The Best Hotel Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Thanks to the rising global disposable incomes, the hotel industry is a fast-growing industry. In reality, domestic and foreign visitors spent a total of $792.4 billion on leisure travel in 2019. The sector, however, is not without its difficulties. Many hotels have suffered a setback due to Covid-19, and the advent of hotel aggregators threatens to drive away clients. Changes in visitor expectations resulting from the growing millennial population, as well as erratic revenue, flow due to unsold inventory during the off-season, are other areas of worry for hotels.

To overcome these obstacles, you must always be on the minds of your customers. For this reason, hotel operators should have a constant dialogue with their consumers, offering them personalised discounts and updates on new product releases and development into new markets. These factors are critical to the success of your loyalty programme.

You must understand your clients better than your competitors to begin a tailored relationship with them. A successful hotel CRM may make prospects remember you and strengthen your relationship with them, causing them to return to you again and time again.

What is CRM?

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a comprehensive strategy and process for acquiring, retaining, and partnering with selected customers to create superior value for both parties (business and customer). CRM is now available in the form of technology that helps you manage all of your business's customer and prospective customer relationships and interactions. CRM is designed with two primary goals: to enhance business relationships and enhance the customer experience. Direct interactions with customers, sales and service-related processes, forecasting, and analysis of customer trends and behaviours are all aspects of business-related with CRM.

CRM For Hotel Industry

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)  for hotels is a tool customised for hoteliers to manage their customer and potential customers’ relationships and interactions. CRM software is more commonly associated with email-based communication. But now, thanks to the technological breakthroughs, CRM is also powered by other multi-channel communication such as SMS, Facebook Messenger and many more.  

How does it work?

Customers’ profiles are created from data taken from property management systems, reputation management software, and other third-party data sources such as social media. The details usually would include name (with the salutation, if applicable), age, gender, marital status, email address & etc.

However, several hotels use different types of customer segmentation. For Hilton Hotel, they segmented their customers into four as below:

    1. Active members of the Hilton Honors program
    2. Individuals who stayed 4x per year
    3. Individuals who signed up for an online reservation account 
    4. Local VIPs

From here, you can see how customer segmentation is used by hotels to target customers that are more likely to stay at their hotel, rather than jumbling it all up under one extensive campaign with no specific target. In the long run, this can lessen out hotel’s cost of marketing campaigns and create better chances of generating more revenue. From there, CRM would enable hotels to simplify the process of getting the word out to the people about what's going on with their hotel. 


Why Do Hotels Need a CRM?

Customer data is everywhere, from booking timelines to event purpose to F&B purchase patterns. Hoteliers require CRM platforms to analyse and put data to work for them as industry data grows more extensive than ever before. There are four main reasons we have compiled as to why hoteliers need CRM:

  • Identify customers' profiles

    • Customers’ data obtained from multiple data sources can be a lot to take. However, with CRM, hotels can deliver a more detailed, personalised marketing and experience for their customers. Using customer data and segmentation will allow for information to be specifically analysed. Not only that, hoteliers can analyse the highest revenue-generating by each type (room rate, for example). After keeping track of this, hoteliers can identify the most successful outreach channels and ultimately adjust their marketing directions and spending accordingly.

  • Automate the communication process

    • CRM will ensure guest satisfaction and a smooth experience by automating the communication process. For instance, an automated system can send targeted marketing messages to customers based on their profiles. Hoteliers can also use CRM to automate non-marketing emails like confirmation and reminder emails. Hoteliers will be able to run the entire operation more efficiently and smoothly.

  • Grow business with repeating customers

    • According to the Harvard Business Review, finding a new customer is between 5 and 25 times more expensive than keeping an existing one. Most successful hotels target the groups that fit best with the property. Then, they nurture a good relationship with the customers-using CRM.

  • Personalise dynamic pricing

    • Hoteliers can use data to identify and score their most valuable customers and improve communication. These factors contribute to the effective acquisition of new customers and converting those customers into repeat customers, and enhancing the customer experience. Hoteliers must determine which segments of customers require special attention.

We have discussed this specific topic in our previous blog post here; give them a read if you still wonder about the benefits of CRM for your hotel.

