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  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

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    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.

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    This guide from Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP(R)) covers safeguards that can be implemented in hospitality businesses today, tips on how to continuously improve security and data regulation compliance.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Privacy Policies for Hotels

    This document offers points to consider in the development of a hotel’s privacy policy. In view of the multiple organisational and legal structures under which hotels operate, as well as the complexity of the third party landscape that may be part of the complete guest experience, this document serves as a guideline only.

Evolution of the Hotel CRM

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·10 January 2019
The success of any hotel hinges on its ability to curate memorable guest experiences and lasting customer satisfaction. Of course, this mission rests heavily on a hotelier's shoulders when we consider the many competing demands associated with running a hotel. Maximizing revenue streams, empowering staff and training new employees, monitoring guest feedback, streamlining operations -- these are just a few of the considerations on a hotelier's mind at any given time. So how do hoteliers ensure customer satisfaction is always top of mind in today's highly competitive hospitality industry? And in an increasingly connected world, how do hoteliers cut through the noise to effectively develop relationships with their existing and prospective guests? The answer lies in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. CRM platforms integrate into a hotel's operational structure to build a comprehensive database of guest information, playing a critical role in the cultivation of loyal, satisfied customer bases.But, like the dinosaurs, hotel CRM platforms will become obsolete if they stay in their present form.Customer satisfaction has always played an integral role in the success of any business -- but none more than those within service-based industries (such as hotel, tourism, food, and beverage, etc.). In these industries, it's never just about the product or service; much of the consumer's impression of that brand or business will be derived from experience and relationships. With this understanding, the demand for CRM software quickly became paramount. The term "customer relationship management" was coined in 1995, paving the way for the creation of the first CRM software programs (which were mostly just filing cards with customer details). By 1997, CRM had already moved away from customer solutions to enterprise resource planning (product planning, manufacturing, marketing and payment functions). Then in 1999, Siebel launched the first mobile CRM (with PeopleSoft, SAP, and Oracle quick to follow suit), with the eventual advent of cloud CRM. However, in a digital era of increasing competition, hotels need a more holistic view of the guest journey. The ecosystem has evolved from single sources of guest history information to secondary data available on multiple channels that can be leveraged for guest scoring, profiling, personalization, revenue management and forecasting. After all, to ignore or leave in proprietary silos the information available through all channels, including social media channels, would mean leaving an integral connection to the modern guest entirely untapped and under-utilized. Further, with the advent of AI, Machine Learning, and Big Data, hotels can now tap into unrealized trends, patterns, and discover guest and operational insights to optimize revenue, productivity and loyalty. It's also no secret that employees are at the forefront of hospitality, and the drivers of any hotel property's success. Systems, guidelines and amenities aside, it's up to the staff who are constantly interacting with guests to ensure the guest experience meets and exceeds expectations. With the seamless integration of an advanced CRM software that is not only rife with competitive insights but is also visual and user-friendly in nature, ensures that the value of the modern CRM is never lost amongst frequent staff turnover. Instead, hotels can adequately prepare and empower their workforce at every turn, to enhance productivity and, in turn, guest satisfaction.With innovation, easier implementations, and lower prices, the next-generation of CRM systems is moving from sales, marketing, and service to enabling frictionless, customizable guest experiences, and can facilitate a unique advantage. However, this is only the case if the implementation includes easy integration with other core systems and processes. Modern CRM solutions should have this in mind, creating a flexible, open technology that can interact with a hotelier's data and current systems. So who is the person behind each reservation? The future of CRM should tell you exactly that... and so much more. Want to learn more about using technology to advance hotel - guest relationships? Let me know.

How to Win the Battle Between Privacy and Personalization

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·13 December 2018
But the battle isn't as simple as sink or swim. Modern consumers decidedly connect with brands who understand (and cater to them) on a personal level, while privacy concerns are at the forefront of that same conversation. McAfee surveyed 6,400 people globally to learn more about how they handle and protect personal information. The survey revealed that one third of those surveyed did not think they could control how companies collect personal information. In a 2016 global study, unwanted marketing was cited as consumers' top concern about businesses using their personal data (59 percent), followed by their data being sold to third-parties (58 percent) and organizations having unsecure systems (55 percent). But in that same breath, the personalization guests crave today extends far beyond a hotel just knowing their name upon arrival or their ability to receive targeted and personalized marketing communications. Today, savvy consumers expect their preferences to be saved within systems and devices, their voice commands to be recognized by digital assistants, and their hotels to offer specialized upgrades, room preferences and personalized communications. The modern consumer is fueled by instant gratification and hyper-connectivity; these are all concepts that thrive on the availability of relevant user data to curate a unique experience.How can hotels (safely) tap into guest data in a way that benefits their guest and their travel experience, without neglecting privacy measures? Ultimately, how can hoteliers can win the battle between privacy and personalization? There is not a single, easy answer. As most (if not all) of you know, GDPR was brought into effect to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). Following the longstanding realization that privacy standards are often not sufficient to truly safeguard the personal data, GDPR was enforced to give power back to consumers. This legislation applies to all data about persons in the EU (both guests and employees) and demands that hotels keep clear records and documentation of what personal data they access, where it came from, how it is shared and the consumer-provided consent to obtain that data. Given that hotels operate with the use of online travel agencies (OTAs), PMS, CMS systems, mobile apps, social media and more, understanding how to navigate within the means set by GDPR is ever-important. However, the GDPR framework was not put in place to limit hotelier's ability to access guest data and utilize that information to curate an improved, personalized guest experience. Rather, it was created with the intent to ensure hoteliers are transparent with their guests as they collect, and best utilize, personal information. So, what's the trick here? Find a happy medium. Guest data isn't out of reach; it's simply protected. Rather than taking, storing, and sharing without permission, hotels are now required to earn the trust of their guests. Provide your guests with clear communications when looking to collect or store information, attach clarified incentive to the provision of that information, and give them good options. Keep track of who consented, when they consented, what they were told at the time, how they consented and if consent has been withdrawn for any reason.The work required to get in compliance is not insignificant, but these updates will also encourage more engagement from your prospective guests. After all, a recent Salesforce study found that 63% of millennial consumers are willing to share personal data for personalized offers or discounts, 61% of millennial consumers for personalized experiences and 58% for personalized recommendations. Consumers are willing to share with brands, as long as they're given adequate reason to and can trust that their personal information will be used to curate an enhanced experience. Establishing guest trust, rapport and winning customer service experiences may require a little more work on behalf of hoteliers, but the reward is worth the return. Instead of sinking against the data, you'll swim into blue waters of a personalized, engaged guest experience.

