Every hotel is interested in learning the same information about their guests: how they came to book your hotel, how long they are staying, are they traveling for leisure or business, and if business travel, how many other company employees are part of the same group.
In a perfect world, you would know all the details about your guests checking in. Knowing this information can help personalize the hotel stay for your guest and in turn, help generate repeat business.
Some of the tracking mechanisms you have in place at your hotel may even be providing you with some of the key data. Successful collection of guest data depends on implementing a few standards across your hotel team. It’s important to put these standards in place to ensure you are capitalizing on your hotel’s success.
Gathering Client Information During Booking
So many components of a hotel are important but keeping your team consistent with the data it collects, is number one. Utilizing a checklist can help keep the team on track and ensure that you capture the most important details such as:
- Company name
- Company profile – is there a contact name and email address?
- Rewards / loyalty programs – If there is a rewards number, look up their rewards number in the property management system to see if you can learn more information on the customer. You can also learn about guests’ travel habits and preferences
- Special requests
Review of the Arrivals List
Are you prospecting your arrivals list? If not, you could be missing the single most important thing that could help you drive business to your hotel. A quick review of the arrivals list every morning, can ensure you are not missing any key guest data. If data is missing, take it as an opportunity to ask the guest for more information. This will also affirm that you value their stay and want to perfect their stay.
Review How Your Reservations Are Coming In
Let’s start at the beginning by meeting directly with your reservations team. Some of your tracking mechanisms in place may be successful in giving you intelligent data but the team that takes the calls should be your number one resource. How are the reservations coming in? Are they going through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia or Booking.com? Are they going through a local travel agency or a large Travel Management Company (TMC) or Consortia?
If so, you’ll want to jump in quickly to compete for guest loyalty by tailoring your future marketing using guest data to encourage them to book directly through the website instead of going through a middleman.
Go Straight to the Booking Source
If your guests are booking through a third party, such as a travel agency, contact that source to learn more information. Call and speak to the source and introduce yourself and thank them for the business. Explain you want to know who their contact is at the company so that you may find out more about their travel patterns.
Track Data and Plan
Guest data is critical in understanding travel patterns, but it won’t be very useful without a way to refer to it. Plugging the data into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database or an Excel database for easy reference will help you organize and sort the information so that it’s useful. Using this information will not only help you learn about the guests that stay at your hotel, but also how you can customize personal marketing messages that will speak their language.
Get Your Hotel in the Running for RFP Season
If you notice a significant number of room night bookings from one company, then you could be a preferred hotel on their list. Over 100 rooms in a year should also get you a seat at the RFP table that happens annually with the corporate travel team.
Data collection is one of the crucial tasks of a hotel. Gathering guest information and using it wisely can help you understand where your leads are coming from and how to best approach and go after new business. Track this information and consistently review it for booking patterns to help you take your bookings to a new level.
GRANT Hospitality offers a customized sales plan to help hotels reach their full sales potential. If you’re ready to learn how we can help you reach your goals, contact our team for a free consultation.