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This is an excerpt from a recent FREE Skift Report, Hospitality Analytics: How Data Can Make Hotels Smarter, brought to you in partnership with Snapshot.
For the hospitality industry, every visit, every request, and every challenge that hotel customer-relations management and operations can solve on-site represent opportunities to better understand guests and services. And each opportunity is capable of being evaluated through a data-analytics lens.
In this way, the hotel guest fuels a valuable and constantly growing marketing and operations asset. However, while the hotel industry enjoys a vantage onto guest behavior — one that is unparalleled in terms of customer touch-points and on-site evidence of traveler sentiment — hotels are all too often neglecting to engage with the data they own.
In response, industry leaders at hotels, both large and small, are giving new attention to hospitality’s data-analytics gap. Leadership is in search of a solution, and many experts acknowledge that finding it will require a shift in resources, in hotel business culture, and openness to innovation along both niche and large-segment marketing approaches.
Roots of guest data
The history of guest data as resource for hotel marketing and operations is one that, in part, starts with paper-based guest surveys. The roots of guest data can be found in the cards and forms hotels traditionally placed in rooms and gave to guests during checkout.
As hoteliers captured these “reviews” and guest-generated information about each stay, management had the opportunity to analyze responses, putting them to use to not only alter, improve, and amplify their in-house offerings but also to create and modify strategies of advertising and outreach to both new and known customers.
Much of that changed with the advent of the Internet, the online review space, and the evolving network that hotels share with Web and mobile-savvy travelers.