When you’re building a sports team, talent isn’t enough. You need chemistry. If everybody on the team is doing their own thing, there will be bedlam. The team won’t succeed. For a team to work, there needs to be cohesion. Members need to talk to one another, to know their role.
In the hotel and resort industry, having powerful data is a little like having raw talent on a sports team. But, just as with a sports team, without the necessary cohesion, that data will flounder when its users attempt to provide a satisfying experience for guests. Unifying a hotel or resort data stack with Salesforce can help get the whole team — i.e., the hotel or resort’s data — on the same page.
For a long time now, hotels and resorts have been gathering data. Over the years, that data has even grown in sophistication. Not only do hotel and resort employees know a guest’s email, address and phone number, they now also gather information on what type of room they enjoy staying in, what they like to eat and drink, whether they travel alone or with family, for business or pleasure.
And all that is great, but without unification of that data into a single customer profile, creating personalized journeys is impossible. For almost as long as hotels and resorts have been gathering that data, they have been wishing for something that centralizes it. With a unified data stack through Salesforce, that wish comes true.
The traditional way hotels and resorts made use of the data they gathered was centered on operations. It focused on reservations, rooms, availability and other key performance indicators (KPIs). However, the problem with this model is exactly the same problem as having raw talent on your sports team: it silos that data in a way that is not accessible to other hubs.
For instance, if two siloed sets of data do not speak to each other, a hotel or resort employee is likely to simply create another profile for a guest. While this may not be a problem, per say, it creates a huge missed opportunity to customize a guest’s stay in a fully satisfying way.
Contrast the operations-driven model with a unified data stack, which is more customer-driven. When a bit of data about a customer is added, through a unified data model with Salesforce, that information goes into a single profile for the customer. Then, the system can send messages via push notifications or email to give the guest a specially tailored customer journey — all with minimal effort for hotel and resort employees. For instance, say the last time a guest visited a restaurant they ordered a bone-in ribeye steak and a bourbon. The next time that guest visits the restaurant, perhaps the notification gives them a deal on just such a meal.
Because the system is centered around the guest and has a unified interface, training employees becomes easier too. There is no more hassle of ensuring employees know how to make the most of multiple systems. Every employee is on the same page.
And while Salesforce can’t do everything an operations management system can do, flattening your data model makes the CRM the central piece in dispersing customer data. Salesforce replaces many elements of the operations management model, and those elements it cannot replace, it can connect to.
Making the switch from an outdated, operations-centered system to a guest-focused model requires hotel and resort managers to be thoughtful and deliberate. Knowing which software Salesforce can replace and which needs connections requires a bit of savvy.
Further, ensuring all the connections are dialed in, understanding how a new Salesforce ecosystem functions and knowing how to delineate where a guest journey begins can also take a bit of acumen. Those needs don’t even include maintenance.
This is where a partner comes in. An experienced partner can provide a roadmap as to how to switch to a new guest-focused system and help maintain it. So, eliminate siloed data. Integrate guest information for a more substantial experience. Get all players on the same page. Flatten your data model with Salesforce.