Today it’s hard to imagine an industry with tougher competition than hospitality. Both small family-owned hotels and big-name international resorts chains compete with each other for customers. And as for the customers, their needs evolve, and they are no longer satisﬁed with just clean rooms, free Wi-Fi and smiling front desk agents. They expect a highly personalized service when hotels foresee their needs and whims and know their likes and dislikes. That’s why quality customer relationships are an invaluable tool in the arsenal of hospitality businesses.
What is CRM?
Broadly speaking, customer relationship management is the name given to the practice of managing customer expectations. It interactions with your brand, and subsequent loyalty — providing the most personalised customer journey possible. However, CRM has evolved beyond that to mainly denote the various software and solutions that empower a company to do exactly. Most modern CRM solutions are cloud-based, mobile-compatible platforms. That employ AI tools and big data to understand customers and deliver proactive solutions. Making sure that every customer is reached whenever and wherever they are most likely to be found. And here is when CRM (customer relationship management) software comes into play, signiﬁcantly facilitating customer interactions. Salesforce is a leading CRM software provider, and numerous hospitality businesses. It took advantages of the solution, such as Quest Apartment Hotels, Carlson Hotels Worldwide, HotelTonight, and others. There are a number of reasons why they chose Salesforce as their CRM provider
The Hospitality Industry powered by Salesforce!
There is no wonder why the largest hotel company in the world uses Salesforce. Marriott’s customer recognition platform uses Salesforce’s Service Cloud to create a “360-degree view” of guests, as well as allowing “continuous interaction” across different messaging services, mobile apps, websites and call centers.
Marriott knows that guests share a lot of information with them and that they in turn want a highly personalized experience. Service cloud allows hoteliers to see preferences such as bed types, higher or lower floor preferences, wine affinities, names of their beloved pets, etc. As former Marriott International’s Global Chief Commercial Officer, Stephanie Linnartz put it, Marriott has used Salesforce to have high tech empower high touch.
Salesforce’s Analytics platform, Einstein Analytics, could also be employed to analyze billions of transactions every day. It gives the ability for their hotels to radically use artificial intelligence to be more productive and smarter about their customers. Imagine real- time, actionable dashboards displaying data by guest. And it broken down by company, by property, by region, by brand, and by date range.
Accor hotels is another large hotel group, having used Salesforce since 2013 to empower their hotel sales managers with a 360° overview of the Group’s strategic accounts. Thus giving them a better understanding of their B2B customers. Accor also uses Salesforce extensively for its concierge services.
IHG integrated Salesforce with Avaya Communication Manager to create a phone and guest log system. IHG team members were able to easily identify callers. And see any relevant open cases related to the account or contact within Salesforce. Automatic logging of calls and easy association of the correct cases with a single click allowed for guest cases to be closed more quickly. It ultimately improved customer experience satisfaction.
Others large hotel groups that have used Salesforce include Barcelo hotels, which uses Salesforce for customer-data driven, targeted marketing campaigns. Kimpton Hotels rolled it across their portfolio for a high touch Guest recognition and Loyalty program. And Wyndham Destinations who armed their sales people with ipads to hand to guests during their tour of the timeshare property. It allowes them to directly input their information into the CRM.
In summary, Salesforce can allow for front desk agents to have a 360 degree view of their guests, with profile information, interests and AI powered recommendations at their fingertips. With Sales Cloud, sales teams can easily manage their B2B sales accounts, making sure their meeting and events spaces are always booked. Finally, Marketing Cloud can give marketing departments the ability to use their PMS-enriched guest data. To create customizable and timely campaigns, to have hotel guests booking more often and directly.
A Growth Mindset
Not only is Salesforce a best of breed CRM, but it is also geared towards people who are students at heart. And they do a great job of providing different resources to really learn the solution.
It is easy to read and you can skip around and over areas that you are already familiar with. Best of all, it does a great job explaining why the new “Lighting Experience” is better than Salesforce Classic. And something long-time Salesforce users have a hard time transitioning to.
Salesforce offers the ability for its users to get familiar with the system through its self-guided modules. And it located in its version of a Salesforce University called “Trailhead.” It offers different ‘trails” you
can go on to begin your salesforce education adventure.
Choosing the right hotel CRM makes all the difference:
So what should you be looking for in order to get all of these beneﬁts? The superior hotel CRM will provide you with everything detailed above, and more. Here are some tips for choosing your CRM:
● Tools: Think carefully about your objective with this CRM. And make sure that it has the ability to do everything that you want to accomplish. In particular, look for case management, intelligent targeted advertising, and activated AI-driven data.
● Integration: Integration with your current systems is essential as you adopt a new CRM. The CRM should also be easy to customise and simple to learn.
● Scalability: Every business aims to grow, and a good CRM will make that easier, not harder. Make sure that your CRM has the capabilities to grow and expand as you do.
● Affordability: You are of course tied to a budget.You don’t want to risk your business by spending too much on a tool that you cannot afford. Most of the premier platforms will offer different packages to suit different needs, and allow for customisation.