The hotel industry is a competitive world in which one needs to differentiate them from the others. One way to do that is customer profiling. This concept gives hotels the opportunity to gain more insight into their guests and to be able to understand their behaviour, characteristics and interests better. It enables them to communicate more effectively. In these first 3 sentences, I have mentioned already two benefits of customer profiling, but there are much more! You can say that customer profiling is very crucial in this industry (Peelen & Beltman, 2013).
How does it work? To begin with, it is important to understand who your ideal customer is and what connects them with each other. Look at their demographics (age, gender, income etc.), psychographics (personality, preferences, etc.) and their behaviour. Then find out where they are located. Meaning try to find out what they search for and whether this is online and offline and through which channels. Followed by doing research on what there needs and wants are that drive the guests to book a room.
After finding out all this information about potential clients it is important to reach out to your current clients. Make use of interviews or questionnaires to find out how and why they chose you as the solution to their problem. When all this information is collected it is time to create client profiles or in other words personas. These personas describe your guests and show you what motivates them. This enables hotels to target better and not waste time (Dania Dunlap-Hurden, 2016).
Customer profiling has so many benefits for hotels. As mentioned before customer profiling gives you a better understanding of your guests. With all the information that has been gathered while creating a profile, you discover how, when, where and what to communicate to your guests. You get to understand exactly who they are. This leads to another benefit, which is a better response rate.
Furthermore, you can create better opportunities with the use of this information. As you know all the needs, wants and interests you can adjust your product and or service accordingly to meet them. Or even create something totally new. You can create a better experience and make them feel welcome and valued. Another benefit, also mentioned before, is that you can create a competitive advantage. If you know what makes them happy, satisfied and even loyal you can create long-term relationships and make them less vulnerable to the competition. Finally, customer profiling increases profit. It will cost a less time and money as you will not lose time and money on guests that are not even interested in your product and or service. You will have a higher return on your efforts (Susan Oakes, 2010) (Serendipity 2, 2010).
To finalize this blog, I will give a successful example of where focusing on the client has worked. Accorhotels has created a mobile app and platform, which can be used in 18 different languages. It is created to provide its guests with personalized services before, during and even after their stay. Through this app, the guests can see every detail of the hotel, book rooms, contact the hotel and it offers guides for travel ideas. The benefit of this app for Accor is that they can track their interests and interactions, both offline and online. Based on all the information they get from this, they are able to send out the perfect message and or offers at the right moment. It resulted in 47,000 daily reservations.
Dania Dunlap-Hurden. (April 19, 2016). Five simple steps to creating an ideal customer profile. Retrieved from:
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer relationship management. Harlow: Pearson Education
Serendipity 2, (2010). What is customer profiling? Retrieved from:
Susan Oakes, (2010). 5 benefits of building simple customer profiles. Retrieved from:
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