What seems like just a few years ago, the only data collected by resorts were guest names and emails. That’s all that seemed necessary for risk of seeming too intrusive to guests. Today, however, there is a lot of interest in big data and how it affects the hospitality guest experience. For most resorts, this has begun with a collection of unstructured data from both traditional and electronic sources. But creating and managing a single view of the guest requires still more data, and a shift in how it’s being used.
To get the most value, it’s important to structure the data in the right way. This is where modern analytics solutions allow resorts to harness guest intelligence and turn it into actionable insights. One of the most compelling uses is offering incentives for room upgrades, dining or gift shop discounts. With personalized offers, operators can effectively target the guest in ways that are proven to grow satisfaction and drive revenue.
A Data-Driven, Guest-Centric Approach
Hotels and resorts have an ecosystem of technology from which they derive guest data. The PMS serves at the heart of guest hospitality. It integrates with ancillary solutions, including reservations and on-property dining. As a result, the PMS becomes the central source of guest data, ensuring easy interaction across existing business processes. Effective use of the data begins with having this consolidated, centralized location where the data can be easily accessed and analyzed.
Analyzing the data is essential, since the value of a guest isn’t empirically evident when simply observing their behavior. Having a single data repository enables a 360-degree view of the guest and their overall experience. While some guests simply check-in and check-out with minimal interaction, others may spend hundreds on dining, entertainment, spa, golf and other activities. Use the data to identify those guests as having a higher overall lifetime value to the bottom line.
Keep it Simple to Start
A good place to begin is with the previously defined “higher overall value” guests. Consider offering incentives that target this guest base with the goal of driving business into other areas of the property, such as dining or retail. Start small, with a finite guest base, then fine-tune it. Starting with this smaller data set provides a starting foundation for the execution of promotions, and ultimately scales to a broader audience.
Every bit of data is an asset. Protecting it, while learning how to use it effectively, can help grow bottom line performance. The more data collected, the more opportunities for ongoing discovery and analysis of guest incentives. At the heart of this technology ecosystem is the PMS, and when used as the true source for data analysis, it helps reduce the total cost to serve guests. It drives a diverse guest experience without a significant capital outlay.