Staying Ahead of Millennial Guest Expectations

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·29 November 2018
With impressive buying power, evolving consumer behaviors and penchant for experiences, millennials have and will continue to have a major impact on the hospitality industry. After all, as of 2015 there were already eighty million millennials in America alone, armed with $200 billion in annual buying power. This generation is large, diverse (both in age and in preference) and quite simply, a segment that hoteliers cannot afford to ignore. In 2017, studies were released claiming that millennial families were likely to spend more and travel more than all other generational segments. Despite the predicted drop in travel spending across U.S. households, the 9.5 million millennial families were expected to spend 19% more on vacation and intend to travel 35% more than the previous year. As with any consumer segment, effectively marketing to millennials requires brands to understand what they value most in the products/services they invest in and find a way to appeal to those needs. This consideration becomes especially interesting when we look to the millennial consumer, as their buying habits and motivations differ from other generations, not to mention their wide range of ages. The oldest Millennials are now 38, while the youngest are just 18. Millennials are also less susceptible to traditional marketing and advertising than past generations. Only about 1% of millennials claim that a compelling ad influences them and 84% of millennials dont trust traditional advertising. Rather than taking the traditional route, millennial consumers show preferences for brands that are notably authentic, share the same values (social or otherwise) and who leverage digital to personalize their offering. According to studies, 62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. They expect brands to not only be on social networks, but to engage them. They want to know the personality behind a brand and feel as though that company is making a conscious effort to understand and connect with them as a consumer. An interview of over 1,300 millennials showcased that millennials are highly educated, career-driven, politically progressive and despite popular belief do indeed develop strong brand loyalty when presented with quality products and actively engaged by brands. But just what does this mean for hoteliers hoping to stay ahead of millennial expectations? For hoteliers, catering to the millennial traveler requires ongoing investment in enhanced guest experiences. Those hotels which create an offering that is somehow unique/boutique, personalized and guest value-driven are the hotels which are likely to establish long-term loyalty within this generational group. We explore three key ways that hoteliers should look to embrace the mobile traveler below. Go Digital Hotels must begin their journey with a strong digital presence and continue that branding throughout a guests experience. If your hotels digital presence isnt up to par, particularly on a mobile device and via social media, youre likely missing out on Millennial travelers.Lets take a moment to consider some statistics: - 87% of millennials use between two and three tech devices at least once on a daily basis and look to social media for travel inspiration for their next adventure - 46% book travel through a smartphone or tablet, meaning a strong mobile presence is also important - 60% will upgrade their experience by purchasing extras like in-flight wi-fi - 97% will post their experiences on social media - 68% will remain loyal to a program that offers them the most rewards (cash/freebies, upgrades, discounts)- 49% take last minute vacations, meaning that offering last minute deals could be helpful in gaining business from millennial travelersMillennials are, for lack of a better term, the Smartphone generation. Their experience with brands and service providers is largely defined by digital efficacy and convenience, as they look to mobile phones and smart devices to stay connected 24/7. Not only does most of their browsing happen on a mobile device, but that is often the medium in which they prefer to connect with brands. With this in mind, its more important than ever before for hotels to invest in creating a mobile-centric environment that presents millennial travelers with the opportunity to navigate mobile platforms and self-service technology. Further to that, mobile technology provides hotels with the opportunity to access a wealth of guest data. Its well documented that millennial travelers are happy to exchange personal information in favor of personalized offers meaning hoteliers can finally tap into new data sources to truly curate a more relevant, guest-centric experience. This also prevents hoteliers from falling into the trap of data silos (data-based decisions developed from an isolated data source) as guest information is curated from a variety of sources. Armed with the right, insight-driven PMS system, hoteliers can access comprehensive guest profiles that provide a breakdown of who each guest is, their stay information and booking history, social presence, and more. Using this, hotel staff can easily strengthen relationships with millennial guests and add value to their experience by anticipating their needs and expectations (before they even arrive on property). Tapping into Social StockAccording to studies, nearly half (44%) of millennials are willing to promote products or services through social media in exchange for rewards. Why is this so relevant? Because 89% of millennials trust recommendations from friends and family more than claims by the brand and are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites. Social influence matters as becomes more apparent through the influx of social influencer campaigns across industries and hospitality is no exception. Utilizing guest profiles to identify prospective travelers with a strong social influence, allows hoteliers to search for and group together those guests who deserve special attention. Assigning a guest score, as Concilio offers with its Insight Engine, represents a guests potential value to your hotel.Data Requires ContextMillennials, more than any other generation, have a high standard for authenticity and personalization. Marketing that feels off brand or inaccurate may not only be ineffective, it could go so far as to damage a reputation or create a lack of trust between the brand and potential consumer. Data is the key to guest personalization, but it cant unlock anything without context. In order to create a more personalized experience for millennial travelers, hoteliers require access to insight-driven, actionable data that empowers their staff to effectively connect on an individual basis with guests. After all, its one thing to understand your guests and quite another to be able to act on that data. With comprehensive profiles and suggested actions for personalized upsell/upgrade opportunities, any member of your staff has the tools they need to create a more relevant experience for each guest. And with interactive, on-demand views of all guest profile data and reservations, hotel management can quickly find key performance indicators for their property, effectively manage communications and respond to guest needs.Millennials are an informed, value-driven group of travelers that, with the help of the right hotel business insights technology and guest service approach, can represent long-standing value to your hotel. By offering an experience that is digital, seamless, convenient and continuously personalized, your hotel will stand to establish millennial loyalty that translates into an exciting revenue opportunity, both now and in the future.

Are You Driving Positive And Profitable Guest Relationships?

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·14 November 2018
Welcome to the "Age of the Customer." As we witness the ongoing rise of digital trends, hyper-personalization, and value-driven marketing initiatives, we realize that it is increasingly the customer, not the company, driving business decisions. So, how can businesses get to know their customers? By spending time where their customers are--online. Social platforms and online mediums represent a thriving hub of valuable data, providing a wealth of customer insights. In a time where understanding customers is the primary key to a company's survival and subsequent success, tapping into data streams is more integral than ever before. This is particularly true in the hospitality industry, as a hotel's success can be directly attributed to their ability to provide value in the form of a positive and unique guest experience. In fact, in a recent survey, more than half of the travelers interviewed said they were happy to provide personal information if it meant getting relevant deals, discounts, and personalized service. This really comes as no surprise. Look to the success of ventures such as Airbnb, a travel platform that has truly mastered the modern art of consumer personalization and mobile functionality. However, the concept of guest personalization extends far beyond email and message interactions. It should drive all aspects of the guest experience that a hotel provides, making data one of the most valuable currencies available to hoteliers. Don't believe us? At a recent EyeForTravel tradeshow, 67% of representatives indicated customer loyalty could be improved by investing more in data, analytics and the resulting opportunities for personalization. Of course, the need for a data-driven and personalized guest relations strategy can be a double-edged sword as well. Hotels cannot fulfill that need without quality, actionable data. Moreover, with such an influx of data now available to hotels via online channels, the demand for an insight-driven data platform to unlock meaningful insights becomes paramount. Why? Because data can't provide any value to hoteliers unless it is properly collected, intelligently applied to various segments of the guest experience and made accessible to staff and other systems. Think of it this way -- the data is the lockbox, and the data platform provides the code. It is one thing to understand your guests and quite another to be able to act on that data. So the question becomes; how can hotels utilize various data streams through a centralized platform to drive more value into their guest relationships and inspire long-term guest loyalty?Utilizing a cloud-based platform that combines various data streams to act as a centralized hub of guest insights, hotels can effectively shape their guest engagements with information from multiple systems (PMS, CRM, POS, etc.). Your hotel is producing and receiving an enormous amount of data at any given time across various tools and touchpoints. An effective data platform isn't meant to act as a copy or snapshot of existing, standalone data. Rather, it should be an integration across all platforms used by the hotel to provide a collective profile of each guest. While the hospitality industry has notoriously fallen victim to the creation of data silos in the past, due to legacy systems lacking integration capabilities, modern technology prioritizes seamless, cross-platform integration. This integral update to a traditionally limited infrastructure puts hotels in a position to provide carefully curated value to each and every guest. This, in itself, can mean the difference between a hotel simply addressing a returning guest by name and looking up the details of their stay, and having the data-backed advantage of automatically setting default preferences for their room and preferred upgrades. Further, hotels with a native app can change the in-app, user experience to recognize that the guest is physically in the hotel and make leisure activity suggestions based on what they know about the guest. In some cases, hotels reward their most frequent and valuable guests with specialized access to amenities, upgrades, or even 'personal ambassadors' that help to manager travel needs and have a deep understanding of what that guest values. Let's consider the case of a returning business traveler -- with the harmonization of their guest data into a collective profile could help hotel staff to anticipate their needs before they arrive on property. This could include even seemingly minuscule gestures, such as altering them of close-by Wi-Fi enabled work areas, free conference rooms or spare charging docks for their handheld technology. With insight-driven prompts (for personalization, upgrades and cross-selling opportunities) built directly into a data platform, your staff can easily provide an enhanced experience to guests, every time. Why is the curation of a personalized experience so important? Providing value to guests is rewarded in revenue and repeat stays. Further to those memorable guest service interactions, hotels can utilize guest data to target their marketing campaigns and offers in a truly intelligent way. With communications that are specifically tailored to each guest and their preference set, hotels not only show that they are paying attention but empower their revenue opportunity through enhanced guest interest and engagement. With modern, insight-driven data and largely affordable platforms finally available to hoteliers everywhere, hotels no longer have the excuse that personalization is too expensive or beyond operational reach. Personalization and data-driven guest engagement isn't just a thing of the future, it's here and now -- and hoteliers finally have the tools to use it to their advantage.

