How does a hotel business model survive the often turbulent nature of customer demand, and how does one keep ahead of the curve and increase profit? The answer to these questions lies in a multifaceted approach to hotel revenue management, one which focuses on creating a customer-centric experience by optimising the potential of big data through hotel revenue management solutions.
- Unlocking the Potential of Big Data
- Hotel room pricing is a perfect candidate for big data analytics due to the fluctuating nature of price-determinate criteria such as demand, time of year, and weather. Charging the right price is key to increasing revenue which is why property management systems (PMS) focus on automating the collection, sorting, and evaluation of such data.
- This allows for the creation of a comprehensive forecast on changes in pricing, occupancy, and customer demands which in turn helps you predict demand for your hotel so you can set room prices and maximise your yield potential. By combining the features of your revenue management software with your staff’s attention to detail you will not only increase revenue per customer but also ensure that the customer will seek out your services in the future.
- Direct Booking Incentives
- Online travel agencies (OTAs) allow the client to browse a list of different lodgings, compare prices, read customer reviews, and pick the one which best suits their needs and budget. While they are pivotal to your business’ successful marketing strategy OTA’s and traditional travelling agencies both charge you a commission for their services and put no special emphasis on pushing your product.
- This arrangement is far from perfect for any hotelier but it doesn’t have to be. Equipping your site with its own booking engine cuts off the middleman and allows you to handle your own online bookings cost-free. Offering the customer direct booking incentives such as free room upgrades for using your hotel’s booking engine lets you skip OTA fees. Your booking engine also provides you with the opportunity to keep in touch with the customer via email subscriptions, further promoting your brand and helping you build a loyal customer base.
- Use Automation Solutions (PMS)
- Modern property management systems (PMS) enable you to drive ever-increasing levels of efficiency by automating everything from room availability and rate management, to bookings of events and large groups, as well as collecting deposit payments. PMS allows your team to update and access critical guest information every step of the way, in correspondence of every guest’s individual needs.
- The modern PMS goes even further by providing you with automated upselling suggestions such as room-upgrades, a flexible check-in timetable and a variety of other services which are e-mailed to the guest before arrival. Revenue and rate management is a key function in the property management system. It uses previously acquired data to focus on the trends which affect your average daily availability and improve occupancy. PMS further conveniences you by offering a cloud-based service which requires no additional IT maintenance.
- Meeting Millennials’ Expectations
- Millennials place immense value on authentic, personalised and meaningful travel experiences which is why reaching them as a target customer base requires a constant awareness of your online reputation since positive online reviews influence millennials’ booking decisions almost as much as the price does. When marketing to millennials you must keep in mind that they are not looking for a product, but a lifestyle. You need to emphasize the uniqueness of the local culture and its the surroundings, subtly suggesting that the best way to experience this would be by staying at your hotel.
- Customer-Centric Approach
- Customer segmentation plays an important role in establishing the correct way of approaching each guest according to their needs and demands. It is important to evaluate the reason for the trip (work or leisure) as their value isn’t necessarily obvious by observing their spending behaviour on one trip, which is why it requires gathering more data over longer periods of time.
- Through the use of data, a hotel’s marketing and revenue staffs could determine the factors that drive a customer to choose one particular hotel over another. It could be anything from price to various upgrades and services or it could be the way you have managed to turn their stay into an experience. It is important to take notice of their attitude towards your business and take the chance to offer a loyalty program which would ensure their prolonged patronage.
- Benefits of a Revenue Management System
- A Revenue Management System is a toolbox for the modern hotelier. It uses the real-time optimisation with machine learning to set the room price which would yield the most revenue at that particular time. It does so by pulling together data from your hotel and it’s competitors and by using this data it creates a thorough analysis with which you can build competitive pricing strategies. All of this happens in a single convenient dashboard from which you and your team can manage your operations, distribution and revenue. This process leaves no room for human error and guarantees that you’re always charging the optimal price for your services.
- Planning Ahead
- It is important to focus not only on historical data but also to keep in touch with both current direct booking trends, and the newest in hotel management solutions to ensure that you’re keeping ahead of the game. Pace reports use the rate of reservations for a particular date to help you measure the demand months in advance, which is great for unlocking hidden revenue, as they tell you when you can expect certain trends. Maybe there’s a particular time when you’d like to focus on direct bookings if that’s the case consider offering some incentive for those dates. If it’s an event such as a concert, try offering packaged deals which include a ticket or something such as a T-shirt or a pin as a token of the experience.
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About Clock Software
Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based property management systems (PMS), integrated online distribution, online & kiosk hotel self check-in solutions and mobile & in-room guest engagement systems with customers in more than 65 countries.