Benefits of CRM in the Hotel Industry are highly underrated. Hotel Industry is everything about extraordinary customer experience. Hospitality Industry is one of the fastest growing Industry in India and globally. Without proper automation and use of IT, managing the growth would not be possible.
Hotel Industry thrives on customer relationships. Getting repeat customers is most important. One unhappy customer can create a lot of damage to the reputation of Hotels.
What is Hotel CRM?
CRM or customer relationship management system is a software solution which helps to manage Leads, Sales, Marketing and also sales Team. Hotel CRM is a kind of specialised CRM customised for the Hotel Industry.
Hotel CRM helps Hotel management to match the expectations of the Clients. Apart from managing the leads, Hotel CRM also helps in managing Customer Feedbacks, Loyalty programs and above all, a 360-degree view of Customer information and interactions.
Hotel CRM also includes a telephony system with proper IVR and Call distribution mechanism (ACD). A well designed ACD, helps guests reach to the right person in the shortest minimum time.
Why there is a need for CRM in the Hotel industry
- Hotel Industry works on the concept of occupancy. Lower occupancy would mean lower profitability.
- Repeating delighted customers is easy and profitable. A proper Hospitality CRM will help retarget existing Customers.
- Hotels have multiple sources of leads, and it is of prime importance not to miss any one of them.
- Fortune is in the followup; nothing is more appropriate for the Hotel industry, Where a missed followup can cause Customer to go for some other option.
- The hotel Sales team needs to send many quotations and revisions of them. Without proper CRM, managing this is difficult.
- Nowadays, travel portals and online booking agents get a large share of business for Hotels. Integrating them on one platform is a must.
- With multiple sites, locations, properties, categories of properties and combinations of offerings, there has to be a proper CRM to manage the occupancy ratio for each of properties.
- Since the Sales team of Hotels is distributed and on the move, a centralised hotel management software is required to manage everything on one dashboard.
- Hotels use multiple software platforms like ERP, PMS (Property Management system) and also sometimes a different application for the front desk. A centralised CRM will enable the proper flow of information and avoid duplication of work.
Importance of Proposal or quotation management in Hotel CRM.
Hotel staff has to send many quotations and even many revisions for a quotation. These proposals carry the reputation of the Hotel. These proposals need to be formatted nicely and uniformly.
Also, for every client, the offering of the Hotel might be multiple, E.g., One client selecting Rooms, Banquet halls, Entertainment, activities and other ancillary services. Without a proper proposal mechanism, there will be a lot of ambiguity in the process.
Hotel CRM Buyers Guide (Must have features in Hotel CRM)
While going for a Hotel CRM, proper care should be taken to ascertain that the solution meets the requirement. Solution suitable for one hotel might not be appropriate for every hotel. Following points are must-have features to look into Hotel CRM Software before buying the CRM.
- Hosting Flexibility to make sure it meets with your IT Policy. In case the CRM is hosted on the cloud, then the cloud infrastructure and the Software should meet security standards.
- Lead Capture from All the sources will prevent leakages and reduce the workload of the sales team. Lead sources might include Walk-in, Website, Travel booking Portals, or any other platform.
- Marketing Capabilities. Although today’s digital marketing landscape is very diverse, The Hotel CRM should have basic marketing capabilities like Data classifications, Bulk and group messaging using SMS, Email and WhatsApp etc.
- CRM API. A proper CRM API will make sure that the software can talk seamlessly to any software platform.
- Follow-up mechanism. Built-in functionality notifications and reminders for follow-up.
- Quotation Management. One of the most essential features required in Hotel CRM. The quotation functionality is a must for the Web as well as Mobile CRM.
- Activity Logs. All the logs of all the activities like Call, SMS, Email, Visits, meetings, should be logged into CRM, either automatically or with minimum efforts.
- Mobile App. It is impractical in today’s world to imagine a CRM without a feature rich Mobile App.
- CRM Dashboard. CRM Dashboards to give all the required information on the fingertips to everyone involved. CRM Dashboards are not only useful for managers and admins but also executives.
- IVR and Telephony Integration. Telephony and CRM become the two most important part of Customer Experience. Hotel CRM needs to have a proper telephony integration built-in.
- Sales Team Tracking. The most significant benefit of any CRM is that it enables Sales Managers to coordinate, help and track the activities of the Sales Team.
- Data Quality & deduplication. Dirty data is dangerous data. CRM should have the capability to check data quality and report the discrepancies.
- CRM Implementation capabilities of the Vendor. Make sure that the vendor company has already implemented the CRM in some reputed Hotels. If required, take feedback from some existing CRM users.
- Ticketing & Helpdesk. Just like any other Service Industry, Hotel Industry also receives grievances and complaints from the Customers. CRM should have a proper ticketing system to resolve those complaints.
- Escalations & Notifications. Everything might not always be perfect. But when things go wrong or are about to go wrong, CRM will notify and alert the concerned team members.
- CRM Customisation and Flexibility. Every Hotel has a different culture and operating style. CRM needs to be able to adapt to the working style of the Hotel.
CRM Practices in Hotel Industry – Implementation Tips
Any CRM, for that matter any software is as good as its implementation. However, the success of CRM does not solely depend on the vendor alone. Here are some tips for Successful CRM Implementation in Hotel Industry.
- Proper Planning and define the deliverables from the CRM system.
- CRM implementation requires a lot of change management. Be prepared for the same.
- Never Ignore the importance of Training. Also, one-time training might not be enough. Training is a continuous process and will
- Regular Monitoring of CRM usage is critical for success. The practice of CRM Audits helps a lot.
- Plan the CRM integrations in as much detail as possible. Improperly designed Integration can do more damage than benefit.