A pizza story, or how your data is an endless source of ideas
For a long time now, there’s been a “pizza story” going around that seems to have originated at a hotel in Niagara Falls, Ontario. People often tell this story to show the importance of guest satisfaction and little personalized touches that make a hotel unique and welcoming. But we see it mainly as a story about data, where the numbers devise a clever solution to a somewhat run-of-the-mill but recurrent problem.
In the story, the hotel’s reception staff were frequently asked to recommend a good pizzeria. The hotel’s management added the number of a local pizzeria to all its room’s phones to save its staff time. After hotel staff came together to determine which was the best pizzeria in the neighbourhood, the hotel added a “Pizza” button to all its phones, for the greater pleasure of its guests and staff.
This idea would never have seen the light of day without an excellent understanding of guests and rigorous data analysis. Now, while this anecdote is quite charming, it begs the question “How does data influence your work on a daily basis?”.
Are you looking for this kind of data? Your hotel management system can help
Since your hotel management system includes all the modules you need to manage your hotel, it’s a gold mine of information when it comes time to mine specific data or make a decision to solve a problem.
In the pizza story above, requests for a recommendation were a recurrent situation that was taking up time in the reception’s busy schedule. By bringing together the data gathered by each staff member, the solution became apparent. However, in many cases, a hotel management system can help implement a solution.
So, if you run into recurrent problems, or if you want to deepen your understanding of your clientele, your hotel management system can be a real ally. First, you’ll need to define the data you’re looking for to determine the type of report or tool to choose.
Your hotel management system also has a broad range of data on file, from guest knowledge to information about most important moments during their stay. Do they book far in advance? Do they prefer to stay on weekends? At what time do they make their reservation? All this data sheds light on the type of offers your client prefers as well as the kind of experience they want.
For instance, if your hotel caters to a business clientele according to your data, it’s not useful for you to develop a family offer and add a pool or a gaming zone for kids.
You’ll also be able to compare the numbers in reports or graphics for two separate periods. In this way, you can see whether booking rates are the same as the previous year at the same date. Finally, data can help you modify your offer or pricing quickly!
With data, the possibilities are endless
Whether you’re looking to make staff management easier or better predict traffic in your restaurant, your hotel management system data can truly change the way you do things.
If you foresee that summer will be a busy period, you can better plan your schedule and determine staff requirements. For example, if you realize that your guests tend to book on Thursdays, you may consider scheduling more reception staff on that day.
The same holds true for marketing where data can be very useful. Your hotel management system holds data about your guests’ preferences and can help you create guest profiles and better adapt your marketing efforts to guests’ needs. Moreover, this type of information is essential when you want to create promotions and special offers that are tailored to your clientele. Your hotel management system can help you to send targeted offers within the scope of your marketing campaigns.
Finally, keep in mind that data is vital when it comes time to establish a pricing list. As you know, with a Yield Management module, you must analyze bookings and the clientele to set the right price.
You’ll also be able to compare and analyze your data from this year versus the previous year to find out whether your revenue has increased or decreased. This approach is an excellent way to leverage your data to get facts about your hotel.
Don’t forget about external data your hotel management system doesn’t gather
Even though a hotel management system is very high performing software that extends into every department of your hotel, it goes without saying that it cannot gather all the data. Some things, like the knowledge accumulated over time by your staff as well as their experience that a computer can’t collect.
Your staff are your eyes on the ground as they’re in direct contact with your guests. They work and live within your establishment. Their knowledge is essential. You should think about implementing a process to gather the information your staff have regarding variances in the type of guests or recurrent problems at your hotel.
By the way, the recurrent guest requests constitute essential data that could help you clarify information on your website or take remedial action. Like the pizzeria scenario, the simple act of programming a number into phones can add both a personal touch to your hotel and free up your reception team from having to deal with recurrent requests.
If you often get phone calls inquiring about the possibility of bringing animals to your hotel or the check-in and check-out times, it’s a sign the content of your website or confirmation emails could benefit from greater clarity.
Remember that information about your competitors isn’t in your hotel management system. That doesn’t mean this information is any less relevant. To this end, consider adding a competitive intelligence module to your booking engine in your hotel management system to help you adjust your prices instantly!
Leverage your hotel management system’s data
If we surveyed all our clients, I’m sure there are thousands of “pizza stories” out there because a hotel management system makes that type of scenario possible. Indeed, a hotel management system gives you the means to offer guests value-added, personalized touches. Knowing your guests well is all about being aware of their needs and knowing how to meet them through the services you provide.
Your hotel management system’s data will not only help you manage your establishment better and improve efficiency and performance, but it will also allow you to define your clientele better and offer guests the unforgettable experience they expect when they choose your hotel. Welcome to the joys of having data ready to hand!
Finally, data is both plentiful and diverse. Therefore, it’s your duty to choose which data is relevant at a given moment or within a specific context to see how they can be converted into interesting initiatives for your hotel and its clientele. Whatever your idea may be, if you pay attention to your data, you’ll benefit from better targeting, better pricing and, ultimately, greater profitability!
And, like the hotel in the pizza story, you too can implement a service or a new feature in your hotel that meets the precise needs or desires of your clientele. Data can generate new ideas. So, the next time you ask yourself a question about your hotel, don’t hesitate to look at your hotel management system’s data!
To discover how to leverage your hotel management system’s data, discover Hotello.