We live in the times when 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is being created every day. In fact terabytes of data on travel behaviour alone is being generated per day. To measure this data we are using the larger units of measure – petabytes and zettabytes. Even The World Economic Forum in early 2013 declared data a new economic asset.
Big Data and Hospitality
All the above does not mean that we have at our hands, a digital rain with a Tank sitting on the panel. Fortunately we do not need THE ONE to make sense of the zettabytes of data. The application of Big Data in travel and hospitality is a rich field of opportunity and there are numerous apps and big data experts in the market with products on offer. Hotels can make use of Big Data in its various departments to turn online visits, interests and calls into customers and later customers into loyal patrons.
Applications in the Hotel Industry to Delight the Hotel Guest
Big Data and Hotel Marketing-
Today’s traveller, after spending time on online research on various sites, in most cases come to the hotel website to make the final booking. There is a lot of predictability in the customer behavior for instance, which packages and offers are converting best for customers from different segments like geographic region, market, traffic sources, keywords etc. Online booking tools are making use of big data intelligence for a personalized approach and present more relevant choices resulting in increased conversion.
Big Data and Revenue Management
Big Data products are being increasingly used by hotels for pricing optimizations, forecasting and to some level improving of hotel operations as well. There is massive volatility and fluctuations in deciding the price of room nights. Big Data products today integrate information collected at myriad data points, mine and analyse the data, and provide unparalleled agility in enabling real time pricing suggestions
Big Data and Better Customer Experience
Hotels are now taking investment decisions based on Big Data. Gone are the times when hoteliers would base their decision to invest on intuition or perceived market demand. Now equipped with Big Data analysis, capital investments on new services and features have almost zero likelihood of turning out to be a costly mistake. Hotels can now offer the right services and products to keep a hotel guest happy. Not only this but Big Data has unlocked another avenue for hotels to decide which service can be targeted to a certain customer profile for maximum conversion, which is being used to increase revenue through upselling in the hotel industry.
Big Data, Customer Delight and Loyalty
Consolidating the information on a guest not just through the hotel’s in-house systems but also the external data points now allows for targeting appropriate customers for promotions and offers. Customer Service can be improved before guest arrival by targeted promotions and offers. Once the guest checks in there is a lot of data that can be captured at various data points like the housekeeping preferences, buying patterns, F&B preferences etc. This data intelligence on the guest available with you when presented in an intelligent and actionable way can lead to a personalized service approach that will delight and impress your customer. For instance once the guest’s preference of wine, cuisines, aversions to food etc. is captured, revisit by the guest creates a wonderful opportunity to give exemplary customer service which will ensure you gain another loyal customer.
Big Data Take Away
Data has always been there but it’s now BIG and cannot be ignored. According to IBM research 90% of the data in the world today has been generated in the last two years. With increased online activity on myriad devices, the social media and a multitude of data points, data is a resource that hoteliers cannot ignore if they want an edge in this competitive industry. Travel and hotel industry have always been data rich and now with the Big Data creating a buzz in the market and innovative big data products available for a hotel to use, hoteliers can aim for a Big Data approach of personalized and 360 degree customer centric approach from attracting guests to do a booking, improving the guest stay experience and increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty, to see the revenue graph climbing high.