On March 15, the conference “The marriage of the CRM and the RMS at the hotel” took place. Romain Charié, the co-founder of N&C, spoke alongside Matthieu Pollet, the co-founder of LoungeUp, and Eric Belluardo, the founder of the Friendly Hotel Collection.
Is an alliance between a CRM and an RMS possible? How to set it up? In this article, you will discover the key points discussed during the conference.
Presentation of the speakers
N&C is a revenue management consultancy and the publisher of revbell, a revenue management system that uses artificial intelligence to guide you through every dimension of revenue optimization. revbell leverages your own historical data to help you make the best decisions quickly, clearly and comprehensively with over 300 KPIs and detailed recommendations.
LoungeUp is a customer relationship management platform dedicated to tourist accommodations. The solution is designed to simplify and personalize their stay while increasing revenue and customer knowledge of the establishment. With 2550 establishments equipped with the solution in some 40 countries, LoungeUp is the European leader in customer relationship management solutions for the hotel industry.
Friendly Hotel Collection is a French hotel group. It consists of three hotels located in ski resorts in the heart of the sublime French Alps. In each of these hotels with exceptional locations, guests enjoy a modern, state-of-the-art experience.
The importance of CRM and RMS in the hotel industry
CRM allows you to manage customer relationships. Thanks to the collection and analysis of customer data, it knows the tastes, desires, or restrictions of customers. And since each customer is different, the CRM is able to offer them a personalized experience.
Thanks to LoungeUp and their teams, we can now personalize the customer relationship with messages before their stay, promotions…Eric Belluardo – Co-fondateur of Friendly Hotel Collection
If CRM is important, so is RMS. It will allow hoteliers to better understand demand and make informed decisions, maximizing their revenues.
In short, CRM and RMS are powerful tools that allow hoteliers to better understand their guests’ needs, provide personalized offers and maximize revenue based on demand. The combination of these two tools can dramatically improve the customer experience while increasing hoteliers’ revenue.
Why create an alliance between a CRM and an RMS?
The CRM is therefore the one who knows the hotel’s customers best. And knowing your customers also means knowing their stay preferences. Do they prefer to come when the snow has just fallen? What are their habits when they come? Which room is preferred by regulars?
Thanks to these tools, it is possible to know who to target on dates that are not in high demand and that otherwise would not have been filled.
But who should make the first move? And how to initiate these exchanges?
As revenue managers, we admit that we are not in contact with the marketing department. This is a pity because the revenue manager knows where the hotel will need volume. As well as the dates that should be pushed to a certain category of customer (no, no! You don’t send the same email to your entire customer base!).
For revenue managers, it is, therefore, necessary to study the seasonality beforehand. Identify the peak dates when there will be no need to use special offers, and the empty dates when customer knowledge will have its role to play.
It is therefore essential to create a bridge between the two tools.
Price is no longer the customer’s number one criteria
Today, we notice that price is less and less the number one selection criterion for customers. They tend to prefer attention, the choice of their room, the bottle of champagne, or just THE little thing that will make the difference.
The challenge is, rather than attracting by price, to offer customers services with high added value for them and which will cost the hotelier almost nothing. This little bit of value enhances the customer experience.
Friendly Hotel Collection understands this, and the solution is obvious. For one of their regular customers, instead of giving the customer a discount, which will not stay in his mind, they keep his pair of skis for free. The customer doesn’t have to worry about his equipment anymore, and the hotel doesn’t have any additional costs since it is closed between seasons.
As Romain Charié points out, offering promotions to loyal customers is not necessary since they are the ones who come back every year. The hotel has a sentimental place for them, and the quality/price ratio already suits them since they come back. This is where CRM comes in. Thanks to it, it will be both easy to segment its customers in order to exclude them from a promotional email and also to offer them the gift or the service that will convince them to come back again the year after (choice of their room, plush for the children, fruit basket, high floor, more flexibility on the arrival or departure time…)
Another service that is well known in the hotel world, and has high added value, is the upgrade. In the Alps, the snow has returned. The group’s hotels are receiving a large number of reservations. To enable them to capture as many customers as possible, they sometimes resort to overbooking. Planning to upgrade clients on their arrival allows them to free up entry-level rooms. Once again, customer knowledge comes into play. If you had effectively excluded the loyal customers from your promotions, you could nevertheless “offer” them the upgrade.
But be careful not to constantly upgrade the same customers. They might never book your superior rooms. Finally, consider at the reception desk to specify their upgrade or any other kind of gift. This will make their experience memorable.
Is e-reputation compatible with Yield?
The e-reputation is the image of a company on the Internet. It can be conveyed if it is positive, but it can also be suffered when it is negative. The e-reputation is the result of the contents produced and diffused by the hotel (website, photos of the hotel on the OTA, social networks…), but also and especially that of the contents produced by customers (blogs, spaces of customers’ opinion, forums…).
E-reputation is therefore essential for marketing, but not so much for revenue management!
Just because a hotel has a bad e-reputation doesn’t mean it shouldn’t raise its prices when it only has a few rooms left to sell. The opposite is also true.
If the hotelier wants to improve his e-reputation, he has to maximize his turnover. Because in the end, this is what will allow him to improve his product and the quality of his services. It’s a virtuous circle.
The combination of CRM and RMS seems to have a bright future.
If you’re interested in learning more about the positive impact a connection between the two could have, feel free to watch the replay of the conference.