The plethora of changes in the travel industry that we have witnessed in the last decade point to the fulfilment of a continuous quest for customer service excellence. How can life be made simpler for travelers, without taking away their power to analyze and choose? By providing the right customer experience through the right content that empowers them to choose what’s best suited for their needs! This is what great organizations strive to achieve.
For all players in the travel industry, finding a sustainable balance between customer experience and profitability is a pivotal key to success. Taking a cue from airlines, hotels are now training their sights on efficient and effective commercial planning. However, there are formidable challenges. With the rapid growth in data and systems, key commercial stakeholders struggle to optimize revenues from siloed systems such as revenue management, Food & Beverage (F&B) and catering. Creating actionable insights from data in disparate systems is hampered by:
Sub-optimal utilization of individual systems
Focus on data collection and consolidation as against insights and analytics
Revenue loss on account of lack of synergies
Ineffective focus on total revenue optimization across all revenue streams
Inability to create customized solutions across multiple levels
Inability to build a platform that becomes an enabler for advanced analytics
As hotel revenue management moves irrevocably to profit management, the focus will be on how data can be efficiently consolidated through sharper and real-time decision-supporting insights.
For instance, property management systems (that store valuable guest information) can be linked to performance and trends in F&B outlets, point of sale and catering. Revenue managers will increasingly need improved processes that combine the right data and specific key performance indicators. This will call for customer relationship management and resource planning tools on a unified platform across rooms, F&B, catering and other ancillary revenue streams to seamlessly enable analytics and decision-making.
Outliers that cause deviations can then be accurately identified in real time for quick and relevant solutions. This will also allow optimal performance of individual systems to better feed into the unified platform.
The combined strengths of automaton and analytics can help hotels track, benchmark and optimize revenues, costs and customer experience across platforms and touch points. It can also enable them to analyze customer data from social media, and mesh it with in-house data for sharper insights.
Automation in data entry and logistics areas can increase the efficiency of revenue management while enabling managers to focus on strategies to drive profitability. Leveraging sentiment analytics and competitive benchmarking can provide greater benefits at both category and enterprise levels.
360-degree Revenue Analytics
Unified commercial processes and systems can integrate external factors of customers, competition and market demands with internal factors of performance, systems and resources. Hotels can look to generate revenues from beyond the guest rooms to the guests’ spending patterns and profitable channels. Top-lines and bottom lines can both be improved through accurate forecasting based on better data analytics. Hotels can achieve true profitability through efficient revenue management and minimize their dependence on discounts to shore up market share.
In short, an integrated commercial planning approach can bring in the much-needed innovation in the areas of strategy, technology, gaining competitive edge, and product and service excellence.