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The Intelligent Hotelier: Knowing Your Guests True Worth
In today's highly competitive Asian hotel sector, it is vital to have a heightened understanding of a guest's preferences and total worth. Knowing more about your guests will enhance their experience, maximise revenue and ensure loyalty, while establishing market share for your hotel.
It is somewhat surprising that while there have been many advances in revenue management throughout the years, and market segmentation and channel management strategies have become more targeted in identifying and reaching guests who could add revenue to a hotel, some Asian Hoteliers do still not understand the true value of their guests.
For the sake of ongoing revenue optimization and to enhance customer loyalty, it is vital that Asian hoteliers gain a holistic view of their guests' lifetime value, not just their room rate spend. Data from all transaction systems need to be integrated to provide a true picture of a guest's preferred activities and their overall value considering all ancillary spend, from: online reservations to check-out, from food service to the day spa usage, from guest rooms to gift shop and more.
In addition to making more profitable decisions about which guests' reservation requests to accept, a deeper understanding of guest preferences leads to better decisions about promotions, service offerings, inventory levels, food and beverage options, and casino floor layouts. Furthermore, this integrated customer behavior data supports wiser pricing decisions, supplier choices and financial strategies. Forecasting and optimization then provide controls to ensure that revenues are optimized and costs are minimized across the entire operation.
The path to sustained profitability and growth has taken a turn for hotels across Asia. Room rates still brings in a highest portion of profit, but retail, food and beverage, spas and entertainment are increasingly important sources of income, in many cases generating more revenues than from the sale of guest rooms. With disparate systems for each arm of the business, it is difficult to get a complete view of total guest spend. A regular hotel guest may not be worth as much as a patron that may stay infrequently, but who spends freely on a variety of activities. The decision of which reservation requests to accept not only impacts the revenue of a specific hotel facility, but also company-wide profitability.
Importantly, by leveraging this holistic view of a customer, Asian hoteliers can maximize their chances of not only winning, but keeping their best customers. This is achieved by increasing the relevance of promotions to those customers most likely to have the greatest lifetime value. Instead of sending blanket marketing campaigns, your customer base only receives relevant offers they are likely to be interested in, based on their product preferences and previous purchases. And you know enough about your customers to send the offer only to the "best" set of customers who are most likely to respond. Customers appreciate this individual attention and reward you with increase in loyalty and purchases!
Asian hoteliers should also aim to achieve improved timing and targeting of campaigns, based on forecasted demand by market segment and property, so that demand is generated when and where it is needed and rates are protected during peak periods. Integrating this marketing data with your revenue management data means that both departments have the information they need to make the right decisions about pricing and promotions placement.
Today's intelligent hotelier is recognizing that in order to stay ahead of the competition, more advanced decision support solutions with predictive analytics and optimization capabilities are needed.
The next generation of revenue management systems, will consider not only the optimal set of prices to offer, but also who to offer those prices, which guests are most valuable and most likely to develop a long term relationship with the company. This demand-centric view of revenue management results in long term, sustainable revenue performance, but relies on centralized credible and accurate guest information, predictive analytics and strong integration between customer intelligence and revenue optimization systems.
Revenue Management must be guest-aware and take a holistic view. It should integrate a complete customer revenue profile, including their overall ancillary spend and set hotel room control and pricing based on the enterprise profit contribution of each customer.
As those in the industry are all too aware, informed decisions can lead to increased guest satisfaction, loyalty and profitability: whereas assumptions, or poorly planned decisions, can mean sending your best guests to a competitor.
For more information on how your hotel can obtain a holistic view of its guests, please visit: www.ideas.com.
IDeaS, a SAS COMPANY, is the premier provider of Pricing, Forecasting and Optimization solutions and services. IDeaS' Solutions are implemented via Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment with very little infrastructure, guaranteeing small upfront costs and easy implementation. IDeaS Advantage and IDeaS for Success services help at all levels of a client's organization-strategic through operational- and our integrated approach differentiates IDeaS from the competition and creates the foundation for a successful partnership. Headquartered in Minneapolis, IDeaS has technology, support, sales and distribution offices in North and South America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Australia and Asia. For more information, visit www.ideas.com.
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