Using multichannel management in the hotel industry

Choosing the right form of communication is one of the most important aspects to gain and retain a good relationship with your customers. It all begins by knowing every little aspect of your target group. The beginning of multichannel management, is knowing on which channels your customers are active. According to Peelen & Beltman this is actually one of the toughest challenges in customer relationship management nowadays. Therefore we are taking a closer look in the hotel industry..

shutterstock_152963717Source: (Time2Know, 2016)

Let me first begin by explaining where multichannel management stands for. Multichannel management is the optimal use of different communication channels within your organisation. The number of channels is growing every day and technology plays a big role in this. Besides the growing amount of channels, also the importance of using these channels is increasing. When organizations do not approach these channels on a strategic level, this can lead to a disruption of the customer experience and a bad orchestration between the different channels (Peelen & Beltman, 2013).We are taking a closer look at the hotel industry that implements a multichannel strategy, or how they can do this in the right way.

Finding a way to persuade your 24/7 connected travel consumer to book your hotel room is very difficult.  Hotels that reach their customer in the right way at the right time, will ultimately win the booking. So find a way to persuade a average traveler that goes through 17 days, 8 research sessions, 18 site visits and 6 clicks before even making a booking (eHotelier, 2016). Sounds difficult, right?

Two hotels that implemented a good multichannel campaign are Triumph Hotels and Hotel Pennsylvania. Triumph Hotels launched a Cyber Monday ‘Countdown to your New York Dream’ multichannel campaign to secure the slow winter months revenue. The campaign includes a sense of urgency. The’ happy hour’ gives travel consumers the opportunity to book hotel rooms with a discount up to 50%. The app serves as a hub for consumers to learn more about the offers and also provides an online booking option. Through different channels the campaign was promoted, but there was also a competition that spread the word. The app consumers could win a dining ticket when mentioning #CyberMonday at social media. The Triumph Hotels gained 180% more revenue through this campaign (HeBSDigital, 2016).

Hotel Pensylvania launched the ‘Selfie in the City’ Cyber Monday campaign focused on adventure seeking travelers. Travelers that booked the ‘Selfie in the city’ package, received breakfast for two, a map of New York city and a selfie stick to capture all the moments. Travelers who shared their moments with #Hotelpennselfie on social media could win a future getaway. In addition with multichannel promotion, this campaign lead to 3,835% return on investment (HeBSDigital, 2016).

The conclusion is that with a good multichannel management strategy, you can not only attract and retain customers, but really engage them with your hotel brand. The two multichannel campaigns show us how this can be done.

Bibliography

eHotelier. (2016, June 3). Retrieved Oktober 8, 2016, from eHotelier: http://ehotelier.com/insights/2016/06/03/top-5-secrets-building-successful-hotel-multichannel-marketing-campaign/

HeBSDigital. (2016, February 17). Hotel Pennsylvania – “Selfie in the City” Multichannel Campaign. Retrieved Oktober 8, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jklAwkWGbwE&feature=youtu.be

HeBSDigital. (2016, February 17). Triumph Hotels Cyber Monday Multichannel Campaign. Retrieved Oktober 8, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfr8xmpLTsw&feature=youtu.be

Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer relationship management. Pearson.

Time2Know. (2016, March 1). Retrieved Oktober 8, 2016, from Time2Know: http://www.time2know.net/multichannel-multipuprose-commerce

 

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Smart data driven cross selling and up selling

Have you ever looked for a specific product, but ended up buying one or two products more? Products that were just in the right place, at the right time. Sounds familiar, right? What about upgrading your hotel experience, from a standard to a superior room? Just because this option was attractive and logical. Well.. nothing is an coincidence, we are talking about the strategy cross selling and up selling. We are taking a closer look at the hotel industry that implements these kinds of strategies. What is necessary to offer these products in the right place, at the right time?

darpa_big_data-001

Let’s begin by explaining these two terms shortly. Cross selling is selling additional products to current customers who are already purchasing one or more products from the supplying company. In addition, up selling is the act of selling a more expensive product to your customer (Peelen & Beltman, 2013). A good example of a hotel that uses cross selling and up selling within the booking process, is the hotel chain called IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts. After selecting your room type in the preferred price range, you can select additional services, like the cultural experience, sport experience or a cava with strawberries (Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, 2016). In the case of IBEROSTAR cross selling and up selling are ways to get more customer engagement. The more the customers spend on the booking process, the more points they earn in return. These points can be hand in against discount on the next booked trip.

