Villa Hotels & Resorts is a collection of award-winning resorts in the Maldives archipelago, each promising a unique experience to travelers from around the globe. For the last two years, Murad Hassan, Director of Business Development, has been focused on the sales and marketing of the resorts, using data to pave the way.
Murad’s focus on data was ingrained in him during the decade he spent at Agoda. There, he learned the power of data and how it can help customers make better choices and ultimately have better travel experiences. So, when he joined Villa Hotels & Resorts, he made it his mission to bring a data-first approach to his role.
When he began looking for technology partners to help with customer engagement, he turned to industry data, leveraging Hotel Tech Report and his peers for feedback. In addition to Revinate winning Best Hotel Email Marketing and CRM solution year after year, other hoteliers praised Revinate for its ease of use and ability to automate email marketing while driving revenue.
Murad had a good idea about what he was looking to accomplish. At the time, customer engagement at the resorts was a very reactive and time consuming process, with guests reaching out via email prior to their stay. Promotional emails were time consuming and generic, versus personalized to guest needs. Finally, the hotel didn’t have a systematic way to collect feedback from guests before, during and after their stay.
But that all changed with Revinate.
Once the decision was made to partner with Revinate, Murad knew that he would soon be able to use data for his marketing and sales efforts. And, unlike other technology providers that require lengthy implementation periods, Revinate was ready for use nearly immediately. Murad says, “We were launched and trained in just a few days. In addition to being so easy to use, we have a named Account Manager that looks after us so we’re never stuck. Unlike technology that is purchased and rarely used, we have about ten people that rely on Revinate every day to capture feedback, quickly respond to guest needs and stay in touch with guests.”
Feedback is very important for the Villa Hotels & Resorts team. They leverage Revinate Surveys to collect in-stay feedback to ensure that guests are enjoying their stay and not encountering any problems. If there is any negative feedback, it goes right to the General Managers so they can address issues and recover the guest. As a result of capturing and responding to feedback while the guest is still on property, the group’s public post-stay feedback remains positive, which is critical for driving new guests.
Villa Hotel and Resort’s marketing program has evolved completely with Revinate. A simple static newsletter, for example, which was blasted to the entire database, used to require an external designer and days to put together. Today, with Revinate, it can be created in minutes, using pre-built templates and drag and drop components. Best of all, it can be personalized to different segments of guests for better engagement and results.
Prior to Revinate, Murad struggled to understand the success of email campaigns. With Revinate, all the data is easy to access and analyze. He says, “Today, we know in real time how our campaigns are performing. We can see how much revenue we’re generating from each campaign, which is great, but we can also see whether the emails are being forwarded and which parts of the email are resonating, which is so important as well.”
Because email marketing is now easy with Revinate, Murad is able to plan and execute seasonal promotions, which have proven to be very lucrative. Campaigns for Easter, Mother’s Day and other holidays regularly drive $50k in revenue. Larger campaigns have driven more than $300k in revenue, proving that travelers are very receptive to email marketing when the offers feel personalized and are well-designed.
While the millions of revenue that Revinate has driven is incredibly important to Murad, he’s almost as excited about how Revinate helps him keep his data clean. He explains, “A lot of our bookings come from third-parties so we tend to get a lot of masked data that makes it hard to identify guests. Revinate’s Advanced Profile Synthesis is the best solution that I have seen for merging duplicate records and cleaning our hotel CRM so our data is a true reflection of our guests. This is critical for successful campaigns. Best of all, it’s automatic, so we don’t have to do anything.”
In his short time using Revinate, Murad has become a vocal advocate among other hoteliers, in addition to a great source of product feedback for Revinate. He is excited by the pace of innovation and how receptive the company is to listening to customers. He says, “I am so passionate about this product because I can see how it can help hoteliers excel. The data that it provides is just what this industry needs right now and I’m thrilled to be part of the journey.”