The fight for guests and their loyalty manifests in the booking behavior. In other words, guest loyalty stands or falls with the guest data. Only if you know your guests, their needs and expectations and how much they are willing to pay, will you be able to go up against the OTAs. Success does not depend on the size of a company, but on the management’s ability to adapt to the changing environment. In the end, it is all about Central Data Management (CDM).
Each year, many hotel managers ask themselves what and how much they should invest in to meet the expectations of their guests. Without doubt guest satisfaction alongside communications is the most important variable influencing guest loyalty and repurchase behavior.
Thomas Reisenzahn, former secretary general of the Austrian Hotel Association and today managing director of GFB Prodinger Tourism Consulting, recently stated that one of the main reasons for the increasingly difficult situation of hotels in the Alpine region was false and costly investments. I completely agree. However, I believe that this statement is not only applicable to hotels in the Alpine region, but to hotels everywhere!
What is Big Data? I hear this question almost every day. It is indeed not so easy to explain Big Data in simple words. Although Big Data and intelligent use of data are highly relevant topics and present throughout the media, only a few experts are able to deliver a logical and clear definition.
For more than 20 years, I have been working with digital media. In 2000, I started with marketing databases and CRM. Over the years, I have gained a pretty good overview of the activities within the hospitality industry, in particular when it comes to guest communication. Surprisingly, not much has changed in the past years. It seems to me that 99.9% of all hotels got stuck in the year 2000.
Big Data or holistic and intelligent data management has become a popular topic within the hospitality industry. A lot of hotel companies talk about it, but hardly anyone is even close to doing it right. In my new book I predict that by the year 2020 many hotels will have disappeared for exactly that reason. But I have to admit I was mistaken – the process is already in full swing.
There has been quite a hype lately around beacons, in particular since HRS has invested 10m in this technology, which is supposed to improve the customer experience in the hotels. But what is behind all this?
Every time the world is going to change, managers call for statutory regulations to secure their own status. For quite some time, lobbyists have been trying to torpedo the Sharing Economy, a phenomenon reflecting our changing society. Taxi companies and the hospitality should no be affected by Uber, Airbnb & Co. But is this the right approach? Is it smart to ignore the changes and call for regulations? Wouldn’t it be better to face the situation, despite the challenges some will not be able to cope with?
I’m sure you know that little box for rate or promo codes on a hotel’s booking engine. Chains and individual hotels alike use these codes to promote special services to their guests. Corporate clients are given access to special rate codes and thus better prices. Guests get discounts as part of special promotions. But is this still an intelligent and modern marketing approach in the Big Data era? Continue reading
Most hotel chains and many individual hotels have their own hotel app – a small program for smart phones, which is supposed to facilitate the check-in process, provide additional information, replace the room key card, and eventually support and facilitate the next booking at the hotel.
But are apps really the ultimate solution? These small programs can easily turn into an expensive exercise and they have to be programmed for the various operating systems. Continue reading
A world without Big Data or industry 4.0 is unimaginable today. Meanwhile, each responsible manager should understand the importance of this subject, at the latest since CeBit and even Chancellor Merkel has put it on top of the agenda.
Strangely enough hardly anybody asks for the concrete usage! Mainly large corporations outside the hospitality industry are investing heavily in Big Data, if they have not already started a while ago. It is almost amusing to see that many of them lack a usage scenario. Consulting firms are hired to hastily define areas that can justify their investments.
The hospitality industry is often accused of being unprofessional, but other industries have not exactly covered themselves with glory either. This is somehow comforting. As with every investment, the key question is WHY the investment is done and this question should be asked before an investment is done. In my experience, this is rarely the case. Continue reading