For knowing where and when to put your cross- and up sell products, data is a critical aspect. Transactional data shows us what, where, how much and how often our customers spend. Lifestyle data focuses more on who our customers are, where they live and what their interests are. The last aspect is behavioral data, which shows us how customers behave on offline and online channels (Matthews, 2016). Analyzing data, provides you with information to improve your cross- and up sell strategy. Through these kinds of data, it is possible to meet the needs of your customer in a more individual aspect. For example, does your customer values luxury? If the answer is yes, it is possible to cross sell a champagne bottle at arrival, or give them the opportunity to upgrade their room.

The conclusion is that in a world of big data everything is possible. For cross- and up selling products, data makes it possible to meet in the needs of your customer. It helps you to provide the right products in the right place, at the right time.

Bibliography

Iberostar Hotels & Resorts. (2016). Retrieved September 30, 2016, from https://portal-interactiv.com/BookingEngine/HotelResult.aspx?codiconc=176&fechaini=12/10/2016&fechafin=14/10/2016&numerohabitaciones=1&edP0_0=30&edP0_1=30&adultohab0=2&ninohab0=0&bebehab0=0&numeropersonas0=2&idiocodi=2&css=&origen_soporte=IBE&pTokenID=ECH

Matthews, D. (2016, September 1). How connected data is targeting consumers. Retrieved September 30, 2016, from Raconteur: http://raconteur.net/business/how-connected-data-is-targeting-consumers

Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer relationship management. Pearson.

How technology contributes to CEM in the hotel industry

Nowadays technology is so normal that we almost forget that 20 years ago, it was totally different. Through all these years our community changed from offline to online. Along with the community change, the strategies in the hotel industry changed just as hard.  To attract and retain hotel guests,  technology has become one of the most critical aspects (Terry, 2016). But the question is, in which ways can technology contribute to the CEM strategy in the hotel industry?

innovation

Personalization is the first aspect where the hotel industry uses technology to improve their CEM. Today’s consumers are fully interconnect and are constantly using technology in order to find information. In order to create value for customers, it is important to provide personalized products and services (Buhalis, 2014). The solution for customer personalization is big data. Every traveler leaves a large amount of data behind because they search for information via technology. Hotels need to take a closer look at big data, in order to provide products and services at the right time, in the right place.

Unfortunately, a lot of hotels still do not use big data in the right way. This is really a pity because big data can lead to more customer satisfaction, effective marketing campaigns and overall, more personalized offers. On the bright side, a hotel that uses big data in a good and profitable way is the American hotel chain Denihan. The hotel chain uses IBM big data, which includes combining their own data with data from social media, review sites and blogs. The success of the IBM Data software was proven in 2013 when the hotel doubled its room rate during the United Nations Assembly Week (van Rijmenam, 2016).

The second aspect where technology can contribute to the CEM strategy, is the creation of new and innovative products. According to the theory of Treacy & Wiersema, hotels that are busy innovating and renewing products implement the product leadership strategy.  Product leader hotels want to attract and retain customers by introducing them to new (technical) products and services (Peelen & Beltman, 2013).

For example, a lot of hotels want to improve the customer satisfaction through time reduce. Yotel is a hotel example that automated the check in and out service, to reduce the waiting time for customers (Discover Yotel, 2016). In contrast to small examples like reducing the waiting time through technology, there are hotels who take a step further. For example, the Hilton chain introduced the robotic concierge ‘Conny’ in cooperation with IBM. Conny provides the hotel guests with information about the hotel and its environment (Volpicelli, 2016). This technical innovation can really contribute to the customer experience of the hotel guests.

The conclusion is that technology definitely contributes to the CEM strategy in hotels. It can varies from small steps to personalization, or big steps to creating a whole technical customer experience. It all depends on providing the right products and services to your target group.

Bibliography

Buhalis, D. (2014). Retrieved September 22, 2016, from Critical technology and marketing developments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mrha2nS76Hc

Discover Yotel. (2016). Retrieved September 22, 2016, from Yotel: http://www.yotel.com/en/discover-yotel

Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer relationship management. Pearson.

Terry, L. (2016). 6 mega-trends in hotel technology. Retrieved September 22, 2016, from Hospitality technology: http://hospitalitytechnology.edgl.com/news/6-Mega-Trends-in-Hotel-Technology105033

van Rijmenam, M. (2016). Why Hotels Should Apply Big Data Analytics To Provide a Unique Guest Experience. Retrieved September 22, 2016, from Datagloq: https://datafloq.com/read/hotels-should-apply-big-data-analytics-guest/81

Volpicelli, G. (2016). IBM Watson now powers a Hilton hotel robot concierge. Retrieved September 22, 2016, from Arstechnica: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/03/ibm-watson-hilton-robot-connie/