The 5 Best Ways to Improve Engagement within Your Hotel App

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·25 October 2018
Mobile technology represents many things. For some of us, it's a daily tool to increase efficiency and convenience. For others, it's a go-to source for social connection and outlets. For many, it's the device(s) which help us to do our job. However, more than anything, the primary mission of mobile technology is to make our lives easier -- a consumer demand that becomes especially true when we consider travel-related apps and technology. Let's face it, whether traveling for business or for leisure, the process of getting from point A to point B can be rather taxing. Booking flights and hotel reservations, getting a sense of local attractions, ensuring you have access to business-related or family-friendly amenities; each pillar of the travel planning (and execution) process can bear its own challenges. However, with the use of mobile technology and apps, prospective travelers can finally expect a more seamless, hassle-free and personalized experience. And considering the digital nature of today's economy, consumers are no longer just demonstrating a preference for a mobile experience -- they are demanding it. Mobile Apps are Today's Table Stakes Unsure if a well-designed website can take the place of a dedicated app? According to reports, conversion rates on apps are five times higher than mobile. Travel companies that have a booking app reported 60% of transactions via mobile, up from 41% just one year ago. Still not convinced? Reports also show that mobile bookings in the travel industry have grown by 1700% between 2011 and 2015 (increasing online revenues from 1% to 18%), and an estimated 31% of consumers will search their next trip from a smartphone. With that said, however, a mobile app can only be useful if it truly engages the guest and inspires them to continuously interact with that platform in a way that enhances their on and off-property experience. So, the question becomes, what do travelers want from hotel apps, and how can hoteliers increase app engagement? Hotel Apps = An Experience Management Tool When it comes to app engagement, convenience is paramount. Travelers are looking for a one-stop-shop for their pre-stay, on-property, and post-stay needs; including (but not limited to) check-in/out, local information, booking information, keyless entry, concierge access, housekeeping, in-room controls and so much more. No one wants to have ten different travel apps--particularly for a single stay-- installed on his or her phone. The modern guest demands an app which helps to seamlessly centralize the entire guest journey, from start to finish. Access to instant, one-click booking and shopping, stored payment information, chat-based assistance and a collective, digital dashboard of all hotel information can go a long way in enhancing the guest experience, boosting revenue and keep them coming back. The Guest Knows Best Much of the appeal of mobile technology can be attributed to its customer-centric offerings, as the modern traveler craves personalization and unique experiences within every touchpoint of their stay. Guests want to feel your investment in them as a prospective or returning traveler, in order to continuously invest in your property as their accommodation of choice. With this in mind, apps should not only offer check-in/out capabilities but should also house a personal account for each guest. Not only does this enhance convenience and opportunity for personalization in-app, but it provides hoteliers with a means to gather more information about each guest, which ties to purchase behaviors and preferences. After all, the better you understand guest behaviors and expectations, the better your staff can predict guest needs and inspire long-term loyalty. This also provides an opportunity for the connection of social media accounts, which speeds up each guests' registration time while also providing access to their social profiles for increased online engagement with each traveler.An Enhanced Communication Portal While there will always be a need for in-person customer service and communication (hospitality is all about creating a unique and comfortable travel experience, after all), many travelers actually prefer chatting with hotel staff via a mobile device. With access to a mobile concierge, guests are guaranteed 24/7 support and a more responsive on-property, guest-service experience. This is also an opportunity for hoteliers to utilize push notifications with personalized messaging and exclusive offers that are more likely to resonate with each individual guest. Hotels can also offer guests access to location-based information and suggestions, with the help of a geolocation feature. After all, 85% of travelers book activities while on vacation via an app. Much like having a local travel agent in their pocket, guests can receive tailored suggestions for entertainment, amenities, local attractions, dining and more all within their hotel's mobile app, at any time. By curating those suggestions, you can also direct guests to the best possible experiences. A stay is composed of many memories, including those that happen off property. Custom App = Custom Features While there is no shortage of turnkey, mobile app solutions available to hoteliers (which certainly have their place), those hotels in search of a more robust mobile app build can invest in the creation of a native app. The advantage? Creating a custom app from scratch awards your hotel complete control over the design, aesthetic, functionality and features. Providing unique features (that other hotel apps might not have) is an easy way to ensure your app inspires guest engagement -- such as offline access, price change/deal push notifications for relevant offers, social media incentives/custom loyalty rewards and so much more. Re-Engagement Opportunities The best thing about push notifications and personalized messaging portals within an app? Hoteliers can re-engage guests in a more effective manner, through means of customized marketing campaigns, exclusive offers, and loyalty program incentives. With access to user data within the app, hoteliers can not only determine which features of their app that guests are most interested in, but they can adjust their marketing approach as they learn more about each guest. Further, an in-house app presents the opportunity to create an accessible forum for feedback and testimonials. This not only shows each guest that a hotel genuinely cares to hear about each guests' experience on-property and with their staff but allows hoteliers to get a better sense of where they can improve, and where they are exemplary. Mobile phones are cited to be a traveler's most important travel accessory. As a result, it's no surprise that the demands placed on a mobile app offering are becoming more robust and advanced in nature. Luckily, curating a responsive and engaging mobile experience is entirely within reach.So, what do you say? Is your hotel ready?

