more customers you make happy, the more positive word-of-mouth spreads.
You can leverage this customer satisfaction and ask your hotel guests to review or follow your brand online. This way, you increase your bookings.
Enhances sales productivity
Another benefit of hotel CRM is the automation of mundane tasks like collating and sorting customer information, sending bulk emails, sending follow-up or welcome emails, and generating performance and data reports.
This automation saves a whole lot of time for hotel sales managers, allowing them to focus on the more important task of building strong, personal connections with customers.
This is especially important if your hotel uses various point-of-sales terminals. A CRM can help collate all the financial data and automate transactions.
The hospitality CRM solution automatically pulls data from various customer touchpoints and stores all of it in a single dashboard for easy access. Besides, cloud CRM solutions can be easily accessed from smartphones.
Read also: 14 Creative Customer Engagement Strategies for Small Businesses
What Are the Key Features of Hotel CRM?
Not every CRM will have the features hotels and hoteliers need. Once you decide that you want to invest in a CRM tool, it helps to know which features to look for. A CRM in the hospitality industry should accommodate the below functionalities.
Track inventories and room occupancy
The best hotel CRM solutions can help with hotel operations as well as property management. This covers a vast range of functionalities dedicated to hospitality, including room service, supply management, help desk, and more.
Hotels have a lot of staff working across various departments. It’s important to ensure that they’re all on the same page so that the hotel keeps running smoothly.
For example, front desk and housekeeping operations must be in sync to make sure that the rooms are maintained before the guests arrive.
A customer relationship management system can help manage sales operations better, especially in cases of outsourced events.
Hoteliers should invest in a CRM that offers a degree of advanced marketing automation tools.
One of the easiest ways to leverage customer relationship management software is to use the customer data for targeted email marketing campaigns.
Hotels can send discounts and coupons that guests can redeem on their next stay. Engaging with customers even after their stay helps build great guest relationships.
IVR & Telephony integration
As a hotel manager, you probably have dozens of incoming and outgoing calls. It’s not possible to keep track of all of them manually.
IVR & Telephony systems help improve the front desk service by reducing staff burden.
IVR systems provide automated menus which the guests can use to inquire about rooms, make bookings, and resolve queries — all without guests being redirected to different departments.
Your CRM software can also monitor the incoming calls, and if it’s a previous customer, the staff can attend those calls without spending time collecting details.
With this personalization, you can give guests the best possible customer service.
Hospitality CRM solutions come with templates that you can use to generate invoices with your own alterations. CRM software can also automatically generate invoices for your guests when they check out.
It makes the whole process of invoicing and receiving payments quick, easy, and reliable.
Read also: Everything You Need to Know About CRM Integration
How to Implement a CRM For Your Hotel Business?
One of the biggest challenges for a hotel is engaging with travelers on various touchpoints during their decision-making process. It is essential to build a long-lasting relationship with guests.
To successfully implement a customer relationship management system, there are a few best practices that you must consider.
1. Embracing change
When you are using hospitality CRM software, you are bringing about an organizational change.
It’s important that your employees become familiar with these tools and understand how this software can help them become more productive.
Make sure that you consider every employee’s worries about the CRM software implementation, and show your team how this change can be transformational.
2. SMART Objectives
When you decide to use CRM tools for your hotel, define the purpose for doing so. What do you wish to accomplish by using hospitality CRM?
These objectives should be smart, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART).
Whether you wish to increase room bookings or resolve more customer queries quickly, have definite goals to measure performance.
Read more: What Is Restaurant CRM Software & Which One Suits A Small Business?
3. Data integration
A hotel has a lot of data, including guest data, inventory details, etc. Before using a customer relationship management tool, evaluate the data silos in terms of both quantity and quality.
This will help you get rid of data you don’t need, and collate data you and your new CRM platform would need to make good business decisions.
To have a smooth experience of data collation, use a CRM system that can integrate well with other platforms like property management tools and direct booking engines.
4. Legal aspects
When you consider migrating the information to a cloud server, you need to review all the data processing methods at a legal level. Your CRM provider should comply with all essential personal data privacy protection regulations to avoid any conflict in the future.
There are a few questions that you can ask to have a better understanding of the legal aspects involved in data storage on CRM tools. For instance:
- In which country will the information be stored?
- Does the provider subcontract their hosting service with a third party?
- Most importantly, do they comply with the data protection regulations?
Read More: 9 Challenges of CRM Implementation & How to Dust Them Off
How To Determine The Right CRM For Your Hotel
Not all CRM systems are created equal. There are plenty in the market that cater to niche businesses, and while most of them offer a degree of customizability, not all will suit your needs.
Here’s how you can determine which CRM software can work best for your business:
Understand the purpose
What is your aim behind implementing a hospitality CRM software? Do you want to improve the front desk service? Do you want to optimize sales operations?
When you understand the pain points, you can begin to look for a CRM solution that prioritizes the functionalities you’re looking for.
EngageBay CRM, for instance, offers a plethora of automation tools for customer service, sales, and marketing teams. If you’re looking to boost sales and improve customer outreach, you should invest in a CRM software that offers all these functionalities.
Once you’ve determined the purpose, you can begin setting measurable goals. It’s important, initially, to set achievable goals so as to not overwhelm your staff.
Identify what your short-term and long-term goals are and determine which CRM will help you achieve those. Ideally, you want a CRM system that is flexible and scalable so that it can adapt to new targets and goals.
Determine your business type
This refers to both the current situation and your future growth strategy. Do you want your hotel to cater to individual guests or to corporate groups? If hotel expansion is your long-term goal, then you need a CRM software that can support your goals.
If your hotel is geared towards accommodating corporate groups, you want a software that prioritizes automated communication and customer profiles.
Read also: 9 Awesome, Proven CRM Techniques to Improve Your Marketing ROI
The hospitality industry is all about making the customer’s lives easier & better. You don’t want to risk losing out on building relationships because of a lack of technology or software.
A customer relationship management software may seem like an ambitious undertaking, but it helps transform the customer service experience.
Hotels, guesthouses, and other hospitality businesses are only successful if guests are happy, feel valued, keep coming back, and spread the word to colleagues and friends.
Hotel CRM software can transform your customer service, sales pipeline management, contact management, marketing, and online brand image.
This brings us to EngageBay — the world’s most affordable all-in-one CRM solution that you can use automation to scale your marketing, streamline your workflows, track your customer information, and even predict sales and revenues for any period of time.
Are you considering investing in a CRM solution? Contact us with your requirements, and we’ll set up a demo!