Cendyn helps luxury hotel brand cleanse, merge & dedupe CRM data
Putting data strategy at the heart of what they do
Cendyn embarked on a mission to help an APAC-based hotel brand centralize their CRM infrastructure, and cleanse, merge, dedupe and refine the data in their CRM platform. The goal was to achieve real actionable insights across various hotel departments, drive revenue, increase loyalty and elevate the overall guest experience.
“Acquiring new customers costs seven times more than retaining existing customers. Therefore, knowing who your guests are and having your data accessible and actionable is crucial to the success of any business intelligence platform.”, said the hotel’s Corporate Director of CRM.
The hotel’s central database featured a mix of dirty and incomplete data, from a variety of sources. There was limited visibility, and therefore no clear path for anyone to understand what data existed and how that data could be used.
While the hotel had been a Cendyn customer for several years, the CRM platform was not being leveraged to its full capabilities due to the incomplete and duplicated data imported from many different, siloed channels across the portfolio.
There were several primary objectives at the outset of the CRM transformation:
- Build a data-driven culture through employee awareness and training
- Drive hotel adoption of data governance best practices
- Increase room and ancillary revenues by catering to personalized experiences
- Personalize the guest experience online and offline to maximize functionality
- Provide hotels full visibility into their guest database with actionable insight
DATA CLEAN UP AND DEDUPING
Setting the scope & building a team
- Build a team with dedicated roles and responsibilities
- Continuously monitor business rules
- Create a UAT testing environment to safely audit & test business rules
- Define QA processes at each phase of data transformation
With limited in-house resources, the hotel worked with Cendyn to bring on a dedicated Data Analyst and Project Manager from Cendyn Professional Services.
Clean up database and collect accurate & actionable data
The hotel’s main strategy centered on collecting accurate contact information, including each guest’s name, address, email, and phone number, which allowed for better results around data appends, merging and deduping.
To help generate awareness about data collection internally, the CRM team created a data report which was shared with the hotels weekly to track their data collection progress.
“Collecting complete and valid postal addresses at the ground level became even more critical due to the pandemic. As hotels re-open, the ability to target a drive-in guest vs a fly-in guest is a key initiative for our rebound strategies to remain competitive as the market starts to bounce back.”
MECE & testing business rules
With the full audit of existing business rules complete, the next phase was testing to determine if any additional custom rules were required. At this stage, Cendyn introduced the hotel to a new methodology known as MECE (Mutually Exclusive & Collectively Exhaustive), which is a principle used to describe a way of organizing information to understand and fix any large problem.
MECE can show exactly what happened both before and after a specific business rule is turned on, and the numbers it generates can help determine whether a rule is too granular or if it requires changes to training and SOPs at the hotel level. Every business rule had their own MECE report. MECE helped identify and correct items like extra dashes or spaces, misspelled email domains (‘gnail’ instead of ‘gmail’), etc. The ability to fix common misspellings is a unique benefit of Cendyn as most automated systems only look for syntax issues.
“Harnessing data from all touchpoints allows us to create unique experiences for guests both online and offline. Taking a strategic approach with a dedicated CRM director and CRM partner was instrumental in driving operational excellence, creating dynamic messaging, and delivering a single view of guest profiles.”
Enacting GDPR compliance
During the course of the CRM project, Cendyn also assisted with enacting the hotel’s GDPR compliance. Cendyn helped with the implementation of a data cleanse process to correct faulty location data attached to guest profiles. As a result, the marketing team was able to accurately filter audiences by their postal data and apply the correct GDPR regulations.
Guest profile consolidation & rankings
Another main challenge the hotel wanted to resolve was creating a way to accurately view repeat stays, cross stays, and break down revenue spend into ancillary categories – some of the biggest factors in identifying their best guests. This meant not only cleaning up the backend of the database, but streamlining the customer facing application, and consolidating guest profiles to get an accurate picture of stays and revenue breakdown (Spa, F&B, etc.).
MECE reports were created for before and after the cleanse and dedupe, and the results were significant. By merging duplicate profiles of the same guest, they moved up or down in the rankings, allowing the hotel to see the actual number of nights stayed across multiple properties, offering a truer representation of their guests.
Merging & deduping
The next phase in the process was to enable the merging and deduping to further reduce unneeded profiles. An extensive set of rules and considerations were required to carry this out, followed-up by continuous monitoring.
ANALYSIS AND MEASUREMENT
To make the data actionable, the CRM Director created a database gap analysis using three years of PMS data for each of the brand’s 28 hotels. The analysis showed all the missing customer data fields and broke them down by Source of Business, Origin of Business, and Market Segment.
The gap analysis gave the hotel brand greater visibility of their data and areas of focus that needed improvement. They quickly identified which channels they could improve through data collection, such as their call center, direct email reservation and web portal. For third-party vendor data, the hotel created separate solutions to improve data coming from external sources.
“Together with Cendyn, we tailored specific solutions and considerations that allow multiple business units to come together within the CRM ecosystem. Cross department collaboration helped uncover untapped ROI potential resulting in higher revenues, campaign performance and operational efficiencies.”
CRM initiated S.M.A.R.T. Goals – Measuring data integrity & data growth
The hotel introduced the use of a CRM score to track progress and measure the success of the CRM initiative across the portfolio. As result of adding the CRM score to the weekly hotel reports, there was a spike in hotel-level adoption and improvements to the overall database.
Each property is also evaluated using two different but vital attributes: database integrity and database growth. Database integrity is what the operational team is responsible for as it focuses on data quality and complete guest profiles, which are crucial for the business rules to work properly. Database growth looks at the increase invalid email addresses for marketing purposes.
CREATING A HOTEL FEEDBACK LOOP
The ongoing training and weekly data capture reports create an invaluable feedback loop with every hotel. Regular surveys are sent to the 28 hotels following CRM presentations, and the feedback received drives the technology roadmap in terms of future enhancements and helps the CRM team provide the best solutions possible.
- 20% of guest profiles were merged and deduped
- 21% of guest profiles were archived due to missing profile data
- 46% of guest profiles were cleansed and updated
- 75% lift in validated postal addresses
- Corrected thousands of invalid country codes from PMS system defaults
- Doubled data append match rates driving further insights and enriched guest profiles with demo and lifestyle data buckets & badges
- Improved reporting accuracy on Repeat vs New analysis to better recognize guest loyalty
- Improved reporting accuracy on Cross Property Stays to measure brand loyalty