Diving deep into data intelligence to drive guest loyalty & hotel revenue
A Q&A with Xundong Ding, CTO at Cendyn
By Xundong Ding, Chief Technology Officer
Why is hospitality such a data rich industry?
The hospitality industry caters to millions of people daily. It is a data rich field capturing massive volumes of information, all generated from different systems like bookings, POS, PMS and loyalty. It's now possible to add public social media data, online review data, and other sources of guest information like service requests and post-stay feedback to the mix.
Where are hotels focusing development in response?
Hotels are trying to flow all data from different systems into a centralized location for future analysis and usage. They then develop a system to use the data to create a comprehensive guest profile, which can be referenced to create a unique customer journey and guest experience. That's where Cendyn comes into the picture with our hotel CRM solution. With customer data all gathered in a central place, it makes it easier to see the big picture. Hotels can then make better informed decisions when it comes to marketing and customer service.
What is the biggest challenge in working with data and hotel systems?
Most hotels use disparate platforms for daily operations like POS, PMS, email marketing and analytics, online reputation management, and others. They are powerful, but do not connect and share data with one another on their own. This makes it difficult to aggregate the data to gain insights and act either on a single guest or the guest database.
What are the benefits of centralizing hotel systems to best use guest data?
In an increasingly competitive industry, personalized actions will make the difference between an ordinary stay and one that is truly exceptional. A centralized CRM will house all data streams interlinked and create a global guest profile, which can be used to create a unique customer journey and guest experience. At Cendyn, we like to call it a "single point of truth." Hotels need to get familiar with their guests to deliver personalized, high-touch experiences that today's customers expect. They need to think about the relevance of their communications and service to each guest to increase guest satisfaction and loyalty.
How can hotels use data intelligence to drive loyalty and revenue?
By keeping guest information in a global CRM profile, hotels can personalize the customer experience and always stay one step ahead. Keeping an eye on preferences and the way people use the hotel, such as early morning alarm calls, favorite beverages, and gym use, gives hotels the opportunity to adjust services accordingly. Knowing when the guests are likely to travel and offering them a special deal or an especially warm welcome breeds loyalty. Over time, as you build a relationship with each guest, your profiles will keep growing and expanding, offering a 360-degree view to enable a truly personalized guest experience that drives loyalty and revenue.
How can hotels harness aggregated guest data analytics?
Once hotels combine data collected from guests in CRM, they can use analytics to segment according to booking trends, behavior and other factors to reveal their likelihood to respond to promotions and emerging travel trends. It is important for hoteliers to understand guest preferences (locations, activities, and room types), purchase behavior (frequency, length of stay, time of year) and profit potential to increase brand loyalty. Focusing on the wrong guests reduces profitability across the enterprise. For example, if a hotel targeted guests who would likely take advantage of spa services, golf and restaurants, rather than guests who only generate room nights, they could significantly increase revenues and profitability.
Considering the future of hotels, where do you see data driving development next?
Technology in the hospitality industry is getting more sophisticated every year. What's next? Using machine learning to predict future trends for customer behavior and revenue patterns, as well as how to handle large volumes of data for more intelligent processing.
Director of Marketing, International
Cendyn is a cloud-based software and services provider that develops integrated technology platforms for driving sales and marketing performance in the travel and hospitality industry. The Cendyn Hospitality Cloud offers the most complete set of innovative software and services in the industry, covering hotel marketing, guest engagement, group sales, and event management. With offices in Boca Raton, Atlanta, Boston, San Diego, Toronto, Whistler, Munich, London and Singapore, Cendyn proudly serves more than 30,000 clients in 143 countries with enterprise spend levels in excess of $1 billion. For more information on Cendyn, visit www.cendyn.com.