Hotel Data Collection: What Guest Data Is Best?
In the hotel industry, guest data might be one of the most valuable resources that you have. It can be consolidated in a hotel loyalty program software to help you create effective marketing campaigns, deliver better guest experiences, and make data-driven decisions.
But with so many sources of data, which one is really useful? Find out in this article as we break down the 5 most important types of guest data.
Table of Content
What Is Guest Data?
When it comes to the hotel industry, most of the hotels collect and store huge amounts of information. But what is guest data? Well, let's take a look at this definition:
Guest data is non-public, personally identifying information of or related to a Guest, which information includes, without limitation, credit and/or debit card and/or any other payment method details, name, company name, address, phone number and e-mail address of the Guest. LawInsider 2022
To break it down, the data is essentially everything that pertains to your guest.
What Methods Can a Hotel Use to Capture Guest Data?
Hotels can use a variety of methods to capture their guest data. To begin with, you can have a look at your own Property Management System (PMS).
These and your own booking engine can capture and store basic booking information related to the guest. These data include the guest's name, contact details, reservation information, past stays, and more.
Image: Guest Profile Example Screen from Opera PMS
But the fact is, most guest bookings come from a multitude of channels. These channels include GDS, metasearch, wholesale - and of course - Online Travel Agencies (OTA). Unfortunately, the data you receive from these third-party channels will be limited.
These channels often only include the bare minimum of guest information. Such as the guest's name, their board type, category, room rate, number of adults and children, etcetera.
As such, you'll have to find alternative methods to grow your guest data. The more you know about your guests, the better marketing campaigns you can deploy. So how can you do that?
3 Effective Ways to Grow Your Hotel Database
There is a multitude of ways to capture more guest data and increase customer loyalty. In the end, it's all about being creative and consistent with your tactics. There might be some initial time investment, but in the long run, it'll definitely be worth it.
Here are three effective strategies to grow your hotel database today:
1. Conversion strategy for third-party bookings
Ask guests coming from third-party channels for their e-mail address and telephone number upon check-in and make sure you get their consent to store this data.
2. Capture data via hotel email marketing
Email marketing stands as one of the most effective methods to collect customer data. Once you have the guest’s email information, you can send emails to guests prompting them to fill out additional information about their interests or preferences.
3. Send out guest surveys
If you want to really grow your database, then collect information about the guest’s past experiences - and this is most easily done through sending out guest surveys.
What Types of Data Is Useful?
If you have a PMS, chances are the software will be filled with guest data. And guess what, some of this data is worth gold, whereas other bits of information may not be as valuable.
But the key point is to understand that this will depend on your goal. Knowing why you are gathering data and what your motive is will help you determine which data is the most valuable for your hotel.
Given this, we compiled a list of five key data points that are useful when initiating marketing campaigns or delivering guest experiences.
1. Contact Information
The most important data is the guest's contact information. This information includes the guest's name, email address, physical address, and phone number. Without their email addresses, it becomes difficult for you to reach out for potential marketing activities.
2. Demographics Information
Another great data source is the demographic information of the guest, such as their age, nationality, and gender. Knowing this information will help you target your communication or service differently, depending on whether it is an elderly guest or younger teenager.
3. Guest’s Preferences
Preferences are great because they provide you with key insights about your guests. For example, does your guest prefer rooms located on higher floors with a view, or with balconies? These data points are especially useful if you want to run up-selling marketing promotions.
If you want to create truly personalized e-mails, then you need to learn as much as possible about your guests. Knowing their interests will help you communicate on a more personal level. Here are some great main “label” categories that you can use:
Famous Tourist Attractions
Culture and Arts
Spa and Relaxation
5. Feedback and Communications
Other insights could come from the different communications they had with the hotel or their feedback from previous surveys. Did they have a bad time at your hotel? Why not reach out to them and try to remedy the situation.
How to Aggregate Data Into a Hotel Database?
Now that you know what data to capture, it's important to move on to the next part. You'll need to aggregate these data into a centralized hotel database.
And to do this, solutions like CRM for hotels are your best shot. We’ve written a blog post earlier about the key functionalities of a hotel CRM software that you can take a look at if you’re curious to learn more. But in summary, these solutions help you store all your customers' information and condense them into individual guest profiles.
For example, our hotel CRM solution enables our clients to aggregate data from multiple hotels into a centralized database.
Thanks to our Opera PMS interface, our clients can enjoy 2-way real-time data synchronization, and less struggle with data discrepancies.
But what's more, is that we just released an advanced segmentation builder in our hospitality CRM.
Our users can now build detailed segmentation based on our advanced segmentation filter (with around 40+ criteria) ranging from demographics, stay history, preferences, and much more.
Now, if you're a hotel looking to leverage your hotels data, then contact us today for a free hotel CRM demo! We’re always up for a chat to see how we can help you boost your marketing campaigns through effective segmentation.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why Is Obtaining Guest Data During the Registration Process So Important?
The more guest data you can collect before the guests' arrival, the better! Basic information such as the accurate guest's name and reservation information - are extremely vital when you deal with room allocations before the guest’s arrival.
How Can Incorrect Data Affect the Guest and the Hotel?
Data discrepancies can quickly have a detrimental effect on the day-to-day operations of a hotel and can create a negative experience for guests.
For instance, it is common for guests to complain if their specific requirements or information provided during the registration process were not - or transmitted- to your hotel’s PMS. Errors in the data, such as wrong information about the pax per room can create awkward room allocation situations.
Conclusion: 5 Types of Guest Data Your Hotel Can Use for Marketing Purposes
Guest data is one of the most important things for a hotel to have and is used for a variety of purposes.
One of the most common uses for guest data is to help create an improved guest experience by tailoring services and amenities to guests who stay with them. In addition, hoteliers can use it for marketing purposes as well as aiding in strategic planning efforts.
But there are so many different types of data - and some of them may not really be all that useful to your overall goal.
Some of the key data that we presented in this article were:
The guest’s contact information, such as their e-mail address and telephone number.
Their demographic information, including age and gender.
Guest’s preferences, such as their room preferences.
Their interests, Business Facilities/Leisure, etcetera.
Feedback/Communications with the hotels, including guest surveys.
But to leverage your hotels data, you need to have some sort of hotel database - and for that purpose, a CRM software is useful for hotels. As they can help you aggregate data across a multitude of sources and condense them into rich guest profiles.