How Hotel General Managers Identify Their VIPs

Given their varying levels of loyalty, spending habits, and influence on future bookings, not every hotel guest is equally valuable.

In the fiercely competitive world of hospitality, gathering, analyzing, and reacting to data can have a huge impact on not just a hotel’s bottom line, but its reputation as well. In an effort to help our peers compete, we here at ALICE interviewed some of New York City’s leading GMs on the importance of data as it relates to the running of their hotel.

This is part five of eight. You can download the full report here

Given their varying levels of loyalty, spending habits, and influence on future bookings, not every hotel guest is equally valuable.

While all hoteliers agree that it’s vital to segregate their guests by potential value, each one that we spoke with had a different way of defining a guest’s Lifetime Value (LTV). Further, while the hoteliers all understood the importance of gathering this information, they expressed difficulty with tracking it in a single place. Here are a few of the ways that hotels are determining a guest’s LTV, along with a few of the challenges of determining a guest’s LTV.

How Hotel General Managers Identify Their VIPs

Booking Channel. The simplest and easiest way to start segmenting guests is by how they booked. Was it through an OTA? Through the sales team? Directly through the website via a referral? Was it a corporate account? Knowing how a guest booked their room can paint a picture around how involved and loyal that guest will be.

Corporate Booking Potential. Specifically amongst larger hotels, many GMs defined the value of a guest by the potential corporate business he can bring depending on how big is his or her company, how often they travel, and how much upsell potential is there.

Total Spend. The most obvious way to determine a guest’s importance is by how much he or she spends. While simple in theory, many of our GMs struggled to keep track of this data and “make the connection between the guests that are just staying for a room, and those that interface with F&B outlet, take advantage of our other services, and keep coming back.” It would appear that although all of the data is there but isolating the important metrics and linking the reservation to the spend is difficult.

Booking Frequency. Another common method of determining a guest’s LTV is repeat bookings. One of the General Managers said he tasked his front office team with, “being responsible for recognizing repeat guests and making management aware of it. And then, once we’ve identified a VIP, we’re going to make sure they’re treated as well as possible. That could mean anything from VIP perks to comped dinners.” But as in the case of keeping track of a guest’s spend, the GMs we spoke with expressed difficulty in keeping track of all of this information in one place. Specifically, they struggled to, “figure who is coming back, and why they’re coming back here. I wish we had something like Salesforce to give us an idea of where the value lies.”

Social Media Influence. Beyond TripAdvisor reviews, many GMs are looking to a guest’s social media imprint as a way to anticipate poor reviews before their checkout. One GM went so far as to consider a guest’s social media influence to be the most important factor in determining his or her value to the hotel. In an ideal world, he would have, “a dashboard to that would show all of their social media influence to see what they’re posting and its impact so that I could assign some kind of value to them. For example, it would allow me to see that a major fashion influencer with 40,000 followers is going to be staying with us, and treat him accordingly.”

footer - homepage

Ready to move
up and to the right?

Ready to move up and to the right?

Grab the wheel and drive profits with Actabl.
Request a Demo