A General Manager's guide to hotel CRM
Hotels use CRM to engage guests from the moment they book a room, throughout their stay, and on to every return visit. Every touch point along the way, from personalized marketing emails to confirmation to survey or post-stay offer, tells the guest, “We understand you, we value your business, and we’re here to help.” But CRM doesn’t just happen naturally. Whether you work for an independent boutique hotel or a big-brand resort, you need a clear understanding of goals and responsibilities. You also need fast, reliable software that works quietly in the background, automating guest communications, collecting data, and building rich guest profiles.
Behind every successful CRM program is a team of committed staff, for many hotels, they are made up of:
- Marketing Manager/Director of Marketing
- Front Office Manager
- Guest Relations Manager
- Revenue Manager
- General Manager
To ensure that no opportunity is missed and no guest is overlooked, all members of the CRM team should have a clear understanding of their individual roles and responsibilities. In this article, we take a look at the important role the General Manager plays when it comes to CRM.
As the individual ultimately responsible for keeping guests, employees and owners happy, the general manager is pulled in many directions. By providing daily snapshots of guest activity, special requests and guest feedback, CRM software helps the GM to save time and stay informed.
How involved the GM is in CRM will depend on the structure of the hotel. In smaller hotels, the GM may actively participate in marketing, revenue management and guest relations efforts. In larger hotels, the GM may leave the day-to-day decisions to department heads and focus on planning, leadership and staff development.
In any size of hotel, the GM must ensure that staff fulfill their CRM responsibilities, follow best practices, and deliver on brand promises.
KEY AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY
- Planning. The GM focuses on the big picture and long-term planning. They work with the CRM team to determine CRM goals, objectives and strategies and align them with the hotel’s overall objectives, positioning and values. The GM ensures that staff have the training and resources needed to achieve goals and objectives.
- Leadership. Supports the CRM team’s efforts, instilling in all employees the importance of CRM activities, guest feedback and data management. Leads staff to fulfill brand promises and guest expectations. Constantly reinforces the goals of CRM to increase guest satisfaction, engagement, loyalty, advocacy and profitability.
- Guest experience. Ensures that staff use CRM software to its fullest capabilities, elevating service standards, personalization, and the overall guest experience.
- Reports. Keeps on top of operations by reading daily arrivals, in-house and departures lists, guest surveys and reviews. Reviews weekly and monthly CRM summary reports and provides insight and direction to staff as needed.
- Marketing campaigns. Works with marketing and revenue management to identify revenue opportunities, conceive campaigns, and analyze results.
- Guest feedback. Works with the CRM team to design guest surveys, analyze survey and review performance, and use guest feedback as a constructive learning tool to coach staff and guide improvements.
- Operational support. Lends assistance and expertise as needed, greeting VIP guests, problem solving, resolving staff issues, and managing guest complaints.
CRM TIPS AND BEST PRACTICES FOR THE GENERAL MANAGER
- Know the software. Take the time to learn how to use CRM software in order to access information when and where you need it and provide direction to the team.
- Support CRM activities. Show how important CRM is to your property by chairing CRM meetings, discussing marketing campaigns, and sharing survey comments in staff meetings. Recognize and reward employees for their achievements.
- Keep staff on their toes. On daily rounds, check in with staff to inquire about incoming and in-house VIPs, special requests, and the latest marketing campaigns, upsell initiatives, guest feedback, and CRM insights.
Would you like to find out more about how CRM fits in with your role? Download our CRM best practice guide via the link below.