Hotel chains generally use a central reservation system. Now, hostels should start doing this as well as it can have many advantages, especially if someone operates more than one hostel. A central reservation system will send all reservations to one location, stored into one database. Afterwards, this information will be forwarded to a property management system. A property management system can be described as a local administration system which is used for occupancy, availability, reservations, create customer profiles etc. (xotels.com, 2017).
Going back to the central reservation system. Within this system, data about the hostel’s guests from each location can be stored. As all hostels have access to this central reservation system, it will benefit a hostel in a way as it safes time while checking-in and it can help to customize the stay for the guest. For example, Hilton noticed that their business travelers were frustrated because of the long check-in time. Hilton created an app for their Hilton HHonnors members to check in 24 hours in advance and saved check-in time in this way (Woollacott, 2016).
Another benefit of implementing a central reservation system is the fact that hostels can market themselves better as well as optimizing the pricing and reach their potential customers more easily. In addition, having all the available customer data in one database will make the job of reaching the right customers easier as with the available data they can understand their customers and create campaigns, emails and social media pages (CMS hospitality, 2017).
Other reasons why hostels should use guest data is because hostels can reach out to their guests and resolve issues quickly with the available guest data. Moreover, in this way hostels can encourage bookings in the future and the hostels can learn about their guests and in this way determine their target group. Last but not least, guest data increases guest satisfaction and loyalty as with guest data a personalized guest experience can be created (CMS hospitality, 2017).
To demonstrate the benefits of guest data the following example of Disney will be shown. Disney created its MagicBand system in Walt Disney World in Florida in 2013. This is a plastic wristband that has a chip and are send out to their guests before their stay. This band can be used for basically anything. For instance, it can be used to enter the park, opening the hotel room, pay for foods and drinks as it is linked to the user’s credit card. The user is tracked constantly which for instance makes it possible for the staff to use the guest name. By collecting all the data during the visit, Disney is able to create the perfect personal experience for its guests (Woollacott, 2016).
To finalize, it is being proven that the usage of a database can improve customer relationships and customers are more likely to return when they had a great experience. By using guest data to make the experience more personalized hostels can increase guest loyalty and personalize the services and products and grow as a business themselves as well (Hotel Propeller, 2016).
CMS Hospitality. (2017). 5 Reasons Hotels Must Capture Guest Data. Retrieved September 29, 2017, from http://www.cmshospitality.com/post/5-reasons-hotels-must-capture-guest-data/
CMS Hospitality. (2017). An intro to hostel CRS – Central Reservation Systems. Retrieved September 29, 2017, from https://www.cmshospitality.com/post/using-central-reservations-system/
Propeller, H. (2016). The Easy Way To Maintain Your Guest Database. Retrieved October 2017, 2017, from https://hotelpropeller.com/the-easy-way-to-maintain-your-guest-database/
Woollacott, E. (2016). Smart data gets hotel guests coming back. Retrieved October 1, 2017, from Raconteur.net: https://www.raconteur.net/business/smart-data-gets-hotel-guests-coming-back
xotels.com. (2017). PMS – Property Management Systems. Retrieved September 29, 2017, from https://www.xotels.com/en/glossary/pms-property-management-system