The Importance of Customer Relationship Management Software for Hotels
Hospitality organizations offer multiple services, such as renting rooms to guests, organizing tours or activities, and selling various goods to guests. For hotel owners, tracking the impact of each service on customer satisfaction and brand development is a complex process. The best CRM software for hotels in 2023 enables a brand to well-exceed clients’ expectations and provide next-level advantages to the organization.
- An effective hotel CRM software utilizes industry-specific tools to improve guests’ overall experience.
- A CRM must efficiently manage each aspect of the customer’s journey while delivering a personalized experience.
- A centralized CRM is necessary for hotels with multiple locations, multiple departments, and multiple service offerings.
Customer relationship management software can effectively replace the patchwork of applications, databases, and spreadsheets hotels use to track customer data. While many off-the-shelf commercial products are available, working with Watkyn for a customized CRM solution for your hotel can provide an advantage over your competitors. Customized software enables you to include automation for processes that aren’t always available in packaged CRM software solutions.
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A Review of the Best Hotel CRM Software
An effective hotel CRM software addresses the primary functions of the hospitality industry and aids in developing customer relationships for improved booking and rebooking rates. The key features utilized by the majority of hotels include:
- Tracking tools similar to operations or property management systems
- Guest data management tools
- Automation features for basic accounting processes
- Contact management
- Omnichannel communication and inquiry requests
- Marketing automation
- Outreach automation
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Packaged hotel CRM software solutions may include some of these features, but the best option comprehensively addresses the goals and processes of the organization. Here are a few of the most popular hospitality CRM system options on the market, though customized applications are still highly recommended.
- Experience Hotel
One of the leading hotel CRM systems, Revinate develops thorough guest profiles by tracking data on the number of stays, booking methods, money spent, special requests, and more. The system also tracks reviews across hundreds of websites and social media platforms for reputation management. It proactively offers guests feedback and survey forms and produces and manages marketing campaigns to maintain cohesive brand management.
While Revinate offers performance tracking that aids in understanding customer satisfaction, it does lack effective lead-scoring opportunities and pipeline tracking. It also lacks a service module to address phone inquiries and tickets.
Ranked highly on the list of best CRM software for hotels, the Experience Hotel package develops guest loyalty and guest satisfaction by focusing on a superior customer experience before, during, and after the stay. It incorporates unique concierge tools that encourage staff to upsell spa treatments, restaurant deals, and room upgrades.
The software also uses segmentation features to build targeted marketing campaigns according to age, nationality, geographic proximity, or interests. In-house rebooking tools build the hotel brand, and unobtrusive survey features preemptively address potential complaint issues.
Despite these strong elements, Experience Hotel doesn’t integrate well with PMS interfaces. It could also provide more benefit automation in the marketing features.
Although recommended for hospitality businesses, Thryv’s software isn’t specific to the hotel industry. It has a small business software design that lends itself to use in a boutique independent hotel or a bed and breakfast. The online appointment booker allows guests to make reservations and payments and send custom requests.
Hotel staff can address these requests and customer support issues through an omnichannel dashboard. The brand name is built through a reputation management module using in-depth analytics covering social media mentions and review forms.
Since it is not a hotel-specific CRM, there are limitations in scaling up to streamline operations. It provides a primary advantage if the hospitality business is trying to maintain operations but doesn’t supply the features necessary to drive revenue significantly. It needs a customer loyalty program and upsell tools.
Another option on the list of the best hotel and hospitality CRM software is NetSuite CRM, a part of the NetSuite SaaS family. This larger network of software provides the restaurant and hospitality industries with comprehensive management software for optimizing the supply chain, managing fixed assets, integrating with point-of-sale equipment, automating financials and accounting, and addressing marketing and guest feedback.
While this may seem like the complete package for a hotel management system, large hotel enterprises with global locations and multiple brands benefit most from this extensive system. It’s considered a significant investment of time and money because of its complex operations and various platforms.
It’s also known to work slowly or fail because of its oversized operating requirements—the reporting features, while advanced and in-depth, are often too complex to analyze quickly.
Both small and large hotels can take advantage of Guestware, as there are three separate pricing plans based on the organization’s size. This software streamlines pre-arrival planning, marketing activities, facilities management, guest services, and loyalty programs.
It provides an all-in-one operations and sales management tool, with platform elements addressing housekeeping management, response management for guest incidents, and preventative facility maintenance.
While it can provide many helpful modules, it requires upgrading the Guestware Suite to obtain the CRM platform. It is also one of the more expensive products on the market for the startup versions, which could make it out of reach for smaller hotels.
While it may lack many necessary features, Freshsales lists the best CRM software for hotels in 2023 because of the price point. Though it is a general-use CRM system, there are options to tailor the use to a small hotel business.
It can handle marketing, sales, and guest service activities on the free plan for three users. Some automation is available with sales sequencing and marketing, and it provides omnichannel communication options. It could have better functions for facilities or operations management, though.
The lack of features specific to the hotel industry makes this platform more cumbersome, and it’s missing booking and reservation tools. It doesn’t provide reputation management or event management options, either.
Business-to-Business (B2B) Hotel CRM Software
In B2B hotel management, custom CRM software can provide a competitive edge. Unlike consumer-focused CRM systems, B2B Hotel CRM Software must efficiently manage long-term contracts, facilitate bulk booking, and handle intricate invoicing processes. It can also streamline communication between stakeholders, such as corporate clients, travel agencies, and event planners. The goal here is to provide a user-friendly, highly responsive platform that eases the sales process and nurtures professional relationships, ultimately leading to increased client retention and business growth.
Benefits of Custom CRM Software for Hotel Owners
The benefits of custom CRM software for hotel owners are immense. By having a system tailored to your specific hospitality needs, you eliminate unnecessary software features and focus on what truly matters for your business. Whether managing a boutique hotel, a luxury resort, or a motel chain, a custom CRM can cater to your unique requirements. Automation of repetitive tasks, such as booking confirmations, guest check-ins, and feedback collection, can significantly reduce administrative overhead. A custom CRM can also provide detailed insights into guest preferences, booking patterns, and revenue streams, empowering you to make data-driven decisions. With custom CRM software, you’re in control – you define the functionalities, set the rules, and dictate the direction of your business growth.
A New Perspective on the Best CRM Software for Hotels
While pre-packaged solutions are undeniably useful for the hospitality industry, a customized platform is a superior option when comparing the best CRM software for hotels. With a personalized software approach from Watkyn, you can choose which features are the priority and implement automation where your team benefits the most. Contact our team to find out more about custom CRM software solutions.