Is Your Hotel Taking Advantage of all Guest Touchpoints? Here are 4 to Consider

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·11 September 2018
Click here to download the guest touchpoints infographic Our industry is in a period of frequent change and evolution. We are witnessing the emergence of technology and platforms that are likely to truly transform the guest experience. As the number of touchpoints change or increases, old paradigms and processes have been called into question. Hotels that see the most success are those that stay ahead of trends and update their operating model not just according to industry standards, but as industry leaders.Generally, there are four primary touchpoints companies are already familiar with throughout the guest journey:InspirationPre-tripIn-destinationPost stayGood Service is No Longer 'Good Enough'While the hospitality industry used to focus on a relatively simple goal of providing a good night's sleep, a suitable 'home away from home', the modern guest is now seeking something more. Instead of a service, hotels are expected to provide an 'experience'. In order to do this, the communication(s) strategy for each touchpoint must be tailored, data-driven, relevant, and anticipatory in nature. In our business, experience is king and personalization shares that throne. Mobile Apps Deliver More Ways to Engage Hotels should focus on establishing a mobile optimized website and custom app that promotes the unique experiences it can provide. Your hotel can utilize this opportunity to push messages with selected dates and destinations, in a way that is engaging and relevant to the specific guest. These personalized interactions should continue while the guest is enjoying their stay, enriching their experience with special offers or tailored upgrades, activity recommendations and more. Following their stay, hotels have the opportunity to utilize those technology touchpoints (through the website, app, emails, post-stay surveys, etc.) to follow-up with targeted marketing campaigns that offer relevant content and encourage on-going guest loyalty.Be SocialWe also have to consider the importance of social media. According to Forrester, 60% of the guests in a hotel are social travelers and they love to stay connected online while they travel. It's no surprise that social media platforms should be leveraged as a critical touchpoint and opportunity to connect with and retarget your guests. It also allows hotels to highlight guest experiences during the "in-destination," by sharing their content or positive reviews and further solidifying a connection between their experience and your hotel. Tie it All Together Of course, the concept of personalization goes beyond communication specifics to include the preferred channel for communication with each guest, as well. This means hotels need to utilize their data (using an intuitive guest management tool, for example) to understand which devices their guests use most, and what channel they use most to interact with your hotel. For a hotel to rise above guest expectations and firmly establish guest loyalty, they must continuously prioritize the guest experience, offering value to the traveler at every appropriate moment. By remaining privy to the evolution of guest touchpoints, hotels are able to recognize new opportunities to expand their customer-base at every turn.

Voice of the Guest: How Data Informs the Hotel Guest Experience

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·12 July 2018
What makes an exceptional guest experience? This is the question hoteliers find themselves continuously striving to answer as they work to refine (and evolve) their service offering. However -- this is also a question that can garner countless different answers, depending on which guest you ask. The better question for hospitality experts becomes, what tool or methods can provide hoteliers with critical insights if they had the opportunity to ask every prospective guest what matters most to them? In other words, how can hoteliers capitalize on the fruits of an individual conversation they can't actually have, but need to in order to understand how to provide exceptional, personalized service? Genuinely effective hospitality marketing involves the recognition and understanding of each guest's needs and desires, frustrations, values, travel behaviors, and more.Data is the answer. Data, collected at various touchpoints of the guest experience, and beyond, provides hoteliers with access to the Voice of the Guest--let's call it the VoG. With the right strategy in place, VoG allows you to hone in on important data segments and translate a wide variety of guest opinions, objectives, and expectations into actionable insights for your property. A recent study shows companies using the voice of the customer data have almost ten times as much annual company revenue growth those who do not utilize VoG data. According to the same study, they also have much higher employee engagement and customer retention rates. For hoteliers specifically, this means improvements in guest satisfaction, loyalty, spend, market share, marketing ROI, and more. VoG: Beyond the Feedback Survey It's important to note true VoG extends beyond reviews, surveys, and questionnaires. While these are handy resources to obtain an overview of some aspects of the guest experience, they don't provide the type of intuitive insight we're looking for when we refer to VoG. Why? Because guests may not always be able to effectively communicate what they want through the structured, solicited confines of those tools in a way that is actionable to a hotel. A quick online survey could potentially send a hotel into a damage-control mission over a one-off problem that isn't an actual trend for guests at that hotel. Ultimately, solicited data (while still at times useful) is limiting and can be easily misinterpreted or manipulated to fit agendas that may not be valuable to a hotel long term.Further, most feedback surveys provide information post stay--hoteliers looking to attract guests to their hotels want access to that data ahead of time. Think a proactive marketing approach, versus a strategy that is always reactive in nature.The best approach involves taking those direct requests and recommendations from guests and combining them with the insights revealed through guest behavior. VoG allows hotels to understand each guests' needs, track all feedback in one place, conduct competitive research, and continuously monitor data in an actionable manner. Information isn't of any value to a hotel without context--that's merely the "what" without the "why." Instead, VoG enables hoteliers to understand what guests do, and why they do it.Information + Context = Actionable Value Using various outlets such as social media and online channels, documented guest data and preferences, and booking behaviors to create a comprehensive guest profile, hotels can see the complete, bigger picture. Hoteliers are empowered to effectively anticipate guest needs, answer guest requests, communicate in a personalized manner and deal with any issues that arise in a more proactive way.Ideally, with the right technology in place, hoteliers can access a user-friendly dashboard that displays guest insights derived from a wide range of sources (reviews, OTA's, booking channels, social media, and more). Using this information--which can include direct reviews, search behaviors, stored preferences, social media habits--hoteliers gain a truly holistic view of their guest.A CRM such as the one just described, a Guest Intelligence platform, allows your entire team access to a wealth of guest-centric knowledge, including interactive views of reservation and guest profile data. Moreover, hoteliers can utilize a tool that assigns a score to each guest--better clarifying the way in which they should prioritize guest interaction. This score comprises various indicators, including (but not limited to): social influence, travel behaviors, and demonstrated loyalty, allowing hoteliers to identify those guests who deserve special attention. Armed with this information, hoteliers are better equipped to offer each guest relevant offers and communications, at the right time and through the right channel.Hoteliers today are in a unique position, as the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, AI, popular online channels and communication streams provide more access to guest-specific data than ever before. Capitalizing on VoG, your hotel can build stronger, personalized relationships with each guest, while better identifying problems (even before they happen) and systematically specifying your marketing efforts and investments.Are you ready to see (and understand) the person behind each reservation?
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Concilio Labs and REBEL Travel Corporation Announce a Partnership Aimed at Enhancing the Utilization of Guest Personalization Technology

