The role of data analytics in personalising the guest experience

Is your hospitality-based business data-rich, but insights-poor? This is a common problem for many businesses today, but it’s potentially catastrophic in a customer-centric industry like hospitality. Because if you can’t make data-driven decisions, you can’t create the kind of standout personalised guest experience your customers expect.

The problem is not a lack of data; hospitality is arguably one of the most data-rich industries in the world. The challenge comes in putting all that data to good use. After over 20 years of offering creative data technology solutions to hospitality and other industries, Tahola understands how critical analytics are in driving revenue and creating personalised, memorable experiences for your guests.

These are the experiences that differentiate you from others in your field and keep customers coming back. A happy, impressed customer is always going to be your best salesperson, offering the kind of credible, authentic advertising for your business that no amount of money could ever buy.

This is why investing in the right data solutions is critical – it helps transform your guests from mere customers into valuable operational and marketing assets.

How to monetise the personalised guest experience

The hospitality industry has an advantage over many others in that restaurants and hotels usually have much closer, more direct contact with their customers than other businesses. This privileged vantage point is, however, tragically under-exploited, and the vast well of insights contained in on-site customer sentiment is often completely neglected.

One of the main problems is that hospitality data, while plentiful, is usually operationally siloed. Most businesses within this industry typically operate several disconnected systems, all of which use different databases and operate different software. They were also likely purchased from different vendors.

Adding to this complexity is the tendency to host them differently and use different connectivity. How can you make better business decisions when you can’t find the exact data you need and make it all work together?

And yet this is exactly what needs to happen to create that all-important competitive advantage.

You may not know it, but there are literally hundreds of nuggets of actionable information hidden in the mountain of data your hospitality business generates every day – each one with the potential to increase your revenue.

The detail is in the data

With every interaction, you’re collecting valuable customer data. Even something as simple as a customer giving you their name, email address and/or contact number when they make a booking is future marketing gold.

Rewarding loyalty

For example, with the right data technology, you can add this information to other datasets to see if they’re a repeat customer. If so, what food and drinks did they order previously, where did they prefer to sit, and what room did they request – the ground floor for easier accessibility or higher up for a view?

This is where personalised guest experiences really begin.

Of course, it’s possible to use your data to dive even deeper. Did they leave an online review of their previous visit, and what did they say? Is there a way you can improve on any areas they weren’t happy with, based on the feedback they gave?

Boosting seasonal promotions

Clever use of your customer data means it’s also easy to see which of your current guests are regulars. Details such as what times of the year they prefer to come and how much they spend are all invaluable gems you can put to good marketing use.

Think, for example, about the potential for boosting seasonal promotions. Tailoring your marketing promotions communication so it reaches the right demographic at the right time is key to maximising your ROI.

If, for example, you’re running a cocktail special between 5 pm and 7 pm, find previous guests who typically pop in around that time and email them with the details. If you’re planning a special Mother’s Day afternoon tea offer, get in touch with guests who’ve previously joined you for Mother’s Day to encourage them to come again. And if you have a more generic promotion lined up, track which customer demographic responds more favourably to your outreach communication and earmark them for retargeting for similar promotions in the future.

The possibilities are literally endless.

The upside of upselling

Every hospitality business would like to see their venue fully booked on days and times that are typically quiet. So, think about that guest who always visits on a Wednesday evening and has steak. Might they be interested in taking advantage of the discounted steak night you’re introducing on Mondays for a limited period?

What about your regular customer who always drinks a particular brand of beer – the chances are good they’d want to know about a new premium variant. Why not send them a discount voucher to encourage a trial, or an email to let them know about a promotion you’re holding?

One of our customers found that one of their venues was doing a great job of upselling olives to customers simply by offering it once they were seated while they waited for someone to take their order. By utilizing data and insights about customer behavior and preferences, even the smallest of upsells can lead to big returns for a hospitality business.

When you have the right data about your customers, that is easy to access and analyse, you have everything you need to transform your marketing and grow your business.

Let Tahola help you create more personalised guest experiences

At the end of the day, your guests are creating valuable data from the very first moment they step into your restaurant or hotel until the moment they leave. It’s the legacy they leave behind, and their wants, needs and opinions are the building blocks of strategic future marketing opportunities for your business – and of more personalised guest experiences going forward.

Whether you need a bespoke solution that’s custom-built to deliver your unique requirements or an off-the-shelf, cloud-based solution designed specifically for hospitality, we have the right data platform for you.

Optimising your data for better business and happier customers begins today. Contact us to find out how you can unlock the potential of your hospitality data to make better decisions.