Sara is For-Sight’s Technical Analyst. We develop our solution, for our users, with our users – and Sara’s position is “a central point among teams” and key to For-Sight’s innovation process. 

If you aren’t familiar with hotel CRM, here is what you need to know before going into this interview.  For-Sight’s Hotel CRM and Marketing solution is designed to help hospitality businesses enhance the guest experience throughout the whole guest journey. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the market and guest behaviour. That is why more than ever before properties need to understand their guests’ needs and preferences. By connecting data from your PMS and your other core-transactional systems, For-Sight‘s solution gives you a single view of your guests – to engage with your guests in a way that is both personalised and effective, as you can analyse your guest data and performancewhich can also be automated. 

Looking back at the origin of For-Sight, the solution started from a bespoke demand from a Scottish hotel in Edinburgh with a precise brief: a CRM solution that understands and answers the hospitality business’s needs. We’ve listened, we’ve learned and we’ve delivered.  

 A key aspect of our Product team’s role is addressing and finding the perfect balance between building the right product and building the product right”, said Amelie Bruhat, For-Sight’s Head of Product & Data. 

To building the right productwe need to make sure that we are not building a product based on faulty assumptions and ignorance toward the goals and user requirements of our customers. To build the product rightwe need to find that balance between the technical necessities and product goals. The agreed-upon solution for the business problem should drive the choice of technologies, and the trade-offs should be acceptable based on the business/user requirements. 
Sara’s role as our Technical Analyst is key to helping us deliver on this” 

Since the beginning, our product has evolved, but these values still drive our ambitionsour clients are our top priority when it comes to innovating and rethinking our solution 

Looking ahead, For-Sight solutions and services are driven by: 

  • Research – informed decision  
  • Analytics – we believe data reflects the truth 
  • Users’ insights – we build our product for our clients, so it is essential we understand their preferences. 

 We’ve had the privilege to sit down one-on-one with Sara, and pick her brain! 

What is your role as a Technical Analyst at For-Sight? 

My role as a Technical Analyst is to work side by side with the Product Manager to record our customers’ requirements, in a way that must be understandable cross-team, especially to the customer service, sales, marketing, and development teams, and in a way that includes all consideration from all teams within For-Sight as well as from customers. Being part of the Product team, I also have the chance to work on many aspects of the product, including its user experience and interface. 

What is your mission? 

My mission as a Technical Analyst is to facilitate the construction of a product that reflects our customers’ needs and is in line with our product vision, as well as to improve processes at a cross-teams level. 

How do you help For-Sight clients?  

One of the things I love the most about my job is to have the chance to talk to a lot of our customers. When this happens, I’m always happy to engage with them to understand what their needs are. I love recording their needs long-term, but also making sure that the small things that can be addressed immediately are appropriately taken care of. 

 What do you like the most about your job? 

I love my job as it varies every day and, despite its name, involves a lot of creativity. But what I like the most is that as a Technical Analyst I really have a privileged position: being in a central point among teams, I have the luck to see the amazing job my colleagues do every day as a unique team for the delivery of a state-of-the-art product and feel a tangible part of it. 

Get in touch with our experts to find out more about our solution: Contact us about Hospitality CRM  

For-Sight’s Inbound Marketing Executive Maud Bruyere looks at how data can help identify opportunities to increase guest revenue as the industry re-opens and beyond. 

2020 saw a number of restrictions and guidelines that impacted hospitality guest revenue and will linger into the future. As the re-opening approaches, bookings are increasing due to pent up demand, but what about the guest revenue of tomorrow? From multiple data sources across your systems, CRM technology can define a single source of truth to help you identify opportunities, both immediate and long term.

“All knowledge is connected to all other knowledge. The fun is in making the connections.” – Arthur C. Aufderheide*.

How can “the fun” happen, and connections be made for hospitality businesses to identify opportunities? In this article, we discuss how data empowers hospitality businesses and can help to increase guest revenue. 

Guest Segmentation – Make it personal  

Best practices to optimise hospitality revenue are characterised by your ability to segment your guests to create a personalised guest experience.  

