Picking the right channelling strategy is key for CRM in the hotel industry.
So, you just set up your CRM system, you’re collecting data and you think this will lead your hotel to success. However, after almost a year, your sales and repeating number of guest have gone up, but only slightly, significantly less then you would’ve expected. What happened? What’s wrong? Most likely, you’re not reaching your potential customer by choosing the wrong channelling strategy.
Without the correct multichannel strategy, your CRM system won’t work. Gaining insight in your customer’s behaviour and preferences is the first step to picking a multichannel strategy. Next up you need to select the correct channels and integrate all channels into the same system. Furthermore, leave room to adapt along the way. It’s almost impossible to pick all the correct channels from the start so keep analysing and adapting along the way. By doing this in a consistent manner your CRM database will increase together with its effect. An example of consistency gone wrong is that of a UK hotel chain where the sales team and customer service department were entering data into the system in a different way, which lead to inconsistent information.
Applying multi-channel differentiation will improve the effect of your CRM system. With multi-channel differentiation, you select different types of customers and provide them with different options as is explained in the figure below. While using multi-channel differentiation you will have multiple platforms where customers are in contact, both direct and indirect, with your company. All these platforms have their own community of users which can become supporting communities for your hotel.
Dipping into existing or creating your own community can be controlled by the channelling strategy. If you do not pick the right channel you will not benefit from the existing community nor will you be able to build your own community. Building your community can be done on a platform where customers can communicate with the company and with other customers via a forum discussion. Creating sub groups for personal engagement, give access to certain resources and establish automation rules for more engagement also contribute to building your community. Tapping into an existing community can be done by making use of OTA’s or other online platforms related to your business. To illustrate, booking.com and Expedia are in the top three highest performing booking channels for hotels in the world. Tap into this community positively and you will benefit from it!
Jane Tareen, 2017, Three CRM implementation case studies you can learn from, Discover CRM. Retrieved from https://discovercrm.com/crm-implementation-case-studies.html on June 21th, 2019.
8 things we learned from the top 15 online booking channels for hotels, SiteMinder. Retrieved from https://www.siteminder.com/r/technology/hotel-online-distribution/things-learned-top-online-booking-channels-hotels/ on June 21th, 2019.
Visser, M., Sikkenga, B., & Berry, M. (2018). Digital Marketing Fundamentals: From Strategy to ROI. Groningen/Utrecht, The Netherlands: Wolters-Noordhoff B.V. Paragraph 13.4.1, and 13.4.2
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. Edinburgh, Scotland: Pearson Education Benelux. Chapter 13 and 17.
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. Edinburgh, Scotland: Pearson Education Benelux. Figure 13.4, page 265.