In the past, hoteliers focused on providing a uniform experience to all guests. Today, guests expect personalized service and unique experiences. While this can be challenging from a service standpoint, technology has taken a lot of the work out of collecting and using guest data already contained in the hotel’s PMS to provide the exceptional service that guests crave.
While hotel software solutions are treasure troves of guest data, with some work hoteliers can add even richer data that can be used for deeper segmentation to ensure even more relevant communications. We recently added new functionality in Revinate Marketing, Guest Preferences, that allows hoteliers to capture additional preference data from guests. For those who might shy away at asking for data, remember you’re doing it for the benefit of your guests, as it will help you tailor your communications.
Knowing when to ask for data is important. You want to ask for data at a time when guests see the relevance of the request and are open to engaging with you. Confirmation and pre-arrival emails are great places to insert requests for guest preference information. Both emails get very high open rates and guests are likely to respond since you are top of mind. Here are some questions that you can ask:
What is bringing you to the area?
- A little of both
What are you most looking forward to when visiting?
- Museums and galleries
- Restaurants and Bars
- Playing or attending sporting events
The check-in counter is another great place to capture guest preference data. In addition to confirming that you have the most up to date email and contact information for your guests, check-in staff should focus on adding guest preferences, as a face-to-face encounter is the perfect time to engage in friendly conversation and capture data.
For example, you can ask the following questions without appearing intrusive:
What are you most looking forward to about your stay in <location>?
What brings you to town?
What are you hoping to do during your stay with us?
Finally, we recommend that you occasionally send dedicated one-time emails to your existing database to collect preference data that will improve your marketing personalization efforts. In addition, hotel groups that offer different experiences in varied locations can use this data for targeted cross-promotions.
Questions we suggest include:
What type of travel do you do most often?
How often do you travel with pets?
- 1 – 2 times a year
- 3 – 5 times a year
- 5+ times a year
- Please give us your pet’s name and breed so that we can recognize our furry guests on arrival.
What type of announcements would you like to receive from the hotel?
- Room offers
- Food and beverage offers
- Spa offers
- Information on local events and attractions
The most important thing to remember is that collecting guest preference data isn’t a one-time thing. Hoteliers need to operationalize data collection and ensure that they are constantly refreshing their CRM with fresh data. While this adds some work for the marketing team and front-desk staff, the rewards far outweigh the efforts. With rich preference data, hoteliers can create the personalized communications and on-site experiences that guests expect. And only when you exceed your guests’ expectations, will you win their loyalty.
To learn more about how Revinate can help you collect better data on your guests, schedule a free demo.