The Best Hotel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Provider

The Best Hotel Customer Relationship Management (CRM)


  • MailChimp

    • Mailchimp is a popular web-based email marketing service. Users can share newsletters on social media and track customer engagement. The app lets you send targeted emails, run Facebook ads, automate follow-ups, and track campaign progress. Mailchimp lets users collect and analyse email replies. The application provides various graphical data and customer interaction representations.

    • Mailchimp allows users to create, share, and track emails from anywhere. Users can create and share attractive email campaigns using a drag & drop interface. Marketers can use the built-in analytics and reporting to track customer behaviour or generate custom reports. The solution is available as a monthly subscription for small to large businesses.

  • PipeDrive

    • Web-based Sales CRM and pipeline management solution Pipedrive helps businesses plan and track sales activities. Pipedrive is an activity-based selling platform that automates every sales process step. The cloud-based solution is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via any web browser or mobile app. Pipedrive gives salespeople complete visibility into sales pipelines, and its interface displays each deal's progress stage and the following actionable items. It also shows the activity & goal feature allows users to keep track of pending tasks. For more information on Pipedrive's custom sales reporting tools, click here.

    • Pipedrive's mailing system works with Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo. Pipedrive users can send and receive emails from multiple accounts. The solution integrates with leading CRM tools to share contacts, communication history, and other data. It also works with Google Maps, MailChimp, Trello, and Zapier.

  • Hubspot CRM

    • HubSpot CRM's cloud-based platform helps businesses of all sizes track and nurture leads and analyse business metrics. HubSpot is suitable for B2B and B2C companies in accounting, marketing, sales, construction, retail, real estate, and other fields. Some of the features include outbound and inbound marketing, sales automation and CRM. HubSpot CRM has a visual dashboard that shows the sales funnel in real-time. The CRM system tracks customer interactions via email, social media, live chat, and phone calls and stores them in a timeline organised by lead. The HubSpot CRM marketing tool helps businesses generate leads, manage email templates, and track performance.

    • HubSpot CRM sales tools help sales reps manage contacts, deals, and pipelines. Also, the platform integrates with third-party platforms such as Zoho CRM, Salesforce, SugarCRM, and others. The HubSpot CRM free plan includes unlimited access to all sales, marketing, customer service, and contact management tools.

  • Hootsuite

    • With over 200,000 paid accounts and millions of users, Hootsuite powers social media for businesses of all sizes. Build your brand, strengthen customer relationships, and achieve business goals by integrating social across your entire organisation. Hootsuite is a cloud-based social media management tool that allows teams to collaborate on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube campaigns. 

    • Hootsuite can help you succeed in social media marketing, social listening, and customer service. With Hootsuite, you can get more from social media faster. Utilise one dashboard to create and schedule posts for Instagram and other social media outlets. Assign tasks, manage approvals, and track team performance. Automate your posts to reach your audience at the best times. Monitor brand, industry, and competitors in real-time for strategic insights. Streamline customer service by forwarding incoming messages to the appropriate people in your company. With analytics, you can quickly gather insights into customisable reports. Manage and review your social advertising performance to attract new customers beyond your loyal followers. 

  • Zoho CRM

    • Zoho CRM is a cloud-based business management system for all sizes. Customer service, analytics, and sales automation tools are included. Zoho CRM enables real-time customer service across channels. Sales assistant Zia from Zoho CRM can predict the best time to contact customers. When searching, it can display relevant statistics or documents. Users can connect to G Suite, WordPress, MailChimp, Evernote, and Unbounce. The Zoho CRM SDK allows you to build custom functions for the CRM. Zoho CRM is available on a monthly or annual subscription, with phone, email, and documentation support.

Hilton and Marriott Hotel’s CRM Strategies

Customer service is, without a doubt, the most crucial aspect of the hospitality industry. The better a hotel understands its customers, the more likely they are to return or leave a positive review. Hospitality companies use CRMs primarily to improve customer experience. The customer experience begins with the first touchpoint, but with 88% of hotel guests preferring an online booking experience, the human element is no longer present. That's why the personalisation of subsequent communications is critical. Big hotel companies such as Hilton and Marriott have dived into CRM for years and now have a solid base in managing their customers’ data to the fullest of their abilities. 

