CRM in Hotel Industry1

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[Customer relationship management in hotel industry]

Submitted to Lovely Professional University  In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of degree of BACHELOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

 Subm  Sub mitte itted by:

P r ojec jectt guid gui de:

G r oup No___5 No___50_ 0_

 Mr . A bha hayy Ti Tiw war i

 Anuj  A nuj kum kuma ar gi girr i  Shohit  Sho hit Nan Nand da

 Sr.. L ect  Sr ct..

R oll No.4 No.46 6 R oll No.49 No.49

R agh gha av se sethi thi

R oll N o.51

 Shahil  Sha hil babbar

R oll No.5 No.54 4

DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT LOVELY PROFESSIONAL UNIVERSITY PHAGWARA (2010) 

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TO WHOMSOEVER IT MAY CONCERN

This is to certify that the project report titled “ customer relationship management in hotel industry” carried out by Mr . ANUJ KUMAR GIRI, SOHIT NANDA, RAGHAV SETHI AND SHAHIL BABBAR have been

accomplished under my guidance & supervision  as a duly registered BBA hons. student of the Lovely Professional University, Phagwara. This project is being submitted by them in the partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Bachelor of Business Administration from Lovely Professional University.

Their dissertation represents original work and iiss worthy of consideration for the award of the degree of bachelor of Business Administration.

 ___________________________________ (Name & Signature of the Faculty Advisor) Date:

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ACKNOWLEGDEMENT We would like to express my gratitude gratitude to all those who gave me the possibilities to complete this capstone project . I want to thank the department of BBA (HONS.) of LOVELY PROFESSIONAL UNIVERSITY  for giving me guideline to commence this project and to do the necessary Research Research work. I have further more thank thank to our project guide MR. ABHAY TIWARI (SR. LECT.)   who gave guideline and encouraged us to go ahead with our capstone project. We are deeply indebted to all whose help, stimulating suggestions and encouragement helped us in all the time giving me me instructions and making of this capstone project. Thank you.

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INDEX S.No

1

Chapter

1.Introduction to Subject

………………………………………..5 ……………………………………… ..5 - 7

What is CRM?

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Review of literature ……………………………………… 88- 21 -Advances in 1990 -Integration of customer information. -Application architect - e-crm

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 Need, Objective, Objective, Scope Scope & Research Methodology Methodology…………………... …………………...22-27 22-27

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interpretation interpretat ion and analysis & Recommendations…………………… Recommendations ……………………28 28 - 42

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References…………………………………………………………….43 References…………………………………………………………….4 3 -44

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Introduction Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM entails all aspects of interaction a company has with its customer, whether it is sales or service related. It even uses technology to streamline processes that impact customer loyalty, service delivery and quality management. Today,  businesses are facing an aggressive competition and they have to make Efforts to survive in a competitive and uncertain market place. People have realized that managing Customer relationships is a very important factor for their success. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a strategy that can help them to  build long-lasting relationships with their customers and increase their profits through the right management system and the application of customer-focused strategies.

“Customer is the most important person for a business. He is not an interruption an  interruption to our work but the purpose of it. He is not an outsider; he is a part of it. We are not doing him a favor; he is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to serve him.” (By (By Mahatma Gandhi) It has grown mainstream and is being implemented in a wide range of companies and organizations such as manufacturing, financial services, transportation and distribution, medical services and products, consumer package goods and others. This explosive growth of CRM reflects the intersection of genuine market need and enabling technology. And, in this growth period, the impetus for CRM is shifting from an emphasis on efficiency, i.e., doing more things faster with less cost, to effectiveness, i.e., doing things better for increased revenue with a high "return on relationships (ROR)". According to Chaudhuri and Shainesh. A CRM  programmer requires a clear understanding and commitment to the company's customers, vigilant adherence to detailed goals, commitment from both executives and line workers, and a constant awareness of the customer's view point. Customer relationship management is about more than simply managing customers and monitoring their behavior or attitude. CRM has the potential to change a customer‟s relations with a company and increase  increase   revenues in the  bargain. Furthermore it helps to know the customers well eenough nough to decide whom to choose and whom to lose. 5

 

