Consumers these days are looking for connectivity and personalisation when they make a purchase. This is especially true when they make a reservation in a hotel. They want a tailored experience that meets their expectations in terms of wants, needs, and desires. And this, together with advancing technology, has led to a new era of hyper-personalisation in the hotel industry.
Let’s explore what hyper-personalisation is, and why the concept is set to be the future of the customer experience.
What is hyper-personalisation?
For a number of years now, companies from a range of industries have been leveraging data to create innovative solutions that strengthen the customer relationship. And the hotel industry is no exception.
The most recent trend we are now seeing in the hospitality industry in this sense is hyper-personalisation, and many brands are already referring to it as the future of the customer experience.
But what is hyper-personalisation exactly?
Hyper-personalisation comes down to one core brief: customers want to buy from companies that understand their needs. When it comes to hotels, they want to stay in an establishment that understands their desires and expectations and goes the extra mile to connect and interact with them. In other words, they want a personalised experience that makes them feel seen and valued.
However, hyper-personalisation goes beyond the standard strategies for customising each touchpoint in the customer journey by segment. In fact, it’s a whole new style of segmentation that relies on technology to tailor each guest interaction according to their real-time actions. Instead of focusing solely on demographic and customer value data to deliver unique experiences, you also need to respond to a customer’s specific needs, wants and desires, and understand their behaviours and purchasing habits. And the best way to do this is through artificial intelligence, machine learning technology, real-time data, and predictive analytics.
How to implement hyper-personalisation and improve the customer experience
Evolving technology is enabling hotels to digitalise and automate many of their internal and external processes. By using tech like revenue management software, hotels can access a wealth of valuable data relating to demand, market trends, competitors, and hotel market positioning. This technology also enables hotels to get to know guests better, both as segments and as individuals.
The more hotels are able to improve their knowledge of their guests through data analysis, the easier it will be to design hyper-personalized experiences that are adapted to the specific needs of each guest. The aim is to create strategies that make each guest feel special and unique, instead of feeling like a faceless member of a generic market segment. But before you can achieve hyper-personalisation, you need to shift your focus from the product to the client; you need to develop a customer-centric approach to your strategies. And you need to understand exactly who your clients are, how they behave, and what they expect when they come to stay at your hotel.
Let’s take a look at how you can do this.
Before you can design hyper-personalisation strategies, you first need to break down your market into micro-segments. Compared to traditional market segments, micro-segments are smaller groups of customers who are categorised according to a number of factors, including unique identity and behavioural patterns.
This is what you need to do:
- Identify each specific type of guest that visits your hotel and create a customer profile for them. This profile should detail their needs and expectations and include data relating to estimated price elasticity. Make sure you analyse historical demand here so that you can be as precise as possible. Also keep in mind client value and the associated profitability of each profile (Market Segment Profitability Analysis).
- Analyse behaviour trends for each profile such as booking behaviour, time since last purchase, frequency of purchase, and the monetary value of each purchase (RFM segmentation – recency, frequency, monetary value).
- Include objective data (geographic data, demographics, socio-economic criteria etc.) and subjective data (personality, attitudes, lifestyle, motivation, etc.) in your analysis.
- Once you have defined all your profiles (your “micro-segments”), decide which ones hold the most value for your business. These are the micro-segments that you will primarily focus your hyper-personalisation strategies on.
- The final step is designing hyper-personalisation strategies that respond to the unique needs, wants, and desires of each micro-segment.
Deliver hyper-personalized experiences to each micro-segment
After you have identified your key micro-segments and you understand who they are and what they expect, the challenge is to create and offer each micro-segment the most personalised and improved guest experience possible. This includes designing an agile and intuitive reservation process in line with the preferences of each micro-segment and providing each guest with personalised amenities and ancillary services when they come to stay. It also includes creating personalized pricing strategies in line with what each micro-segment is willing to pay for the unique hyper-personalisation experience that you are able to offer them.
Thanks to Big Data and platforms such as BEONx’s RMS, it’s much easier to collect, process and analyse all this data on a massive scale. That way, you can predict the behaviour of each category of guest and create profitable strategies that offer each of your identified micro-segments a hyper-personalised customer experience.