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·27 June 2018
Concilio Labs, a leading provider in guest intelligence technology that unlocks powerful insights from hotel and guest data, and REBEL Travel Corporation, a global integrated marketing and technology company, today announced their strategic partnership. Concilio Labs' game-changing CRM will help to further REBEL's marketing, distribution, analytics, and technology solutions for hospitality and travel companies worldwide.REBEL plans to leverage Concilio Lab's Insight Engine to help further amplify their clients' ability to engage, understand, and build stronger one-to-one relationships with guests. At a time when hotels want to learn from and communicate more effectively with their guests, capitalizing on this reach will provide an uninhibited view of patterns, preferences, demographics and corresponding expectations, needs and opportunities for individualization."Combining the power of REBEL Travel Corporation's signature solutions with the holistic guest intelligence capabilities of Concilio Labs' Insight Engine will enable our clients to leverage deep data-driven marketing to solidify guest relationships and loyalty in a revolutionary new way," explains Ken Clay, the company's president. "Our clients use our platform to help them attract and know their guests. This partnership was a natural next step for us as we look to enhance our offerings, focusing on better guest experiences and retention through engagement."The need for increased guest personalization has become paramount in the eyes of prospective travelers, a trend which leaders within the hospitality industry must adapt to quickly. Studies show that a growing number of consumers are willing to share their data with trusted companies in exchange for tailored experiences. When considering the impressive buying power of today's tech-savvy travelers, this is more than enough reason for hotels across various sectors to enhance their personalization efforts."We're excited to work with REBEL Travel to empower hoteliers to understand their guests in a way which transforms our industry for guests and hoteliers alike," said Terri Miller, CEO of Concilio Labs. "The power of our guest intelligence platform transforms guest data and allows hoteliers to utilize this data across multiple systems and touchpoints. One of our differentiators is combining multiple data streams to formulate a singular, cohesive guest experience through our easy-to-navigate tool. The forward-thinking team at REBEL is a great fit for our company, and we look forward to continuing to grow together."To learn more about how your property can benefit from improved guest personalization and drive better hotel loyalty, visit conciliolabs.com. About Concilio Labs Concilio Labs is on a mission to solve key issues in hospitality today--those of guest personalization and hotel loyalty--by developing innovative technology solutions that push boundaries. Concilio's Insight Engine, a guest intelligence platform, empowers hoteliers with actionable insights to create personalized guest experiences that go far beyond traditional and existing capabilities in other similar tools. Other core service offerings target guest experience, including tailored mobile app and integrated booking engine solutions for hoteliers looking to take their guest engagement to the next level. The management team has decades of proven experience working with technology leaders giving them the credibility and a deep understanding of the hospitality industry and its growing needs. Concilio Labs is a rapidly growing brand with offices in the Washington, DC area and Ukraine. To learn more, visit conciliolabs.com. About REBEL Travel CorporationMiami Beach-based REBEL Travel Corporation is a provider of marketing, technology, and consulting solutions for the global travel and entertainment industries. For more information about REBEL, its companies, brands, and solution may be obtained by visiting REBEL's website at www.rebel-travel.com.
Article by Terri Miller

Hotel CRMs Are Ready for Innovation

Concilio Labs, Inc. · 1 June 2018
In the fast-paced environment of the hospitality industry, most hoteliers would agree that developing and sustaining strong guest relationships is key to long term success. For that reason, customer relationship management (CRM) tools have become one of the most valuable strategic and tactical solutions in the hotel ecosystem. Over the last few years, the leading hotel CRM platforms have advanced to become much more guest-centric, enabling visibility into centralized guest history data, preferences, and buying behaviors, while also acting as highly effective outbound email marketing solutions. In fact, it's noted that 79% of leads fail to convert without a CRM, and the ROI on CRM is usually more than $5 to every $1 invested. However, as the modern guest continues to evolve, and the number of communication channels continues to grow, it has become apparent that the potential for CRM influence is exponential.Does Collaboration Brings Innovation to Life?In technology, successful implementation of new ideas require collaboration with complementary partners. When it comes to CRM advancements, one may believe this could be the secret sauce for innovation and market leadership. Many of the most popular hotel CRM solutions were developed before the digital age took over. This means they are often limited when it comes to flexibility and may have challenges when it comes to taking advantage of the ever-growing web, social community-driven sources, and self-maintenance of guest data. Acquiring digital agility often requires a significant investment of time and resources. So do these hotel CRMs accelerate quickly to meet emerging demands? By fostering innovation via symbiotic partnerships and integrations. At Concilio Labs, we've developed an intelligence platform that unlocks powerful insights from hotel and guest data to take any CRM to the next level.Getting PersonalConcilio's technology makes it possible to create meaningful interactions throughout the entire guest journey, starting at pre-arrival and continuing to post-stay. Each touchpoint presents an opportunity to establish a long-term, mutually beneficial loyalty relationship and, without these relevant insights, hoteliers could be missing out entirely. A holistic guest view delivers information and context beyond general preferences. What is the travel intent and purpose? What do buying behaviors say about who travelers are and what they look for in a trip? Do they have an extensive personal network? Could they drive loyalty through that social influence? Further, with access to more in-depth guest insights, hoteliers can better tailor individual or collective marketing efforts to communicate and sell to guests in a more personalized, effective manner. Our proprietary guest scoring systems reveals the real person behind every reservation and their value to the hotel.Tapping Into SocialWith digital influence, social media exists as an incredible channel through which hotels can connect with their guests.Using the social insights gathered by a comprehensive CRM tool (or tools), hoteliers can compile a guest profile that will help determine each guest's value to a hotel. Combining reservation, guest, and marketing data with each guest's online behavior and persona, hoteliers, can then create tailored marketing campaigns to communicate intelligently to guests. This helps hoteliers to strengthen their guest relationships and better affirm their value by anticipating guest needs and expectations before they even arrive on property. Further, hoteliers can also determine who may deserve special attention, based on extensive social influence and long-term loyalty value to the hotel. After all, the number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion -- that's a lot of potential influence!Targeted CampaignsAnalyzing guest data and understanding demographic groups, psychographics, and value can steer guests towards the products or services best suited to their needs. Data can also drive geo-targeted ads that are tailored to guests in town for events, offering relevant promotions via multiple channels. The culmination of location data within a visual CRM solution also helps hoteliers to stay on top of their property and any related feedback (especially for multiple locations), to be more attentive to the guest commentary, both positive and negative. After all, it is one thing to understand your guests and quite another to be able to act on that data -- insights should be about a (highly effective) a means to an end.

How to Deliver Personalized Guest Experiences in the Age of GDPR and Data Privacy Concerns

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·18 May 2018
Hotels are faced with an interesting dilemma. We're entering a time of hyper-personalization -- guests show dominating preference for hospitality experiences which are more unique in nature and catered to individual needs/expectations. However, riding the coattails of the on-going personalization trend comes the initial implementation of GDPR on May 25th.For those unfamiliar, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims strengthen and unify data protection for individuals within the European Union (EU). This legislation, which applies to guests and employees, brings with it a large number of changes relating to the use of personal data.This is where the dueling conundrum lies. With all these rules and guidelines, how will hotels remain competitive in their quest to deliver the exceptional, personalized service guests expect? How can hotels be expected to get personal if they have limited access to personal data?We're here to break it down for you.What Constitutes 'Personal Data'?In order to understand the expectations (and subsequent limitations) of the new protocol, we need to first gain an understanding of what exactly GDPR defines as the "personal data" of guests and hotel employees.In the case of GDPR, personal data is "any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person ('data subject')". Basically, this could include an individual's name, identification number, location data, online identifiers, their physical appearance, and more. Consider this the beginning tier of data classification, while other personal information such as political beliefs, biometric data, genetic information, is considered sensitive and is therefore held to a higher standard of security.Why GDPR?You may be wondering why this new legislation has come to fruition. Over time it has been noted that the hospitality industry is exceptionally vulnerable to data-related threats. From pre-stay to post-stay, guests are engaged in a near limitless number of transactions, which involve the exchange of sensitive information in addition to credit card data. In fact, according to the Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations, the hotel industry accounted for the second largest share of security breaches in 2016.GDPR has been formulated in an effort to remedy this trend in the EU, compelling hotels to upgrade their data protection processes to meet new, improved standards. Those hotels who do not meet the standards enforced by GDPR will face serious financial penalties, with costs up to EUR20 million or 4 per cent of worldwide annual turnover (whichever is greater).How Can Hotels Collect Personal Data for GDPR?While it may seem daunting at first glance, the GDPR legislation shouldn't act as an impenetrable barrier between hoteliers and their guests.With GDPR in place, personal data must be collected for specified explicit purposes. Further, data cannot be captured (with consent for a specific information exchange) and then used for other purposes, unless consent is readily provided and documented. Let's consider a common example. Imagine a guest has supplied their email address at the time of booking a hotel. Under GDPR's regulations, you cannot use that email for email marketing at a later stage, unless the guest provided documented consent (likely through an 'opt-in' feature) for that use.Due to the dynamic nature of hotel services and touch points, it's likely that guests' personal details are shared amongst different areas of a hotel's operation (the front desk, spa, restaurants etc.). In preparation of GDPR, hotels' management teams should set aside time to complete a data mapping process that clarifies what data is captured, where that information is stored and how it can be used -- in order to protect and monitor it appropriately.Hoteliers should also take a closer look at their third-party partnerships, to ensure there is no risk to the security of guest data within those touchpoints, as well. Why is this so important? Under the standards of GDPR, if a hotel is outsourcing the process of data to a third party who is not complying with GDPR regulations, the hotel and the third-party processor can be held jointly responsible if a breach occurs.GDPR might leave some hoteliers feeling nervous as they prepare for changes to their current data processes, especially considering how many hotels rely on email marketing as a critical pillar to their business model. However, it's important to recognize the opportunity this legislation provides to establish more open communication streams with guests. In order to access and use their personal data, hotels must now develop a communications strategy that allows guests to know exactly what their data is being used for, and why. Essentially, hoteliers will be expected to talk with their guests, in a more holistic and transparent manner, to determine what they want out of their experience.In many ways, GDPR may ultimately yield a positive outcome for hoteliers and for guests. By forcing an opt-in and being specific about how information will be used, hoteliers will be left with a database of clients that are interested in receiving relevant guest experiences, marketing messages, and perhaps more receptive to booking or becoming loyal to your hotel.Additionally, it forces hoteliers to become smarter about what data they request and keep. The data which hoteliers must access to satiate and earn the loyalty of modern guests speaks to their preferences. What wine do they like, what type of pillow do they prefer, what other items, service styles or experiences will make their stay more enjoyable? The use of this type of data should be easy to obtain guest consent for, as it will ensure their visit meets (and exceeds) their expectations.

Hotels Have a Growing Guest Loyalty Problem ... and They May Not Even Know It

Concilio Labs, Inc. · 3 May 2018
"We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better." - Jeff BezosThe ability to inspire guest loyalty is, without a doubt, a valuable predictor of long-term success within the hospitality industry. Loyal guests bring recurring revenue, and positive reviews, feedback, and recommendations, inspiring a virtuous circle of reward.However, there has been much discussion as of late alluding to the steady demise of traditional loyalty programs. The question has become less about how to make incremental changes to existing programs, but a larger issue entirely. Is guest loyalty dead?The short answer is no, loyalty is still very much alive. But the way that many hoteliers and brands have traditionally approached loyalty programs in a pure play "points for stay" manner is fast becoming passe.According to research by loyalty-focused agency MBLM, travel brands have the least loyal relationships with consumers when compared to other industries. This is also supported by research from Wyndham, which shows that the structure of many hotel loyalty programs leaves travelers "confused and disappointed."The challenge with points and redemption-based loyalty models is they've become so plentiful they no longer make guests feel genuinely 'special', recognized or appreciated, per se. These systems often fail to drive guest engagement, in this respect, and don't meet the needs of small-to-medium-sized brands looking to make a more personal connection with their guests.Guests should recognize loyalty with hotels based upon how they are treated by the hotel staff, the hotel brands, and how their needs are met -- not by enrolling in a program that simply incentivizes them get more room nights for free.Ideally, your loyalty program should have the capacity to look beyond transient guests who create a false hierarchy. Further, we have to consider the inclusion of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). As they promote the availability of EXPEDIA loyalty numbers, or a booking.com number, guests may no longer see the value in expressing conscious loyalty to a specific hotel brand. OTAs typically have larger marketing budgets and can readily undermine traditional loyalty efforts.Ultimately, in this new era of travel, one-size-fits-all models are failing to impress travelers and establish long-term loyalty or getting drowned out by OTA competition, so what should hotels focus on instead?The future of hotel loyalty programs should center around personalized experiences and the creation of holistic hotel-to-guest relationships, as curated with the help of insight-driven data. Hotels should have technology in place to know who their most loyal guests are based upon data aggregation per guest, and award loyalty based on spend or night stay loyalty, rather than points. Hotels should be looking to incentivize their best customers to come back--ideally through direct booking--by targeting those guests with personalized, relevant offers each and every stay. The tiers for loyalty consideration could include average spend, positive reviews and online engagement, social media influence, booking behavior and more. With access to a comprehensive guest profile guest profile based on relevant data, these qualifying factors should be within reach for any hotel staff.With the use of data to create personalized experiences, your hotel can better deliver on your brand promise and the best service possible, while continuously exceeding guest expectations. It is only once hotels begin to see guests as individuals, rather than personas or points collectors, that loyalty can truly be of value once again.
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Using Predictive Guest Intelligence to Drive Guest Retention and Revenue

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·19 April 2018
Concilio Labs, a leading hospitality technology company, today announced the release of a new e-book titled, "Using Predictive Guest Intelligence to Drive Guest Retention and Revenue." As the gap between guest expectations and hotels continuing to grow, the revealing e-book uncovers actionable strategies to better understand and measure up against those expectations.Predictive Guest Intelligence (PGI) takes a high-level look at all the data available from critical indicators such as buying behaviors, travel purpose, social media, interests, booking channels, guest feedback and more. This information can then be translated into insights, predictions, and recommendations that give hotels a closer look at each guest and what drives their intention. It also helps hoteliers to act on those insights to encourage personalized service, increased sales, and loyal, long-term guests.Highlights in the e-book include:Leveraging guest profiles and scoresPredicting guest needs and fulfilling their expectationsUsing guest data to create customized upsell and cross-sellHow to act on guest insights"For hoteliers, acquiring new guests is only half the equation," explains Terri Miller, CEO of Concilio Labs. "Ensuring they have a great stay is the key to keep them coming back. Predictive Guest Intelligence helps hotels better understand their guests to determine what they want. By leveraging the right technology, PGI works to provide specific, intelligent recommendations backed by machine learning and analytics that make it easy for hotels to deliver the recognition today's discerning guests crave."To download a complimentary copy of "Using Predictive Guest Intelligence to Drive Guest Retention and Revenue," please click here or visit http://info.conciliolabs.com/predictive-guest-intelligence-ebook-drive-actionable-insights-using-personalization.

