Page 1

Personalization The Rising Currency in Travel Experience

Indranil Das Global Practice Leader – Business Consulting Group ITC Infotech


Personalization in travel is the buzzword of the hour. Every major hotelier is convinced that to cater to today’s guest expectations – unique guest experience through personalization is the way to go. This is a well-established and accepted point of view in the hospitality industry. However, the daunting question to address for every hotelier is “How do you deliver personalization?” This paper explores the various facets that make personalization a reality and the building blocks that lay the foundation for this personalization.

So, What is Personalization in Hospitality? It is the ability of the hospitality chains, to deliver guest experience based on the individual needs and preferences of the guest at each guest touch point - like in the properties during the stay of the guest as well as other outlets (like restaurant, spa, etc.) during non-stay visits. Hence, the delivery of Personalized Guest Experience is driven by the ability to understand the personal needs and preferences of each guest. And what really helps understand your guests is the data mine that each Hotelier is sitting on. The data, recorded at each guest interaction touch point, if analysed effectively, can generate

actionable insights which in turn help hoteliers deliver personalized guest experience. This is known as Guest Offer Design Intelligence (GODI). And to be able to create GODI, we need 360 degree (now can be referred to as 720 degree -with the Big Data coming into picture) view of the guest. GODI should address “Which guest buys what and when?” This entails ability to record guest data at all interaction points of the guest and relate the various interactions of each guest. The creation of this guest master is called Single View of Guest (SVoG).

Following figure explains the five steps that can help hotel chains realize the Delivery of Personalization

Define SVoG

Implement SVoG

Maintain SVoG Quality

Figure 1: Five Steps to realize “Delivery of Personalization”

Enrich SVoG

Capitalize SVoG using GODI


1

Define Single View of Guest (SVoG)

What is SVoG? Call Center

e

Gu

e nc

A typical hospitality chain interacts with a guest through eight points of interaction, n a m e l y : p r o p e r t y , restaurants/spa/golf/etc, Point of Sales, call centre, email, mobile, brand.com, social media and partner stores/PoS like retailers, airlines, etc. These eight points of interaction can also be called the Moments of Truth with the guest, which needs to be recorded.

rience Man age Expe me est u n G g s i De n Inte r e l lig o t e s

t

A comprehensive view of the guest at all points of interactions to enable guest recognition, acknowledgement, and personalized service offerings to guests is called SVoG. The customer is recognised as a guest to the hotel chain/brand and not to a single property, restaurant, etc.

Properties

Other Point of Sale (Spa, Golf,Restaurants, etc.)

Partners like Retailers & Airlines

Single view of Guest

Email

Social Media CHECK OUT OUR

Mobile

WEB SITE!

Brand.com

Figure 2: Single View of Guest at the core of Personalized Guest Experience


SVoG Design Approach The Guest Experience Strategy forms the basis for SVoG. Based on the Guest Experience Strategy, the guest touch point features are defined to enable execution of the Guest Experience Strategy. To facilitate the delivery of these guest experience features, guest master needs to be created. The guest master dictates all the information that needs to be captured and generated, needed to deliver the required guest experience. This guest master can be defined on the principles of SVoG framework.

SVoG Framework SVoG Framework has been developed by categorizing guest information into guest data type and guest attributes type. The guest data type has been classified as Base, Insights and Intelligence. The attribute type has been further categorized into Guest Profile, Transaction, Interaction and Attitude. The data fields for the guest master can be defined by mapping them to each of the above category to define an efficient SVoG.

Insight

Data Ÿ Personal Data

Profile

(Name, Age, Address, Etc.) Ÿ Loyalty Profile (Membership, Tier, etc.)

Ÿ Guest Micro Segment

(Eg. Need Vs Behaviour) Ÿ Life Stage Event (Birthday, Anniversary, Kids Birthday, Spouse Birthday, etc.

