- Posted by Neeraj Maurya
- On June 28, 2017
Customer satisfaction plays an extremely important role in any business. It is the customer’s feedback about a product or service that determines its success and translates into profit for the company. This is especially true for service based industries like hotel, tourism or transport industries. All successful businesses in the world today thrive on customer relations rather than the quality of their products alone. It is crucial to identify, create and maintain a dedicated customer base in today’s competitive market.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) not only builds a comprehensive database containing all information pertaining to the customers, but it also facilitates the company’s long term growth by forging strong ties with the customers.
CRM is a business approach which can support the sales, marketing, and service processes within an industry and maximize its profit margins. It functions by associating with selected customers and providing them with an unparalleled experience both in terms of the quality as well as the manner in which their needs are addressed. This customer-centric approach is of pioneer importance in the hotel industry as it attempts to retain customers and build a long partnership with them.
Customer Service in the Hotel Industry
In the hotel industry, it is not just the core customer services like pricing, quality and delivery that matter; it is also the friendly approach, the prompt problem-solving, and the flexibility in options that make a big difference. It is this extended customer service that gives a company an edge over others as it increases the customer’s perceived value towards its services.
CRM is essential in the hotel industry as it helps a company exceed its customers’ expectations by enhancing the aesthetic value of its services and providing the opportunity to build effective interpersonal relations.
1. One-stop Database – A CRM Software contains all relevant data pertaining to its customers which are constantly updated to accommodate any changes. This facilitates for quick identification of data regarding the customer which aids in faster problem solving.
2. Enhances Sales Productivity – Repetitive sales tasks like sending bulk e-mails and generating reports can be automated, thanks to CRM. The CRM mobile access allows sales teams in the hotel industry to have ready access to their customers’ preferences which helps them to create more lucrative offers for their clients.
3. Customer Retention – While competition and product dissatisfaction account for only 9% and 14% of customer loss respectively, 69% of customers move away from one company to another due to the lack of personal bond with the company. As Rob Yanker of Mckinsey & Company puts it, “Winning back a lost customer can cost up to 50-100 times as much as keeping a current one satisfied.”
4. Winning Strategies – CRM employs strategies like cross-selling that involves offering customers services that augment their original purchase and develop their interest in other products of the company. Offering upgrades or extra services, for example, sightseeing packages come under the category of up selling. CRM strategies also include benefits like a two-day all-inclusive package at a discounted rate for its loyal customers. All these schemes increase the company’s sales while making the customers’ purchase experience more meaningful.
5. Customization – CRM software allows the hotel industry to customize products according to the target audience. While for certain customers, value for money is the priority, for many others luxury and overall experience matter the most.
6. Increases Referrals – With its focus on customer satisfaction, CRM creates a good referral base as contented customers give favourable reviews which in turn solidifies the company’s reputation.
7. Better Customer Support – CRM builds an effective customer support system that is fast and provides assistance to clients through phone, chat, e-mail and even in person.
CRM is not effective when used as a strategy or software; it needs to be adopted as a company philosophy for the best results.