The objective of CRM (customer relationship management) is to recognize and treat each and every customer as an individual. Any business to know that how to differentiate customer treatment according to an individual preferences.For differentiate customer treatment, the companies use personalized service and customized products which make some customers feel special and others simply appreciate good behavior. It humanizes their purchase or service request or complaint. Personalization and customization doesn‟t mean maintaining  maintaining  only customer loyalty, but also driving purchases higher. Getting closer to customers and effectively responding to their needs is a great way to boost their loyalty and encourage deeper business relationship. The task of getting and retaining customers requires even greater skill and effort. The business needs to ensure that the service works as the customer actually wants it to, and the customers want to do business in 'their' way, not to be forced to do it in the enterprise's way. Most companies consider the customer-focused and  believe that in being so they are servicing the customer. But eventually, being customer focused means to have a consistent, dependable and convenient interaction with customers in every encounter. CRM technologies focus on managing all interactions that an organization has with its customers, in order to leverage the data in a variety of business applications. Where a profitable relationship already exists, CRM can especially boost superior service at a lower cost. In addition to this it helps to serve customer's unspoken needs. Generally speaking, the five needs of customers are:(a) Service (b) Price (c) Quality (d) Action and (e) Appreciation. Apart from these, there would be needs, which even the customers have not taken care of, but which, if would have satisfied will lead to higher customer loyalty. CRM, if practiced properly might lead to cross-selling and up selling of products and services. Cross-selling means selling the right product to the right customer. One other relevant and important attribute of CRM is its ability to help in the egomending of customers. This, if practiced efficiently, soothes the customer's 6

 

negative emotions he could have, due to the non-attainment of his expectations regarding the product or the service. The adoption of CRM in the hospitality industry has been impeded by a number of factors. These include the persistently fragmented nature of the industry, the disparate, proprietary and relatively immature nature of IT systems, and the additional complexity associated with managing a perishable product that is sold through a variety of distribution channels. However, more rapid progress is being made due in part to the continued consolidation between hospitality companies and hospitality IT vendors.

Research Questions a) How will CRM help to retain customers in hotel industry?  b) What are the new marketing approaches in hotel industry? c) How CRM can be effectively administered?

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LITERATURE REVIEW 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of those magnificent concepts that swept the business world in the 1990‟s with the promise of  forever   forever changing the way businesses small and large interacted with their customer bases. In the short term, however, it proved to be an unwieldy process that was better in theory than in practice for a variety of reasons.First among these these was that it was simply so difficult and expensive to track and keep the high volume of records needed accurately and constantly update them. In the last several years, however, newer software systems and advanced tracking features have vastly improved CRM capabilities and the real promise of CRM is  becoming a reality. As the price of newer, more customizable Internet solutions have hit the marketplace; competition has driven the prices down so that even relatively small businesses are reaping the benefits of some custom CRM  programs. The 1980‟s saw the emergence of database marketing, which was simply a catch  phrase to define the practice of setting up customer service groups to speak individually to all of a company‟s customers.  customers.   In the case of larger, key clients it was a valuable tool for keeping the lines of communication open and tailoring service to the client‟s needs. In the case of smaller clients, however, it tended to provide repetitive, survey-like information that cluttered databases and didn‟t provide much insight. As companies began tracking database information, they realized that the bare bones were all that was needed in most cases: what they buy regularly, what they spend, what they do. Advances in the 1990’s 

In the 1990‟s companies began to improve on Customer Relationship Management  by making it more of a two-way street. Instead of simply ga gathering thering data for their own use, they began giving back to their customers not only in terms of the obvious goal of improved customer service, but in incentives, gifts and other perks for customer loyalty. This was the beginning of the now familiar frequent flyer programs, bonus points on credit cards and a host of other resources that are based on CRM tracking of customer activity and spending patterns. CRM was now being used as a way to

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increase sales passively as well as through active improvement of customer service. Review on Importance of Customers

