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  

As a native of Northern Ireland living in Edinburgh with a Scottish wife and 2 very Scottish children I can only say that since coming here for university, I have never looked back. As the CEO and co-founder of  For-Sight Guest CRM myself and the team have grown the product from an agency project for a single resort hotel, to a fully-fledged SaaS product working with hundreds of hotels across independents, resorts, groups and third party management companies.   My role has also been about identifying and managing relationships with key vendors for integrations, both at the front and back end of the product.

About For-Sight 

Our vision is to own the guest relationship and give control back to the hotels.    We want to be the brain of the digital guest experience.

Myself and my co-founder Richard are very proud of For-Sight, we think it’s a great product. It has evolved into a secure, online data management tool taking direct feeds from the hotel’s Property Management System and various other sources (including events, leisure & contact lists), cleansing it to create a Single Customer View.  The hotel marketer can then query the data, report on it and push it out to best of breed marketing platforms to deploy & measure the content.   

We now have a fantastic team made up of clever product technicians, client service managers and developers.    They make the product as seamless and easy to navigate as possible, as well as integrating with key partners & vendors in the industry.   They help put the hotel data on a plate for the marketer to allow them to do great things with that information.

2018 was a busy year for For-Sight. We welcomed a number of new clients, 7 new members of the team and established our Data Science department.  We had a record year for email broadcasting, sending 217 million emails, despite the arrival of GDPR which has impacted email volumes in many industries.  With For-Sight our clients were able to not only manage their guests contact preferences but use their data to target their guests properly with highly personalised resulting in little impact on their ROI.   We also rolled out some key integrations including Opera’s OXI and Premier Spa with many more to come in 2019.   Finally, we announced our partnership with Great National Hotels and look forward to building on that over the coming months.

What next?

We are very excited about 2019 as the team continues to grow in volume and in spirit and we already have many more great partnerships & integrations in the pipeline.  New clients continue to come on board and we have some major development releases planned.

Challenges in our industry remain. Technical & commercial barriers to new start-ups entering the hotel tech ecosystem and data in silos continue.   The PMS market is changing too thanks to open APIs becoming more prevalent through forward-thinking start-ups like Mews and Apaleo, with more established providers like Guestline moving in that direction too.

Recent data breaches in the hotel industry continue to dominate the headlines, adding to the well-documented challenges for Facebook and other large tech companies in terms of how they handle consumer data.   This has led to widespread public mistrust as to how consumers’ personal data is handled.  Do businesses just care about getting their hands on ‘valuable’ data at any cost or do they wish to do the right thing by the customer?

If a brand gets the relationship right, then a consumer will trust them with their data and it becomes a long term two-way conversation, not only is this how For-Sight is engaging with potential new and existing clients, but it is at the core of what For-Sight can help hoteliers achieve.

I can’t wait to let more people know about For-Sight. As I said to my team, be happy and keep driving us forward, buckle up!

 

 

 

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BLACK FRIDAY: BECAUSE NOBODY ELSE IS TALKING ABOUT IT, RIGHT?

 

WELL, WHAT IS IT?

Although Thanksgiving isn’t necessarily celebrated this side of the pond, we’ve certainly adopted its consumer counterpart, Black Friday. Being the day after the penultimate American holiday, it usually denotes the first day of Christmas shopping.

 

SO WHY IS IT CALLED BLACK FRIDAY?

Black Friday gets its name from a range of sources. Originating in 1869, it was the name given to the financial crisis in the United States’ gold market.

Since then, it has been used throughout history to describe a day of hardship and chaos. In the early ‘50s, the term Black Friday was established as the Thanksgiving aftermath as this was a day renowned for workers calling in sick, therefore monopolising on a four day weekend.

At this similar time, it was used by the Philadelphia police because it described the chaos brought on by the hordes of people capitalising on the first day of Christmas shopping. Ever watched footage of a US shopping mall on Black Friday? Mayhem ensues.

Today, however, it is referred to as Black Friday as it denotes the first day that many businesses finally make a profit, hence getting out of the red, and into the black – which is fittingly less of a hardship and more of a harvesting.

 

BLACK FRIDAY IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY

It is, therefore, no surprise that in the 21st century “Cyber Monday” was also conceived out of the holiday season run-up. With the decline of the high street and rise of the click-to-buy mentality, most Black Friday purchases are now transacted upon online. One market in which this mentality is prevalent is the hotel industry. With the rise to dominance of the OTAs and the direct marketing rebellion that accompanied, many hotels/brands have now begun reaping the seeds they’ve sown in through their guest retention strategies and the CRM systems that allow them to do so.

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SOMETHING’S CHANGED…

 

We know we probably look a little bit different since last time you visited. Actually, a lot. That’s because we have launched our new website and we couldn’t be happier!  For all our For-Sight customers, we hope you love it. For our new visitors, welcome!

However, don’t let our new site fool you. Born under the umbrella of Forth Communication – who have 25 years expertise in software and data management – For-Sight has been around since 2009. So whilst our look may be new, our expertise in guest communications is unrivalled, and this is what makes us excel at providing a great CRM to benefit you and your guests.

©Forth Communication Ltd 2021. Incorporated in Scotland (SC114093).
Registered office at 45 Hanover Street, Edinburgh, Scotland. EH2 2PJ

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