Organizations that change the world and large corporations that change the face of business are tapping into Big Data, but one industry has been reluctant to grab hold of the craze – and that’s the hospitality industry. It’s centered on making people feel at home, so where does advanced data analytics come into that? It’s more valuable than you’d think, and the few that took a leap have proven a point: hotels can benefit from Big Data, and it can even revolutionize the way the industry functions.
1 — Trial and Error Made Into a Science
A guest checks out and then posts a review of their stay on Yelp or on their Facebook page. This is valuable feedback for the hotel. But if thousands of guests visit hundreds of hotels every day, finding each review and mining it for its information is impossible. However, Big Data makes it possible, allowing businesses to see the big picture and then narrow it down into a much smaller, more valuable view. Now the hotel has an honest look into the kind of experience they’re offering their customers. What did they do right? What did they do wrong? Condensing this into hard, manageable facts gives hotels a very accurate roadmap on where to improve and where to focus their efforts. Before Big Data, a mistake needed to become widespread enough for news of it to reach the top. Now the big data challenge is solved, and analysts can identify it immediately and make instant changes.
2 — Knowing Their Strengths and Capitalizing on Them
While each hotel wants to offer the perfect experience, with so many customers looking for different things, and unique conditions such as location and building structure, it’s impossible to be perfect in every way. This is why some hotels pride themselves on their customer service over their views, or the location of their building in relation to sights or restaurants. With Big Data, hotels can identify what their customers like most about their services, and what other hotels with the same services are being appreciated for. With this insight, they can then adjust their prices to bring in more profit, or adjust focus away from their Presidential Suite when their customer service is their best trait.
3 — Customized Services to Suit Each Guest
The future has spoiled us – we want instant service, and we want it to be so perfectly tailored that we receive what we want before we know we want it. Big Data allows hotels to gather information on our tastes, habits, and shopping trends to paint a more accurate picture on what we’re looking for. By determining the kind of guests they attract, hotels can then customize rooms to be more simplistic and relaxing for the traveling businessperson, with better internet connection or accommodations, or more airy and equipped with kitchen supplies for families – all instead of offering a blanket room for a faceless guest.
4 — Faster Response Times to Customer Needs
In the same way Big Data helps customize rooms, the information mined on customers allows staff to offer more accurate services faster. For example, with a desktop app available to the front desk that delivers information on each guest currently staying at the hotel, should a guest ask for a recommendation, they can quickly review their tastes and interests and give a better suggestion for local restaurants or sights. Additionally, this added information can tell maintenance or cleaning staff which rooms will need the most attention and allow them to respond to needs faster.
5 — The Little Odds and Ends No Longer Overlooked
The hospitality industry prides itself on being a home away from home, and if one hotel manages to predict and then accommodate all the small little quirks of a guest, that’s an experience a customer won’t readily forget, and will earn them a repeat visit. However, you may predict that a guest wants to have coffee in the morning, but what kind of coffee do they like? At what times do they want breakfast? A parent with a small child may want warm milk in the night, and a smoker may want easier access to a designated smoking area or a special smoke-canceling ashtray. Big Data, in conjunction with software defined storage vendors, gives a personal perspective on customers, and with the information hotels gather from social media, reviewing sites, and internet searches, they can do more than customize service for a guest – they can cater to the little things no one else thinks of.
Contributed by: Rick Delgado. He’s been blessed to have a successful career and has recently taken a step back to pursue his passion of writing. Rick loves to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet.