Is Customer Data Still Relevant? The Answer May Surprise You

Part of any hotel’s digital transformation includes the gathering and analysis of customer information. Strategic application of customer information not only gives you a better understanding of what your guests like and dislike, it provides you with background on what kind of promotions to implement, their booking patterns, where they see your ads, and where they find your listings. 

However, not all hoteliers know which data is important, how to get that information, and how they can use it to improve their services. Which is why we’re breaking it down for you. 

Here’s how you can start using customer data to your hotel’s advantage.

1. Tailor your marketing strategy to your guest demographic

Why this data is important: 

Knowing who your guest is, how old they are, where they’re from, if they have a family or not, what they do, and how often they visit your area can give you insights into what kind of hotel and amenities are attractive to them. 

How to get this data: 

  • Make the guest information form a requirement for all bookings

  • Encourage guests to create profiles on your website for exclusive discounts

  • Ask them to fill out customer satisfaction surveys before check-out

How you can use this data: 

Depending on who the majority of your guests are, you can create promos and advertise specific amenities and packages that will be most attractive to that market. 

For example, if most of your guests are single, in their late 20s and working as digital nomads, promotions offering long-stay deals and co-working spaces would be more attractive to them than discounted suites and half-prices for children. 

On the other hand, having more couple or family guests would require your promotions to be centered on couple romantic amenities and family activities. You would also have a regular increase in bookings near family holidays and school breaks. 

2. Identify market patterns and trends through your guests’ booking behavior

Why this data is important: 

Having a record of your guests’ booking behavior allows you to forecast demand and maximize your revenue per available room. Furthermore, you can also find out which rooms are being booked by which demographic at any particular time. This helps you spot trends and behavior patterns during holidays and seasonal periods. 

How to get this data: 

  • Use a hotel management software to find out where your bookings are coming from: OTAs, direct website bookings, social media, phone reservations, or walk-ins. 

  • Identify guests’ reasons for booking: a new promotion, a special discount, an event, etc. 

  • Find out which rates and rooms are being booked more and when your peak and slow seasons are

How you can use this data:

Once you know where your bookings are coming from, you can then invest more resources into putting up ads on those platforms. You can also adjust your OTA listings to be more similar to those that get booked frequently. 

If the same promos, discounts, and events show a consistent spike in occupancy, pattern your future hotel marketing plans around those kinds of offers to keep attracting guests. No need for you to keep testing strategies when you already know which ones work best. 

Moreover, you can forecast demand and make operating plans in advance because of the historical data from your customers’ booking behavior. You can identify opportunities and trends better when you can see a clear pattern from previous guests. 

3. Discover the hotel services your guests value most

Why this data is important: 

Sometimes, hoteliers have a good idea what services their guests appreciate. And sometimes they don’t. This is where customer data comes in. Whether it’s having great room service, check-in options, or flexible payment choices, knowing what’s important to your guest is key to securing repeat bookings. 

How to get this data:

  • Send your guests a pre-check in form to know if they would like to make appointments for any of your amenities or services

  • Provide a qualitative customer service satisfaction survey at the end of their stay to know what services or guest facilities they enjoyed the most

  • Use your hotel management system to track visitors to each hotel facility, each service request, and amenity bookings

How you can use this data:

Keeping track of which hotel facilities your guests are frequently visiting can help you drive business there through promos both for guests and non-guests. You can also use this information to include these facilities in guest promos. 

Data from surveys can help pinpoint areas of improvement. It might not be too obvious to you  at first, but your guests may be able to identify weaknesses in your operations, staff, amenities, or rooms. It’s best to take this feedback as an opportunity to fix problems and exceed expectations. 

Lastly, you can also use customer data here to see how guests use their time during stay. Do they go out more? Spend time at the gym, spa, or pool? Maybe they frequent the lounge or order from room service a lot. You can take this information and use it to find ways to make operations smoother, provide more options at facilities, or expand specific amenities. 

How Do I Optimize Customer Data?

With all the information you’ve gathered, it’s easy to lose track and be overwhelmed with the data. The best way to optimize your guests’ data is to use a digitized system that can help you apply their information into your hotel operations. 

ZEN Hospitality Solutions offers an array of hotel management systems that can improve your hotel’s performance and customer data management,  including an OTA Channel Manager System, a Revenue Management System, and a Property Management System.

Streamline your hotel operations, increase staff efficiency, improve guest satisfaction, and increase revenue with just one system. Learn more about ZEN Hospitality Solutions’ products when you book a FREE meeting with our experts. 

Article by Ayna Gonzales