Intelligence Ÿ Booking Materialization Score Ÿ Loyalty Score Ÿ Campaign Response Score Ÿ Engagement Score

Ÿ Transaction Distribution (Room Vs

Non-Room, Folio Vs Non-Folio)

Transaction

Ÿ Transaction Pattern (Stay/Visit,

LoS, etc.) Ÿ Transaction Channel Ÿ Transaction Tender Modes

Ÿ Guest Value Ÿ Guest Profitability Ÿ Loyalty Accrual/Redemption Pattern

Ÿ Service/Product Propensity Ÿ Guest Life Time Value

Ÿ Segment Shift Pattern Ÿ Affinity Indices Product/Service,

Interaction

Ÿ Campaign Response Ÿ Feedback

Ÿ Campaign Response Propensity

Property, brand) Ÿ Frequency pattern (MTTA, Look To

Ÿ Churn Propensity

Book, Earn & Burn, Offer Induced Buyer)

Attitude

Ÿ Overall Feedback Response-

Positive, Neutral, Negative

Ÿ Guest Satisfaction Index Ÿ Net Promoter Score

Ÿ Propensity to Recommend Ÿ New Product (Individual/Bundled)

Adoption Score

Figure 3: Single View of Guest Framework

Below is the explanation of each category of data:

Types of Guest Data

Types of Guest Attributes

! Base Data: This is the raw data that needs to be captured at all Guest Touch Points

! Profile: This information facilitates profiling the guest and acknowledges the guest at guest touch points

! Insights: This is the processed data that reflect guest needs and behaviour based on the events till date ! Intelligence: This is the data that predicts the guest need and behaviour for the future

! Transaction: This information facilitates the evaluation of the value that the guest holds for the hospitality chain ! Interaction: This information facilitates understanding the nature of non-monetary engagement of the guest with the hotel chain ! Attitude: This holds information around the attitude the guest holds towards the hospitality chain


2

Implement SVoG

Based on the various data categories, we now know that we need to capture the data from all guest touch point systems, marketing systems, marketing analytics systems and so on. The guest touch points are rarely, centrally integrated. In a given property, without some kind of guest recognition system in place, it is difficult to capture and relate the stay and non-stay transactions for a given guest.

Thus, architectural vision for integration of guest related systems is key in building the SVoG. Below is the architectural vision for hospitality chains that takes into account the systems required to be integrated (based on the requirement of the SVoG) while acknowledging the information flow limitation within the systems.

Folio Data PMS Call Centre

CRS

Emails

Website

Mobile

Social Media

POS Folio Data Non-Folio Data

Informatica Power Center + IDQ

Transactions

Real - Time CDI

customer Info

SVOG

Customer Profile

Transactions

MDM/Customer Master

Predictive Scoring & Analytics

CRM/Loyalty Management System ids, Grouping

Real - Time Offers

Real - Time Marketing

List Pulls

Response Tracking

Metrics

Campaign Mgmt, (SAS)

Enterprise Data Warehouse Reporting Platform

Management Dashboards

Operational Reports

Field Marketing

Field Marketing

Figure 4: Architectural Vision for Implementing Single View of Guest

Email Marketing

All Channels


3

Maintain SVoG Quality

Due to the integration of multiple systems and inefficient data quality practices, data quality issues might crop up. To avoid data discrepancies, the following data quality framework can be built into the SVoG. This data quality framework has been developed to address six categories of data quality issues based on the key entities and processes of the business.

Actors Guest

Processes

Loyalty member

Stay

Reservation

Completeness

Profile Completeness

Profile Completeness

Mandatory Information Check

Mandatory Information check

Consistency

preference consistency across records

profile & Preference across records

Stay details consistency with Reservation

Reservation details consistency with Guest

Validity

profile Validity

profile Validity

Room/F&B/Spa/etc. consumption rules

Room booking rules

Conformity

Pre-requisite for a Guest

Member Transaction (Monetary & otherwise)

Attribute value validity

Attribute value validity

Accuracy

Invalid Contact details

loyalty Benefits Issuance, Redemption, Expiry

Guest spend

Invalid Contact details

Integrity

Guest- Reservation relationship

Guest- Member-Stay relationship

Guest-Reservation-Stay relationship

Guest-Reservation relationship

Figure 5: Data Quality Framework to maintain SVoG quality


4

Enrich SVoG

To understand the guest need and behaviour, it is important to gather information about guests through varied modes in which the guest chooses to engage with the hospitality chain, as well as the variety of details guest provides about himself/herself with each interaction.

The Data Enrichment Model, shown below, identifies the areas that are significant in enriching the guest information.

Product/Service Diversity Partner Products Golf Spa

Property/Brand/Region Diversity(Stay Diversity)

F&B

Guest Details Diversity

Friends & Family Details Partner Products Pref Room Preferences Basic Details

Multi Brand Owned Properties

Single Brand Managed Properties

single Brand Owned Properties TA/OTAs GDS

Incremental enrichment of SVoG with each interaction with the Guest during various visits.....

