A Revenue 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 Revenue Manager plays when it comes to CRM.
The revenue manager is primarily concerned with driving revenue. Their use of CRM software tends to be limited, but because CRM efforts have a direct impact on revenue generation they have an important stake in their success. For example, if the hotel is forecasting to fall short of budget, a targeted email campaign with an enticing offer may provide the bump in revenue needed to achieve budget. The revenue manager therefore works closely with the CRM team to identify revenue opportunities, create marketing campaigns, and play their part in building guest satisfaction.
Key areas of responsibility
- Planning. Oversees the implementation of CRM software, staff training, testing and maintenance, and acts as key operator and liaison to the CRM provider.
- Pre-stay communications. As head of the reservations department, works with marketing to design pre-stay templates, including confirmations, changes and cancellations.
- Revenue generation. Over the course of the year, identifies periods of low and high demand and works with marketing to create targeted email campaigns to drive higher occupancy, ADR and total spend.
- Incremental revenue. Optimizes opportunities to increase overall spend such as upgrade offers and invitations to pre-order amenities.
- Data integrity. Trains agents to update guest profiles at time of reservation with thorough, accurate information and to search existing profiles to avoid duplicates.
- Loyalty. Ensures that agents recognize repeat guests, prioritize frequent guests for preferential treatment, and invite new guests to join the loyalty program.
- Communication. Loads promotions, special offers and conditions into the PMS, CRS and distribution channels and ensures that staff are aware of them.
- Template updates. Works with marketing to ensure that information on pre-stay templates is kept up to date, including cancellation policies, taxes, fees and hours of operation, and that guests are notified of special events, closures and renovations.
- Data analysis. Uses the CRM to view data and trends related to revenue generation, booking codes and sources, country of origin, and marketing campaigns.
CRM tips and best practices for the Revenue Manager
- Collect email. For CRM, the email address is the most vital piece of contact information. It’s essential that reservations agents collect the guest’s email where possible when taking voice reservations, along with mobile number and mailing address.
- Direct is best. Ensure that all staff understand the value of direct bookings, and work with marketing to create campaigns to encourage return guests to book directly.
- Get creative. Work with marketing to find creative ways to enhance the guest experience while driving incremental revenue such as suite specials, food and beverage discounts, and late checkout offers.
- Be a stickler. Conduct regular data quality checks to ensure that staff complete guest profiles thoroughly and accurately, bring errors and omissions to their attention.
Would you like to find out more about how CRM fits in with your role? Download our full guide on CRM team best practices.