A CRM should be a complete platform, and a single repository for all data—from prospective guests (leads) to individuals who have abandoned their reservation booking (un-booked), to booked guests (future stays), to current guests (in-stay) and past guests (loyalty). Your CRM should start with generating demand and give you the tools you need to harness the power of your reservations, sales, and marketing teams. It should break down campaigns and track them across all channels—online and offline—so that marketing understands attribution and conversions. It should align your teams, especially revenue management, marketing, and reservations sales, helping them break out of their own department-silos and instead work toward the same goals with the same trusted data. Your CRM should have the analytic tools to visualize all of your data so that you can make better and faster business decisions. And it should integrate with your PMS for a truly holistic view. I believe that if you want to get your whole team on the same page, the first step is to actually create a shared page. NAVIS becomes that one shared page: a complete hospitality CRM.
But, if you ask any three people to define what ‘CRM’ means, or moreover, how to define a hospitality CRM, you’ll get three different answers. We’ve heard CRM defined as:
A system for managing your customer relationships and your potential customer relationships or leads
Or, a computerized system for identifying, targeting, acquiring, and retaining the best mix of customers,
Or, a cloud-based data storage warehouse, that syncs with email marketing.
And let's be clear, the above are all important components of a hospitality CRM, but without all of the right pieces, the platform is half-baked and significant revenue potential is missed.
A complete hospitality CRM is not a list manager or a data warehouse, it’s not a just an email marketing service or communication hub. A complete hospitality CRM should be ALL of these things and should also integrate your digital marketing efforts, and with your call center. It is one sales and marketing ecosystem, with the goal of improving the guest experience and meeting revenue milestones.
So what should your CRM do?
I believe a complete hospitality CRM, specifically designed for hoteliers and vacation rental managers, should do all of the following for your business!
Enable a direct and personal relationship with each guest. The key to growing direct bookings and lessening reliance on OTAs is to own the relationship with each guest. To own the relationship, you must know your guests and communicate in a way that is relevant to them personally. Your CRM should provide your team with a full 360-degree view of your leads, guests and past guests. As well, it should household and segment those guests in smart ways that allow you to personalize and automate each message. Moreover, your system should avoid, for instance, sending a discounted offer to a guest that has an upcoming reservation with you at the rack rate. This highly segmented marketing automation approach is proven to drive superior direct booking results.
Reinvigorate lead management. Give your team a hub for all inbound inquiries that utilizes both web and phone functionality, so that your reservation sales team can go from inbound order-takers to engaged sales makers. This process of lead management starts with your voice channel.
Connect your platforms with ease. Connect all of your platforms and systems with ease, so that your team can focus on what’s important; your guests, your direct bookings and your bottom line.
Get the actionable reporting you need. Analytic data and reporting can be difficult to prepare, untimely and complex. When the above items are in place, your data will actually be useful. It can help you and your teams make great decisions quickly.
If you are interested in learning more about how to complete your CRM platform, I encourage you to read our full eBook, The Complete Guide To CRM For Hospitality for a comprehensive analysis and breakdown of how your hospitality CRM should operate and work for you.