Call Centre Website Mobile

Channel/Model Diversity

Figure 6: SVoG Enrichment Model

Multi Brand Managed Properties

Corp. FIT Retail FIT Retail Group Corp. Group (Crew) MICE

Segment Diversity


5

Capitalize SVoG using GODI

Guest Offerings Design Intelligence – is the methodology to contextualize the offerings to guests based on the insights and intelligence generated by guest data captured as part of SVoG.

Typically, offerings at any hospitality chain can be viewed into three broad categories.

Complementing Bundled Offerings These are offerings which are generally consumed in combination and generally no price discounts are required to improve their perceived value. Examples are: Ÿ Pick-Up/Drop with Room Nights Ÿ City Tours with Room Nights

Augmenting Bundled Offerings These are offering which need not necessarily be consumed in combination. However, price discounts on these bundles can promote their consumption in bundles Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ

Figure 7: Types of Offerings in Hospitality

Spa with Room Nights Golf Rouds with Room Nights Bearkfast/dinner with Room Nights

Special Rate Offerings These offerings need not be in bundles. However, special rates with certain clauses can improve their perceived value Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ Ÿ

Special Non - Refundable Rates Special Rates for flexible check In/Out Early Bird Offers Long Stay offers


Now, to contextualize these offerings for the guest, we need to understand the hospitality guests through multiple parameters. Guests can be segmented in the following six categories to derive and identify the various micro-segments which have the highest propensity to respond to these offers. Below is the pictorial representation of all the six categories and the segments within them: Property Geographic Segmentation

Social Media Activity Segmentation

The Escapes

Inactive Indifterent

The Outskirts The Feeder Just Bought Recess

The Hub Consider Ready

Follower Influencer Getting There

Seasoned

Next Buy Readiness Segmentation

Demographic Segmentation Business On the Go

New Advents

Have Arrived

Deal Hunters

The cross-section of the six category segments generate a unique micro segment

Long Stay business Value Seekers Family Get-Away Benefit Seekers

Romantic Get-Away Loyalists Lone Trooper Need Based Segmentation

Behavioral Segmentation

Figure 8: Micro Segment Generation

The first category is Geographic segmentation based on the location of the properties that the guests visit. These properties can be segmented into: ! The Hub: Properties located in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, like properties in major cities in key locations ! The Feeder: Properties in tier 2 cities or not-soprime locations in major cities. These properties facilitate the travel purpose, but are not located at key locations ! The Outskirts: Properties located outside major cities and are treated as stop overs for travellers on the road ! The Escapes: Typically resort like properties, which are away from the rigor of major cities and towns and help guest escape to exquisite locations away from the daily routine The second category will be Social Media Activity based segmentation. The key segments can be identified as:

for already stated opinions but is rarely interested in explicitly stating opinions ! Indifferent: This segment is present on social media but is rarely influenced with what is trending ! Inactive: This segment is virtually inactive on social media. They might hold a number of social media accounts but are inactive for all practical purposes. The third segmentation is based on Demography. These segments, based on the regions/countries they come from and the age group and gender they belong to, can be segmented into: ! New Advents: These are typically new to the travel world and are still exploring their style of travel ! Getting There: This segment is the group that has been travelling for a while, know their preferences for travel and budget their travels well

! Influencer: This segment has an opinion and likes to share

! Have Arrived: This segment is the set of confident travellers with fewer budget restrictions and ready to explore new options

! Follower: This segment typically shows support

! Seasoned: This segment has been travelling for a


The first category is Geographic segmentation based on the location of the properties that the guests visit. These properties can be segmented into:

! Inactive: This segment is virtually inactive on social media. They might hold a number of social media accounts but are inactive for all practical purposes.

! The Hub: Properties located in the midst of all the hustle and bustle, like properties in major cities in key locations

The third segmentation is based on Demography. These segments, based on the regions/countries they come from and the age group and gender they belong to, can be segmented into:

! The Feeder: Properties in tier 2 cities or not-soprime locations in major cities. These properties facilitate the travel purpose, but are not located at key locations ! The Outskirts: Properties located outside major cities and are treated as stop overs for travellers on the road ! The Escapes: Typically resort like properties, which are away from the rigor of major cities and towns and help guest escape to exquisite locations away from the daily routine The second category will be Social Media Activity based segmentation. The key segments can be identified as: ! Influencer: This segment has an opinion and likes to share ! Follower: This segment typically shows support for already stated opinions but is rarely interested in explicitly stating opinions ! Indifferent: This segment is present on social media but is rarely influenced with what is trending