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has changed your way of personalising your guest journey.  With social distancing measures – no more handshakes to greet your guests. The ‘make it personal’ touch has to be re-thought and adjusted while still acknowledging that every single guest is unique and expects to be known as an individual. However, maintaining a personal approach at scale is not easy.  

Guest segmentation can help identify and maximise opportunity by distinguishing meaningful groups of guests that share common behaviours and preferences. With the use of segmentation, you can follow a guest-centric approach to building relevant offers and guest matches.   

How does it work? 

Remember, the fun happens when you can create connections! Data available in your CRM provides knowledge on your guests’ journey by connecting your Property Management System (PMS) data, guest sentiment data, guest contact details, among other data from your core operational and marketing systems. From this data, you will be able to build guest profiles of your ideal guests, delight them and drive loyalty. Having in mind that post-COVID guest preferences have changed, your Guest Segmentation must reflect this. For instance, GWI research show that generation Z looks for new experiences – 32% of the Gen Z craves for ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience’. On the other hand, older guests want familiarity – 32% of boomers think about ‘going back to a place they know’ when planning a vacation. Has your segmentation been updated to reflect new 2021 guest concerns? 

How can segmentation help you increase your reach? 

Building and automating a personalised itinerary based on your guest profiles allows you to develop new services and offers to thrill your guests. As you can reach a very specific audience, the relevance of your guest communication is also enhanced – you speak to the right customers, at the right time.   

To illustrate

Your hotel offers a surf class, and since re-opening measures have been announced, you observe strong demand for this activity. From your data, you can tell that reservation comes from the youngest generations of your guest. Great news! As well as being an instant increase in guest revenue, it also highlights opportunities to upsell, to develop this offer and to customise your guest journey. ‘Sophie the Surfer’ can be the one persona you build to create relevant guest communication. 

RFM – Insightful and easy-to-use marketing tool for your segmentation  

To help with segmentation RFM is a powerful marketing tool. RFM stands for:  

  • Recency: When was the last time the guest has booked?  
  • Frequency: How often this guest has booked in a given time period? and  
  • Monetary: How much money the guest had spent per stay?  

This recognised metric allows you to rank and target high revenue generating guests, as well as understanding their behaviour. At For-Sight, RFM categorisation is available to all our customers and many use this quick and easy to use metric, to drive loyalty and increase Customer Lifetime Value.  

Guest sentiment – Listen to your guest  

Alongside segmentation and use of the RFM tool, Guest sentiment is essential to highlight opportunities and assess the risks. The COVID-19 crisis has raised new concerns for guests. Thus, there is new feedback that hospitality must take into consideration to assure their guest a safe stay. Guest confidence and safety are two challenges that hospitality businesses are facing. Guest sentiment precisely captures satisfaction in a variety of aspects, from the tastiness of the food to the cleanness of amenities or reviews related to COVID-19 pandemic concerns, such as the respect of government regulations.   

Other guest reviews and pictures are likely to inform guest decisions. Expedia group research found that pictures, information, and reviews are especially relevant looking ahead”. ‘Expert reviews influence more than 50% travellers, while pre-pandemic that influence was approximately representing 35% travellers.  

From the qualitative guest feedbacks, guest sentiment can be transcribed by CRM tools, such as For-Sight Guest Engagement, into quantitative data. Manual processing of that information can lack precision and is highly time-consuming. Automating feedback collection and generating indicators, such as the RFM, will let you track, review your operations and guest communications in order to reach your objectives. 

Qualify the data – Pinpoint and –  

Having discussed how you can access business opportunities; it is important in this process to qualify the data to achieve a successful strategy in the short term but also for long term planning 

Identifying opportunities creates scope for improvement and adjustment to this “new normal”. For-Sight’s goal of ‘Unlocking the guest journey’ reflects this, as data give you the key to pinpoint the positives and what could be reviewed to perform better and delight your guests. Arthur C. Aufderheide’s quote “The fun is in making the connections” illustrates the purpose of our article perfectly, as the power of technology allows connections of rich data to give you a single view of your guests, to analyse, support your decision-making process and bring the fun (and revenue opportunities) into your guest journey. 

*Arthur C. Aufderheide. 1922-2013. A “mummy doctor” that followed a pathologist career, with pioneering research on the diseases of the ancient world. 

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