  • Hilton Hotel’s CRM Strategies

    • “Customer Really Matters”  is Hilton’s initiative in building a stronger relationship with their best guests throughout their entire interaction cycle. They identified the following strategies for building close relationships with guests: recognition, personalisation, service recovery, and customer analytics. 
    • OnQ” is the centrepiece of Hilton’s “Customer Really Matters” strategy. The strategy is based on the idea that employees who better understand who their customers are and what their previous Hilton experiences were can engineer continuous improvement. The system is designed to accommodate customers' preferences, expedite check-in, and, in the future, allow Hilton to sell additional value-added products such as theatre tickets based on show availability and guest interest. It can also tell a hotel chain when a customer isn't worth investing in.

  • Marriott Hotel’s CRM Strategies

    • “Market Segmentation: The BUSINESS class has been identified as the primary segment by Marriott International. Based on this business class, they identified Leisure demanded business class as a NICHE market. The plan is to focus on the most well-defined level of segmentation, which is the INDIVIDUAL MARKET. The ASIA and GULF regions have been identified and targeted when it comes to the geographical segmentation. INDIA and CHINA are the NICHEs in the ASIA segment. Marriott's data mining software is Oracle.
    • Demographic Segmentation” is one of the most widely used bases for customer segmentation. One of Marriott's most important customers is business people or business travellers. People who work in the business world cannot avoid travelling around the world on business.
    • Psychographic segmentation”: JW Marriott, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club are some of Marriott's luxury hotel brands. This small group of brands caters primarily to high-end travellers. Customers deserve luxury, and JW Marriott delivers.
    • Behavioral segmentation” divides customers into groups based on their product or service knowledge, usage, and reactions. Consumers can be categorised based on events or milestones in their lives, such as graduations.

CRM Strategies For Your Hotel

  • Review your hotel’s overall process

    • Auditing where you are now is the first step in improving anything. After all, it's difficult to improve something if you don't know what you're trying to improve. Review all external and internal processes of the hotel, study the market for current trends or changes in customers’ behaviours, analyse the available competitions (study how the hoteliers can work better), and conduct a SWOT analysis. Identify the pipeline stages your prospect goes through and define who is responsible for what within your sales and marketing teams. 

  • Set up your goals on CRM

    • Alright, before jumping straight into paying for CRM, hoteliers can use this before you settle on a CRM platform. You can easily use SMART goals for your team. SMART are acronyms for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. A simple example for this would be:

      “ Increase % of direct bookings by 20% by the first quarter of 2022.”

      Sure, it might be as much as what CRM can offer, but it would be a good move to introduce it to the team and allow them to be familiar with the whole concept of CRM before committing to subscribing to a CRM platform.

  • Build marketing strategy around personalised emails

    • Create a marketing CRM strategy based on customised, personalised emails. To avoid mistakes and increase the effectiveness of your marketing messages, segment your customer lists. Use customer segmentation to ensure the right offers arrive at the right customer. Aside from that, always be specific in mentioning your request. No one likes indirect email marketing; they might even think of you as spamming you. Lastly, simplify unsubscription. It might sound weird, but trust us on this. People will be happier if they know they can unsubscribe anytime.
  • Provide value-added content

    • The question of how to attract, engage, and convert new inbound customers into bookings with your hotel and turning them into guests will always linger. Simple-content.

You need to give them something they can't get anywhere else. CRM can help by giving you a platform to create, curate, schedule, and publish original, SEO-optimized content, as well as integrating with your social media accounts to make community management easier.


CRM is gaining popularity due to its many advantages, including increased customer satisfaction and loyalty and improved financial and competitive performance. It also has become a strategic imperative in the hotel industry to attract and retain guests. Hence, hotels must differentiate themselves from their customers in an increasingly competitive market.

Because hotels can collect and integrate a large amount of information about their guests, CRM improves customer satisfaction and loyalty and thus increases profitability. Of course, you can't pick just one of these CRM strategies. You can use them all at once or focus on a smaller subset. Whatever tactics you use, keep one thing in mind. CRM isn't just about big ideas or strategies; it's about the tools you use to execute them. Implementing the above CRM strategies will add hours to your already long "to-do" list without a CRM system.

You're reading a blog compiled by Softinn. We're a hotel-technology company with the mission to make hotelier work easier. Do subscribe if you enjoy reading our blog or you may interact with us on our Facebook Page.

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