! New Advents: These are typically new to the travel world and are still exploring their style of travel ! Getting There: This segment is the group that has been travelling for a while, know their preferences for travel and budget their travels well ! Have Arrived: This segment is the set of confident travellers with fewer budget restrictions and ready to explore new options ! Seasoned: This segment has been travelling for a long time with very clear idea about what they want; they would like to go for well tested options All the above segments can be further classified into two parallel sets of male and female travellers. The fourth segmentation is Behavioural. This is based on booking channel, booking lead time, product affinity, expected time and day of arrival, market segment, etc. This category has four segments: ! Deal Hunters: This segment makes a purchase

The cross-section of above six categories gives the micro-segments, which can be targeted for various initiatives across the seven stages of Guest Relationship Management (GRM).

7 Stages of GRM

Awareness

Knowledge

Consideration

Trail

Satisfaction

Loyalty

Advocacy

Improve Look to Book Ratio

Improve Booking Materialization

Contextualised Service Offering Rate Allocation by Micro Segments Win Back Initiatives

Figure 9: SVoG enabled interventions to deliver personalization across seven stages of GRM

Relevant communications

Loyal Advocates

Personalized Suprises

Guest Base

SVoG Enabled Interventions

Potential Guest Bases

widening of Base of Loyal Advocates


Below is the explanation on how these initiatives across the various micro-segments can be used to deliver “Ppersonalization”: ! Improve Book to Look Ratio: Relevant micro segment targeting can boost potential guest confidence and hence instigate them to consider the hotel brand for their next stay; thus improving Look to Book Ratio ! Improve Booking Materialization: Targeted offerings like Special Non-Refundable Rates, for micro segments with high propensity to cancel, can improve Booking Materialization ! Personalized Surprises: During the guest visit, contextualized surprise offerings like "Welcome Drink" or "Free Room Upgrade" can go a long way in creating a "Wow Experience" and hence driving guest loyalty

offered a customized bundle with a special rate, so as to enhance its perceived value and increase profit margin on the bundle at the same time. ! Win Back Initiatives: For the micro segment on the verge of exiting the loyal guest base, the win back initiatives can not only bring them within the periphery of the loyal guest base, but can also strengthen the relationship ! Relevant Communications: Contextualized communication like special offers on festivals relevant to a certain micro-segment can gradually build subliminal loyalty towards the hotel brand and hence generate an army of loyal advocates

! Contextualized Service Offerings with Rate Allocation by Micro Segments: Depending on the micro segments’ perception of value of the bundled products, each micro segment can be

Conclusion In today’s day and age, where technology has given unprecedented access to understanding data and using data to precisely predict the response of the customer at an individual level; personalization is no longer a “Nice to have”. Slowly and gradually, personalization is moving into an expectation zone of “Must Have” – especially for the customers of service industries like that of hospitality. With an average hospitality chain guests being part of the multiple loyalty programs at any point in time, it is the card of personalization that can be a true game changer.

Acknowledgement The author would like to thank Mr. Indranil Das (Global Practice Leader - EPM, ITC Infotech) and Mr. Sameer Gujral (Global Practice Leader - CVM, ITC Infotech) for their contribution and support in coming up with the content of this paper. Also, would like to thank Mr. Sandeep Kumar (VP and Head, Business Consulting Group, ITC Infotech) and Mr. Raj Basu (VP, Business Consulting Group, ITC Infotech) for their guidance and support in coming up with the concept for this paper.


About ITC Infotech ITC Infotech is a specialized global scale - full service provider of Domain, Data and Digital technology solutions, led by a strong business and technology consulting focus. The company caters to enterprises in Supply Chain based industries (CPG, Retail, Manufacturing, Hi-Tech) and Services (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance, Airline, Hospitality) through a combination of traditional and newer business models, as a long term sustainable partner. ITC Infotech is a fully owned subsidiary of ITC Ltd - one of India’s most admired companies. www.itcinfotech.com | contact.us@itcinfotech.com Š2017 ITC Infotech. All rights reserved.

Personalization The Rising Currency in Travel Experience  

Personalization in travel is the buzzword of the hour. Every major hotelier is convinced that to cater to today’s guest expectations – uniqu...

Personalization The Rising Currency in Travel Experience  

Personalization in travel is the buzzword of the hour. Every major hotelier is convinced that to cater to today’s guest expectations – uniqu...

Advertisement