Guest Information Management: The New Intangible Asset Value in the Experiental Hospitality.
By Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Saturday, 18th August 2012
According to an old axiom of marketing, the most successful company in the market is the one that has better knowledge of its customers. Customer data is a management tool that is continually gaining importance in today's business world.

Guests (main customer of the Hotel business), arrive to the hotel carrying valuable data about themselves. After obtaining these data Hotel´s   staff   will   transform them into helpful information to be applied  to the adoption of service strategies of behavior, reinforcing guest loyalty to the hotel.

This information and its connection to the context of the Hotel, is then transformed into knowledge of the guest. The degree or level of this knowledge will mostly determine the success of business management designed to achieve the most desired benefit: satisfied and loyal guests. However, we still face difficulties associated with lack of understanding of information management paradigm, such as:
  • What do we need to know about the guest?
  • How available is this information?
  • How would we like to receive the info?
  • When will we need it?
  • To what purpose do we need the info?
Who are the consumers of the guests´ information?

The   Guest Information Management, therefore, implies a set of procedures, standardized processes and  integrated  actions that respond to the life cycle of information, supported by systems and technologies. Processes   requires  collecting, gathering, location in a context, transmission and processing from both internal sources (the same guest) or external (associated or linked to the guest) and in any format, let analyze its application:

1 - The uptake of the guest Information:
There is no other source of information about the guest that is more accurate, accessible and fast than guest itself. That is the reason why, the Experiential Hospitality, through its system of relations and links of the type 'from one mind and heart to another mind and heart ', makes the guest allows us to get where no one has come before, obtaining information never before achieved. Note that in this process is essential the empathetic human resource factor whose level will be determined by its motivational degree.

2 - The collection of the guest information:
All data from guests who has been captured at different times or situations, should be united in a single tool or format that can be accessible to all who interact with customers. This is a critical step in determining the success of the information management, to prevent spreading, lose or misinterpret the gathered data. The use of technological advances (communications equipment, software etc.) may be very useful to facilitate the collection of the guest info.

3 - The location of the guest information in a context:
The guest information that is associated to a  Hotel context  and particularly to a Hotel experience, becomes guest experiential  knowledge. The contextualization of guest information, is one of the most creative procedures as it allows the making of management decisions to improve its application in the services and an strategic-tactical shift as a function of designing of positive holistic experiences  on guests.

4 - The transmission of the guest information:
The transmission of the guest info is certainly an essential element  to define the holistic nature of the guest´s experience. Therefore, it is necessary to transmit the information collected from the guest  to all sectors that can make use of it, to achieve the Hotel becomes a sensory big stage where the guest is constantly receiving sensory stimuli arousing his emotions and positive feelings.

5 - The information processing
The above item refers to the process of interpretation and subsequent use of the info by the Hotel staff to be adjusted  to the attributes of the services offered and ensure that they become a source of sensory stimuli that will surely  trigger positive emotions in the guests. These will be their own, unique and  unrepeatable feelings, out of the previously experienced context.

In the Experiential Hospitality, the Guest Information Management acquires a new dimension: emotional, which analyzes and uses all the collected and recorded customers data  to allow Information Managers (Experience  Makers)  take management decisions oriented to design positive holistic experiences for the guests who are being assisted

The Guest Information Management in the Experiential Hospitality  is an intangible and differential asset value in the Hospitality Industry because it can be used also as an important agent in modifying existing behaviors of guest, since it allows the guest achieves the desired emotional states, feeling he is emotionally understood. This degree of understanding is an important reinforcer for the  guest behavior of affiliation to the Hotel.

These behaviors of emotional loyalty offer the benefit of the differentiation and positioning of the Hotel on the market, thus increasing revenues as company.

Osvaldo Torres Cruz
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