Although revenue technology has been around for decades it still supports less than 30% of hotels worldwide. Maybe this is a good thing because the travel industry as we knew it just changed.
When it's business as usual it's easy to forget to invent. Companies tend to find their comfort zones and try not to change anything as long as things are working. Until they’re hit with an external shock and it turns out the comfort zone is gone. By then there is no time to invent anymore and efforts become occupied by saving the bottom line. In such cases, looking for outside solutions may be the last opportunity for recourse. For the travel industry, the addition of PRE:MIND technology is that outside solution.
Current revenue technology systems are focused on internal hotel data, the granularity of that data, and the ability to mathematically calculate behavioural trends to forecast future demand, and calculate optimal prices for it. Such practice is relatively easy to implement and manage using sets of rules-based tactics which makes pricing work faster and smoother.
With the reality of Covid-19 entering into our shared vocabulary, the world as we knew it changed. Mathematical models that relied heavily on historical data have become superfluous. Some innovative technologies began the pursuit of external data in real-time to revive faded algorithms. Many technologies are however dormant and assume our lives will go back to how they used to be and that the traditional revenue management approach will continue.
What seems to be overlooked in this pursuit is the real benefit of Revenue Management - the customer side of data - the ability to track and analyse customer willingness to pay, and to recognize how customers perceive the value of products.
It's 1000% cheaper to convince existing customers to return
Today, when the origin of demand is unclear and in the future when there will be new demand, considering the state of the impacted hotel industry during Covid-19, Revenue Management targeting increases of yield will be unworkable. The same is true for Marketing, which won’t be able to focus only on targeting an increase in demand.
We need to realise that it will be much easier to convince current customers to spend 10% more than to increase new customer sales by 10%, or to increase the price by 10%. This is how Revenue Management should RE:INVENT and practically treat any customer that ventures out of their home as a VIP guest. That kind of VIP treatment is impossible to implement without technology support and in an uncertain world, VIP-customers tend to need more places where they feel seen, heard, and appreciated.
Great customer service is, of course, not only a VIP issue. A research study conducted by American Express in 2017 states that 68% of customers will spend more if the customer experience is excellent.
PRE:MIND was created before the Covid-19 era; it was built in order to ensure the best customer service and experience in a completely consistent manner, for luxurious boutique industries, where staff needs to be fully knowledgeable of customers. After Covid-19, PRE:MIND solutions are applicable to any customer service industry, where the business is people. Especially in the hotel industry.
PRE:MIND advisor Kris Glabinski, with over 30 years of experience in revenue management and development in the travel industry, puts it like this:
The potential revenue optimisation coming from the customer experience aspect is one that Revenue Management has not been taking into consideration so far. That is the precise aspect that PRE:MIND addresses and allows the industry to manage. It is a first in the hotel industry and as innovative it is, I am sure soon will become a must-have investment for any hotel.
How PRE:MIND can manage the customer experience
First of all let’s talk about personalisation, monitoring, and personal data collection controversies.
Sep 11-events and COVID-19 made us realise that people are OK to give consent for collecting personal data about them, for as long it has health and safety reasons. However, any other personal data collection, especially for the purpose of marketing and sales should be prohibited under the law, unless a person sees his own benefit in it and gives his consent for it.
PRE:MIND is following exactly that. If the customer wants to be treated as a VIP, wants to be recognised from the crowds, and wants to have an excellent experience - and 80% of loyal customer program participants do - they need to give their consent for it. In fact, they can easily manage which personal data, when and where can be used. The customer has 100% control, and the brand benefits.
Data given after customer consent:
- Customer recognition (name, face, previous history, favourites, dislikes, problems, etc)
- Previous purchases
Data added after customer consent:
- Customer behaviour
- Customer experience and expectations (comments, reactions)
The benefits of that data:
- Ability for the hotel to analyse behaviour of customers in order to create even better experiences
- Customer segmentation like never before, very close to the individual, allows to address experience, but also offer tailor-made upselling and cross-selling opportunities
- Ability to manage front of the house staff via organised, specific instructions, that guide their service via a mobile device (watch, phone, tablet)
Secondly, let’s talk about CRMs and loyalty programs that play the role of traditional customer experience technology.
As much as CRMs hold a lot of data about customers, very often they are used for marketing and promotional activities. Very seldom for customer service purposes.
Loyalty programs also hold a lot of customer data, but they seem to be about converting customers to loyal ones, so they can spend more, for the exchange of points or miles, that they can redeem back by buying the same services or products.
PRE:MIND does not compete with those. In fact, it is the link between the customer data cloud and the physical customer service and experience truly using this data.
Third of all, let’s look at Customer Service as it is today.
Probably everyone can agree that any service is only as good as the person providing it. Hundreds of thousands of training programs, books, and procedures have been created to enhance customer service, yet no one before has solved the issue for the person providing it.
PRE:MIND allows us to create the ideal service and manage each person delivering it in real-time, with exact words, greetings, suggestions, and upselling chats. All directed to the specific individual, each of our VIP customers.
Interested to hear more? Let’s talk
We’d love to discuss your specific challenges and opportunities in a post-COVID world, and how we can help you achieve your goals while making your customers feel like they never want to leave.
It's easy to discuss whether we should be for or against using facial recognition as a widespread technology. There are benefits on a large scale, as well as definite downsides. At PRE:MIND we see one obvious issue: facial recognition is not within the individual's choice and as such the human loses all control of their own privacy.Read "Facial Recognition and Privacy Concerns"
In the quest for delivering on experiential retail, stores have morphed into things resembling anything from amusement parks to living rooms. And while there is nothing wrong with that – it hasn't done much to personalise the experience.Read "Customer identification key to experience shopping"
During most of the 19th and 20th century, the upper class was a homogeneous group—they came from the same residential areas, attended the same schools, lived in one place their entire life, handed their businesses and wealth over to their sons and daughters.Read "Social progress calls for personalised experience"
In 2018 most average retailers will use location technology to map customer movements in their stores, place items where they're most likely to be seen and send offers, surveys, and ads at the right time. But that's far from enough.Read "Making your store a VIP destination"