If there is one industry where CRM was always bound to do well, it is the hospitality industry. Managing customer relationships is perhaps the most vital part of the profession, perhaps more than any other field. In many ways the hospitality industry was waiting for a technology that would help them connect better and more efficiently to the people they serve.
Yet, one could not have predicted quite how much CRM development companies would change the game. The hotel industry generates a ton of data everyday on its guests and related services. CRM is the most efficient tool to organise and analyse the data. What it could achieve in the process has been surprising.
The challenges in CRM Development
The last decade has not been the best for hospitality industry. As more and more hotels were shutting down, owners were scrambling to find that magic trick — of making mammoth hotels run profitably or drawing attention to the small B&B. No matter which side of the scale you were on, things did not look very rosy.
Some of these challenges are:
- High acquisition costs
- Price conscious traveler
- Rising customer expectation
- Falling brand loyalty
- Rising competition from lower priced, but well-run properties
- An aware consumer
- An overall recessive world economy
Technology may just save us. No, CRM is not a magic wand, but it can help us look for solutions that we never thought of. Figures and patterns show us a clearer picture than ideas we have cherished for years. The fact is that like everything in the world today, hospitality was long due for an overhaul and CRM is just part of the process.
CRM to the Rescue
CRM development in India is no longer an option in the hospitality industry, but a necessity. There is simply too much data and information that has to be digitized and analyzed for efficient running.
Centralisation of data:
As the hotel industry is going global, the need for consolidation and centralisation of certain functions has also become necessary. A global brand will want a certain standard of customer service to remain constant throughout its organisation. Similarly, tourism office of a certain region will need a central bank of data on tourist information. CRM solutions gather the data from separate points and puts it central location. Access to data is also easy because your team can just log on to the CRM software and get the information in a matter of minutes.
Complete customer profile
With the hospitality industry getting increasingly competitive, customisation and personalisation of services is the buzzword. Hotels now like to keep a complete profile of the loyal customers. Even airlines keep a data on their loyal fliers. Apart from creating personalised services, it also helps in campaigns like awarding loyalty points — an important sales tool. CRM has proven critical in this.
For instance, a hotel chain needs information on a customer who stays at its different properties. Its CRM system only gives it the bare bones of the customer’s visit across the various properties; it also gives a complete profile. Real-time interaction with every small detail is recoded and centralized. It is also updated every time the customer pays a visit. As a result we build a complete profile of the customer collected over a period of time.
A CRM system is not just about storing information, it also helps us to analyse the data that we compile and this can give us a valuable understanding of the customer. In the hospitality industry this insight is worth its weight in gold. We can understand what drives customer behavior, such as what drives more people to a particular property? Which service gets a consistently high rating and why? And so on.
Any hospitality business (like a hotel) that stays on trend will always score. If there is a trend towards Thai food or spa facility, customer feedback will tell us. CRM solutions keep a track of this feedback and give us a picture of what consumers are looking for.
Bringing organisational efficiency
Often managers are blind to their organisational processes, believing that certain services and areas work only because of habit or tradition. But numbers do not lie and cannot show bias. CRM solutions can show us what works and what does not.
Building customer relations
This is the basic function of CRM, managing customer relations. CRM solutions show us what customers are really looking for and this can help us modify our own communication. CRM studies have prompted hotels to bring in personalisation, modify their loyalty programs and even bring changes in their social media communication. For instance, a CRM development company hired by a hotel found that most of its customers reached their doorstep through Internet search. This eventually led to a more engaging social media profile!
CRM development companies are natural partners for the hospitality industry. They have changed the very nature of the business in the last two decades.