Getting to know your guests: the basics of guest profiling

October 12th, 2018 Mark Ellis Data Management, Hospitality Trends, Marketing

If there’s one thing the OTAs know how to do well, it’s guest profiling. In fact, there’s a high chance they’ve obtained more data about your guests than you have… and you’re the one providing the service!

The good news is this can be fixed, because as the hotelier, you have access to just as much technology and right to collect data about your guests. GDPR may have thrown a few marketing plans out of kilter, but that was for good reason; before the new regulation, there simply wasn’t enough importance placed on the protection of our personal data.

Providing you abide by the rules, you can collect guest data that will enable you to profile them fully and in turn create more personalized stays and a hotel service which lives long in the memory.

Today, we’re going to look at the basics of guest profiling.

Always get their email address

Email marketing is a powerful tool because it offers a direct route to a defined endpoint: your guests’ inboxes.

This is why you should always obtain guests’ email addresses. If they book directly via your website, this step is easy, but if they come via an OTA, you’ll probably be aware that you’re often given a temporary OTA email address for them – or nothing at all.

If that’s the case, make it a standard procedure for reception staff to follow up new OTA bookings with a request for the guest’s personal email address. In fact, this field should be a mandatory field on the Reservation Form, just make sure you are following GDPR Guidelines and retaining the information with the guests consent. roomMaster is GDPR Compliant and offers the settings and features needed to assist you with your own GDPR Compliance.

Use a CRM platform

Customer relationship management (CRM) software was once the sole domain of the corporate world, but thanks to cloud technology and lower costs of enterprise-level tools, every business can now benefit from such software.

To drive customer loyalty, increase repeat stays and encourage better online reviews, you need a CRM Platform like Cendyn’s Guestfolio, that fully integrates with your PMS  Link the two together, and you’ll gain far more options for guest data capture.

Embrace guest feedback

Do you squirm at the thought of checking your TripAdvisor reviews? If so, you’re missing out on countless opportunities to profile your guests.

By collating guest feedback, you’ll not only learn as a hotelier and improve your service, but find out exactly what matters to individual guests, too.

For instance, if a particular guest expresses how perfect their garden view room was, why not make a note against their profile to ensure the same type of room can be offered again next time they book?

There’s powerful detail in guest reviews, so make sure you allocate plenty of time each week to read through them.

Analyze your email marketing efforts

We mentioned earlier how important email marketing is for hoteliers, but sending offers and newsletters out is only half the job; you need to analyze the performance of those campaigns, too.

By keeping track of email marketing engagement, you’ll be able to sniff out the guests who are most interested in your brand. Equally, you’ll start to get a feel for how they want to interact with your hotel based on the links they click and the type of information or offers they appear less interested in.

This is only the start…

We’ll delve into guest profiling in much greater detail on this blog soon but keep the points above in mind as you begin to build a far more powerful guest database; it will hold the key to greater brand recognition and more direct bookings.