Why A Mobile App May Be Key to Designing a Better Guest Experience

Concilio Labs, Inc. · 5 April 2018
When was the last time you used an app? Today? An hour ago? A few minutes ago? For most of us, apps have become an integrated part of our daily life -- we might not even realize the extent to which we rely on them. Our smartphone behavior is typically centered around the convenience and connection that apps readily provide. Despite this prevalence, there has long existed a trend of some businesses hesitating to break into the realm of mobile apps; a hesitation which may also extend to hotels. The push for technological innovation only continues to grow and, with it, comes the relevance of investing in a native app experience for your guests.With global mobile app downloads set to reach 284 billion by 2020, can your hotel really afford to miss out?The 'Why' Behind the Push for Mobile AppsAs of 2016, the total number of mobile hotel bookings reached 148.3 million. Guests' desire for mobile engagement extends far beyond the reservation process, including pre-arrival messages, check-in, check-out, mobile room keys, concierge, room management and upgrades, special offers, and more. In fact, guests' orders increase by 18-20% when a mobile app is available. An impressive 83% of guests also wish to receive hotel service promotions on their devices.Ideally, guests should be able to pull out their smartphone at the airport, open their hotel's mobile app and request airport transfers, early check-in, and confirm booking information. Upon arrival to the hotel, guests may even elect to bypass the front desk line and head directly to their room, unlocking it with the hotel app's mobile integration with its door management technology. Throughout their stay, guests should also be able to receive specially curated mobile offers through the app, book on-property restaurant or spa reservations, arrange for wake-up calls, car service, order room service, engage with hotel staff and much more. While some of these functions, such as booking information, can easily be accessed via a hotel's mobile responsive website, other functions, like smart door integrations, require a dedicated app.Apps also allow valuable insights regarding guest behavior, which can then be utilized and leveraged to create a personalized guest experience. As guests interact freely with the app, your hotel can create a guest profile that outlines their specific preferences, on-property behavior, spending habits, social media engagement, and more. Additionally, apps help to cater to the tech-savvy generation of millennial travelers who expect convenient, immediate access to information, prefer the low-touch service model, and assume timely staff response to requests or complaints on a 24/7 basis. The Mobile Movement: Web vs. AppMobile responsive websites will always be imperative to a hotel's success in today's tech-savvy landscape where the guest is looking for information about the hotels amenities, location, and making bookings. However, many properties may benefit from apps for specific behaviors that enhance guest experience and engagement, particularly while on property. Thanks to push notifications and alerts, apps become a far more interactive experience for guests. A well-done mobile app can open up opportunities for greater revenue before, during, and after their stay. The data gleaned from in-app usage is also helpful. Apps typically gain access to smartphone features such as location tracking and camera, potentially allowing properties to create visually interactive experiences that enhance marketing efforts. When synced with social media feeds (via a social login) hoteliers may leverage the ability to create user-generated content or gain access to public profiles and friends lists.Last, but certainly not least, while websites (accessed from a mobile device) generally require an active data connection or Wi-Fi, apps work both online and offline. If properly managed, your app can act as an uninhibited connection to your guest, encouraging them to interact with your hotel based on customized preferences while constantly storing or caching data for future use. Perfect Your App's Offering(s)Your hotel is faced with a myriad of options when it comes to what type of app you might want developed that will amplify your brand and increase guest engagement. Do you want your app to primarily offer a fast, frictionless booking system? Mobile, keyless entry to guests' hotel rooms? Alternatively, you might prefer to build it out to include loyalty programs, special offers and guest use while on-property as well, such as: - Chat with hotel staff- Receive push notifications for real-time promotions- Obtain recommendations for nearby activities- Order room service or make restaurant reservations- In-room controls and connectivityConstant connectivity and convenience, increased revenue opportunities, improved marketing initiatives, and additional guest engagements are key reasons why to have an app. However, the most critical factor in guest adoption and subsequent satisfaction lies in the app's ease of use. Whether guests are relying on the app to book their upcoming stay, or to interact with the hotel throughout their entire visit, their mobile experience should be seamless and user-friendly. This requires the creation of a thought through user journey and thoroughly tested app before it is rolled out to guests in any official capacity. Whatever your app's promise to your guest is, ensure it delivers every time.

Leveraging Customer Intelligence and Analytics to Drive ROI

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·22 March 2018
So the question evolves. How do you best map out and utilize the information gathered about guests to maximize ROI?Single vs. Holistic Guest ViewA single guest view represents an aggregated, consistent and holistic representation of the data known by a hotel about its guests that can be viewed in one place. This is the result of gathering, matching, and effectively breaking down data you've collected to gain a more accurate understanding of their motivators to better target your marketing efforts.A holistic guest view is a guest-centric marketing model that is derived from a comprehensive, holistic view of your guest. While these concepts are similar in nature, the holistic approach, as one might assume from the name, is the preferred method. It leverages all internal and external sources of data to clearly identify each individual guest, as well as their corresponding wants and needs. If implemented properly, a holistic guest view represents a 360-degree approach to all interactions.This information should be pulled from social channels, surveys, guest history, feedback forms, online reviews, and more. Using the holistic guest view, you won't just be able to increase your level of service and satisfaction; you'll also be able to prevent potential issues, drive engagement, and identify relevant social influencers.Maximizing a Holistic ApproachTo effectively utilize and maximize ROI from a holistic guest view, it is important to aggregate and access to all of this guest-specific information in one place (the Concilio Insights Engine is ideal). This will enable you to navigate through dashboards and views to extract guest personas, trends, timely campaign suggestions, and more. With access to this intelligence readily available, you should be able to answer the following questions with ease:Who are your guests (scores/personas)?How did they become your guests?What are they saying about your hotel online?What is their booking and buying behavior, and has it evolved over time?How do you keep your best guests loyal?What channels do your guests and potential guests prefer?What opportunities are there to maximize guest value through upsell or cross-sell offers?What are your most common guest complaints, if any? How could those be remedied?How much should I invest to acquire and retain loyal guests?What is each guest's value to your hotel?Social Listening -- Are You Plugged In?Social listening - taking advantage of outside sources of information where your guests share robust and distinct personal opinions and preferences - is critical to succeeding in a holistic view approach.Whether your guests are active on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Vero, or TripAdvisor, their online persona offers a wealth of information.Tapping into this data, one can identify, address, and find solutions to complaints that guests have about their experience with your hotel, while also becoming aware of (and responsive to) positive feedback. You can also identify potential travelers who would be interested in your property's offerings, as well as those guests who could act as positive social influencers for your brand.In fact, this is where a 'guest scoring system' can come into play. In a scoring system, guests' value are ranked based on their social engagement, booking tendencies, purchasing behaviors, and other criteria.The holistic guest view offers key competitive and business advantages, giving you access to everything you need to make more profitable marketing decisions.A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words -- Or, A Lot of DataFurther to the penchant for social media exhibited by the modern guest, we also must remember the importance of visual data. Leisure trips are often defined by their ongoing documentation through means of photos, videos, and more. This visual content, when posted to social platforms, can help you to better understand how your guest feels about your hotel and the experience that it offers.With a solution that is built around the holistic guest view, the ongoing analysis of public, visual content as it relates to your guests can reveal potential issues or complaints to your team in real time. Additionally, positive images shared by guests can (with proper permissions) be utilized to promote your hotel while further establishing a unique, personalized relationship with that guest.Location-Based IntelligenceIt's not enough to just know what your guests are saying; it's equally important to understand where that feedback is coming from. For larger hotel chains with various locations across different sectors, it's important to understand your guests' experience at every location. Using this location-based data, you can readily identify any gaps in your brand consistency as it relates to your hotel's offerings and guest feedback/approval ratings.For heightened guest satisfaction, engagement, and ROI within your marketing campaigns, look no further than the holistic guest view.For questions about how to implement a holistic guest view solution at your property, reach out to terri@conciliolabs.com.

