In this case study, you will be getting an insight on the role of CRM in developing a brand and providing sustainability in business. Hilton Hotels will be the locus point of our case study.
About Hilton Group of Hotels
The core business of Hilton is lodging service provider. Hilton hotels are the most internationally recognizable name in the lodging industry.
Let us first explore the timeline of Hilton industries
The Expansion strategy of Hilton
Hilton’s Core Business Franchising & Alignment with Real Estate owners is the only feasible vehicle for fast growth in the capital-intensive lodging industry.
There are around 4600 Hotels, resorts and timeshare properties with 75800 rooms operating in more than 100 countries with a whooping customer base of 50 million customers.
The snapshot of core business of Hilton is depicted on the right.
Hilton group is regarded as one of the largest and fastest growing hospitality companies in the world.
The service excellence of Hilton can be understood well based on its multi branding positioning strategy.
The positioning strategy involves
- Luxury Service
- Full Service
- Focused Service
The various categories of value added services provided Hilton Group is listed as below:
- Rental management
- Coordination with local tour agency
- Business center
- Airport shuttle bus
- Car Rental
- Fitness center
- Audio and Visual equipment
SWOT analysis of Hilton group of Hotels
The SWOT analysis depicts the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats for a particular company to understand its business performance. The major strength of Hilton group is the brand presence and awareness and its much diversified portfolio which saves time and energy of the customer.
The opportunities for future are in the form of Digitization and choice of updated technology. There should be more scope for innovation within the customer service departments and it can add more value to the dynamic growth in emerging business markets.
The key competitor of Hilton is Marriot group of hotels which has higher degree of individualization of choice of customer and down turn in business travel. This is a threat and Hilton need to devise an effective strategy to address this.The weakness of Hilton group of Hotels is weak management and the market share is less.
Evaluation of CRM system and its functions for the Hilton group of Hotels
Let us get introduced to the CRM practiced Hilton customer really matter –OnQ .The CRM is based on consolidation of far flung customer data and prepare comprehensive arrival reports.
Key features of Hilton OnQ
Hilton OnQ has data retrieval facilities through 100 % internal sources providing seven unique guest experiences which can create a competitive edge for them in the lodging industry.
Seven unique experience of Hilton OnQ
- Guest profile manager
- Online profile
- Post stay
The differentiator CRM strategy of Hilton focuses on
- Best guest’s categorization
- Maintaining amicable relationship with the guests for the lifetime
- Retrieve and analyze data based on recognition, customer analytics and personalization.
The next successful strategy is the Segmentation Strategy which focuses on segmentation of customers, sub brands and strategies.
Customer Segmentation Principles
- Frequency of Interaction: The correlation of customer value and prediction of future prospects.
- Check in times-recognize the loyal and repeat customers
- Online system engagement –easy to promote
- Customer Value-recognize the most profitable customers
Segmentation of Customer s -Best’s Guests CRM
Hilton group of Hotels have identified the best guests CRM based on the following categories listed below
- 8 million customers in Hilton honors
- Customer who have stayed more than 4 times in consecutive four years
- Customers who have an online reservation account and using it frequently
- Local VIP’s
Segmentation of sub brands
The Hilton CRM software has segmentation of sub brands and it is focused on the three main brands as listed below
- Home-wood suites
- Hilton garden inn
- Hampton inn
Features of Home wood suites are very casual, upscale residential style suites and it is ideal for customers who prefer a homelike environment when they travel.
Hilton Garden Inn is regarded as highly functional and has many innovative facilities with polite and friendly staff and the target customers are practical travelers who are smart and productive.
Hampton Inn is a comfortable, casual, personalized brand that is connected with all the common customers and it yields high value customer satisfaction and retention.
Segmentation CRM strategy is very helpful for Hilton group of Hotels as it is dependent on recognition, personalization and customer analytics supported by technology infrastructure.
Knowing the customer in person with all the information includes name, recent attainment. Make customers feel being recognized and being welcomed. Customize the customer’s personal needs. Giving them what they really require but not just service in a general level by collecting information both in advance or inner hotel.
Recognition Supporting strategy. Making sure Hilton can quantify the customer data and make quick reactions.
Customer Analytics Segmentation – Strategy
The Segmentation CRM strategy of Hilton is explained well using the info graphic as below:
How did Hilton achieve the CRM commitment?
CRM commitment of Hilton group of Hotels was feasible as they used best CRM software for
- recognizing the guests at the reservation center
- Printed the arrival report of the guests every morning
- Pre-assign the rooms based on preferences of the guests
- Conduct survey on customer satisfaction and loyalty
Evaluation of Hilton CRM strategy using CRM software tool
Hilton ensures rapid expansion of customer service and delivery.
Evaluate Hilton CRM 99.4% of Hilton Hotel’s Brand Portfolio creates more profits than competitors by 2017. To sum up, Hilton CRM is successful! Hilton Hotels’ Brand Portfolio.
Major limitations of the CRM tool are
- Information transfer accuracy Hilton has a large scale in franchise, and the customer information was not integrated and easily available. Since the information system is not totally automatic, there will be a challenge to obtain all needed information accurately.
- CRM can be measured from both internal and external sides roughly through various channels and CRM software did not cater the accuracy that it was intended to during the initial phase.
How can we strengthen the Hilton CRM further?
Hilton CRM OnQ can be strengthened further by using an effective CRM software tool which can
- Strengthen the internal opportunities and management process :
The internal opportunities and process can have more challenges if there is no CRM software tool. Automation process using CRM software tool will be very helpful for strengthening the management. It also paves for process excellence and cost reduction in CRM implementation.
- Data utilization :
It is very important to use data to improve the cross channel applications for creating effective customer experience and service through mobile, social media which can be integrated with CRM software tools.
- Use effective CRM software tool for attracting more potential customers through CRM integrations with social media channels.
- Increase the customer retention by performance trackers used in CRM software tool
- CRM analytics software will help to personalize the data and update Hilton on the latest preferences and customer expectations.
Hilton Worldwide today was named a Gold winner in the customer analytics category of the 2014 Gartner and 1-to-1 Media CRM Excellence Awards. Hilton is recognized for its Satisfaction and Loyalty Tracking (SALT) analytics program that enables the global hospitality company to analyze customer feedback and create data-validated best practices that are tested and implemented across the company to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. The CRM practices and usage of correct CRM software tool to implement the same can help your business to grow to new heights and this case study vouches the same.