Concilio Labs CEO Terri Miller Talks About the Impact of GDPR on Hotels and Their Guests

Concilio Labs, Inc. ·15 March 2018
Recognized as an industry expert on hospitality technology, eCommerce, and business intelligence, Terri Miller, CEO and co-founder of Concilio Labs, discusses the impending European General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR) and what that means for hoteliers.Why has GDPR become such a top-of-mind issue for the hospitality industry?The May 2018 deadline for GDPR implementation will significantly change the way hoteliers handle guest data. Having guest's personal data stored in the cloud has become a necessity for today's hotelier.Until now, fines for breach of data protection regulations were limited and enforcement actions infrequent. GDPR, on the other hand, promotes the risk of costly penalties in the event of incompliance and data breaches.Even though GDPR applies specifically to EU countries only, in today's global society, it is likely that most hotels touch EU citizens in some form or fashion - and so they must comply with regulations. GDPR is also seen as a "first move" towards greater information transparency and security overall, and thus many savvy hoteliers, even those outside of the EU, are using the new regulations as a way to get their marketing, data management, and privacy programs into shape.How do you see the GDPR affecting hotel companies' strategies and habits over time?Fundamentally, GDPR requires hotels to be transparent about what data they collect as well as to take responsibility for what they--and their partners-- do with that data. Many industries, including hospitality, are struggling when it comes to winning and keeping their customers' trust. GDPR is about bringing consumers into the data ecosystem by allowing them to see, access and consent to the data that companies have and utilize.How do you see the GDPR affecting guest expectations and behaviors?The processing of personal data should be designed to serve the guest. If hotels don't honor that principle, guests will become distrustful and certainly less loyal. They may even begin to lie when asked for non-essential information. They may also shame brands that don't follow the GDPR standards of transparency and choice.We need to make guests feel as if a data exchange is beneficial - better data for better guest experiences - vs. data used simply for the purposes of mass-distributed marketing.In the short term, hotels can look to GDPR as an opportunity. Among many regulations, GDPR requires hotels to ask customers to "opt in" to marketing communications. By playing their cards correctly, hotels can use their opt-in as a chance to re-engage with guests and educate them on the benefits of data sharing to improve the guest journey.I believe that most guests will be happy to grant access to their data if their needs are being met.The GDPR introduces the concept of profiling. How will that impact hotel marketing and personalized guest service practices?The GDPR describes profiling as any form of automated processing of personal data, in particular to analyze or predict aspects concerning that natural person's performance at work, economic situation, health, personal preferences, interests, reliability, behavior, location or movements.For hoteliers, the ability to leverage guest profiling is essential when it comes to personalized, relevant marketing and services. Not only can profiling deliver benefits to the hotel-- it can also deliver benefits to guests by tailoring services and offers to align with their preferences, interests and guest history. Hoteliers will need to ensure that all profiling has met the core GDPR requirements including data permission, data access, and data focus - and honor any requests or objections from guests.For some hoteliers, it will require very little change. For others, it will require a whole new set of data management systems and processes.What do hoteliers need to do next when it comes to GDPR?To start, hoteliers must prioritize based on their resources, locations, guest expectations and risk profile. I think the most critical first phase is to audit the data they already have and develop an efficient and robust record-keeping system to prove compliance. The next step is to do a privacy impact assessment of all sources to determine when it seems data could be put at risk and respond quickly to mitigate it.GDPR offers a unique opportunity to develop completely new ways of working that are based on the key principles of trust and transparency. Ultimately, in the long run, data protection and privacy will become more of a brand differentiator, so those who do the right thing will win.Concilio Labs is working with clients to ensure their data gathering and storage protocol for its Insight Engine product remains compliant with GDPR regulations.To learn more about Concilio Lab's Insight Engine and how it can transform your guest personalization, visit conciliolabs.com.
Article by Terri Miller

Turn Data into Insights to Know What Your Guests Want, Creating Memorable Hotel Guest Experiences Along the Way

Concilio Labs, Inc. · 8 March 2018
This small discussion illustrates an issue that hoteliers face every day. Beyond the obvious differences of luxury vs. budget, business vs. leisure, and Brand A vs. Brand B, what truly drives a guest to your hotel, and what makes them loyal? While the retail industry has been quick to adapt to these changing consumer expectations, the hospitality industry has lagged, and is only now realizing that today's guest expects the same personalized experience as shoppers in retail and grocery stores.By analyzing consumer data and understanding demographic groups, psychographics, and values, hotels can guide their guests towards the products or services best suited to their needs. This is the personalized touch that we all have come to expect. Today's consumers engage with companies that not only reflect their values, but also those companies that know what they want - seemingly even before the customer even realizes it is their desire. Using Data to Drive Marketing & ExperiencesUnderstanding your guest's ever-evolving expectations requires the collection, analysis, and application of actionable insights gathered from various guest behavior indicators. These may include: booking tendencies, travel type, entertainment preferences, purchase behavior, social media, and more. Armed with this information, hoteliers can carefully curate customized services, as well as off and on-site engagement. As you determine actionable campaigns and offers from the data collected, ensure that you have a clear objective in mind - loyalty or new customers? Or is it owning the hotel experience?. Turning Data into InsightsGreat retail-specific examples of leveraging data include Amazon, which curates its next purchase suggestions or 'daily deals' based on products you've viewed and expressed interest in before. Similarly, retail giant H&M recently partnered with the online game MyTown to gather and use information on customer location. If potential customers are playing the game on a mobile device near an H&M store and check in, H&M rewards them with virtual clothing and points; if they scan promoted products in the store, it enters them in a sweepstakes. Early results show that of 700,000 customers who checked in online, nearly half went into the store and scanned an item.By using software that provides actionable insights, this is also within the hoteliers reach. You can track pages that guests visit, how they interact during their stay at your hotel property, what they spend on services, and how they pay. If you notice that first-time guests traveling with children tend to engage mainly with family-friendly activities, you might send them a specialized offer for on-property daycare/camp for the kids, and an adult-specific activity for the parents. You can also curate timed offers, such as flash sales, which display a countdown mechanism to show how quickly time to claim a special offer or upgrade is running out. You also should to take into consideration the purchase channel preference each guest has --via mobile, desktop, phone, email, or app. If your data reveals many of your guests prefer to receive offers on the go, for example, ensure that upgrades and specials are easily redeemable from your mobile platform. If you are losing bookings on desktop devices, add an extra "book now" special incentive, such as a hotel credit.In the case of my peanut butter debate, I had a digital coupon, and the grocery store's app reminded me this was one of my most popular "frequently purchased items." The woman I met chose the store brand, primarily because it was cheapest. Had she been served a targeted offer, might she have purchased elsewhere? We'll never know.These technologies already exist. They will transform each guest's experience with your hotel, and also the way in which your hotel understands and engages with each guest. Ask yourself, as a hotelier, are you keeping yourself relevant, leveraging data and advanced guest insights to exceed expectations? Ultimately, the more you invest in understanding your guest's needs (even better than they do, at times), you can trust they will always invest back in you.If you're interested in talking more about Concilio's Insight Engine, feel free to contact me at terri@conciliolabs.com. I'll happily bring some peanut butter treats to our discussion.

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