There exists a wide-spread mistaken notion that CRM is some kind of a manifestation of technology only. Another interesting thing is that even those who have implemented highly technological installations for their CRM initiatives, quite often can be seen to have forgotten the basis of this modern concept, i.e., making profitable relationships with their customers. This significant part is left to the technology alone (Schneider and Bowen, 1999).Such a situation arises mainly because of the inability or reluctance of the management to accept the importance of customers and serving them to keep them satisfied and happy, which otherwise may result in low sales and hence low  profits. "One widely accepted marketing rule-of-thumb claims that the average, unhappy customer tells eight other potential customers about his negative experience." (Lemon, et al, 2002) Some decades ago, most of the companies concentrated mainly on higher  productivity through higher levels of efficiency of employees e mployees as well as machines, cost-reduction tactics and on attracting more customers through the classic marketing tactics such as TV advertisements, mass mailings, bill boards etc. But the sudden growth and expansion of services sector proved that these would not convert into profits, as was expected. Moreover, the emergence of faster, cheaper and more efficient systems of communication, transport and information technology has made the business enterprises realize that the competition is just a mouse click away. These changed, new environment of business unveiled the importance of keeping the existing customers loyal so that they would not switch over to the competition, without much thinking. This led to the increased awareness of companies about the importance of serving the customer needs with a higher level of quality and in a way which is convenient and beneficial to both the companies and the customers. (Anton, 2005) According to Berry (1983) Customers to a business are those people or enterprises which are benefited by the use of a service or product offered by that particular  business, certainly for something in return, generally a price. When a customer  pays a price, he expects some specific thing with a sspecific pecific quality and features. If 9

 

his expectation exceeds what he has been given, it leads to an unsatisfied customer. If the offer exceeds his expectations for a stipulated price, it leads to a highly satisfied customer and he is said to be enjoying customer delight. Today, the customer has more choices to choose from. So it is more likely for any customer to switch from one company to another in search of better quality or service. But the companies have found out that creating new demand i.e., finding out new customer is much costlier than keeping the regular demand, i.e. Existing customers for a regular inflow of cash and hence profits. "The reports on new customer acquisition costs vary, from as low as three times to as high as thirteen times of servicing an existing customer." (Berry, 1983) In a customer‟s viewpoint, there is very little reason to switch switc h loyalties often, if things are going comfortably with the existing vendor and the level of service is good. Switching involves changes and disruptions in service levels that most regular customers try to avoid. Realizing these facts in its true sense, many companies have stuck to making long-term profitable relationships with their  prospective customers. (Hart et al, 2002) And this has been proved to be, in a way, mutually beneficial to both the parties. This has resulted in managing these relationships as a strategic tool and in the evolution of Customer Relationship Management or most commonly known as CRM. Industry Definition (Article)  Abbey (1999) proposes a hotel industry in a primarily a service sector emphasis in given on the role played by relationship marketing. You are nothing without our customers understanding that your organization exists for no other reasons than to meet customer needs and expectations. Its imperative is to develop proactive

methods for understanding what customers like and dislike. If you believe otherwise, just look behind you at the long queue off competitors lined up and waiting for the opportunities to prove you wrong. CRM is a business strategy to select and manage the most valuable customer relationships. CRM requires a customer-centric business philosophy and culture to support effective marketing, sales and service processes. CRM applications can enable effective customer relationship management, provided that an enterprise has the right leadership, strategy and culture. (Anton, 2005)

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In hospitality, each customer relationship has value and should be managed effectively. There is opportunity for repurchase and recommendation from each  past customer. The administration of the information about this past guest and the effective integration of the information into frontline guest services programs is the challenge of CRM implementation. Tactically, where does CRM start? The recommended implementation of customer relationship management typically looks like (Hart et al, 2002): Statistically valid customer satisfaction measurement: From the very top of the organization, there should be a commitment to CRM including customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and a desire to have one voice to the customer. Integration of customer information:

The process of extracting customer data from legacy systems (i.e., the property management system) and integrating the entire database in the property that contains guest information is complex and time-consuming. The data sources may include guest history, external guest profiling systems, restaurant club programs, sales and catering system information and other data. 1. Customer profiling : Demographic and Psychographic information can be appended to a large  percentage of the customer database. This is followed by the implementation of effective marketing programs to attract similar customers to build revenue. 2. Direct marketing : The utilization of the integrated customer information for direct marketing offers is the goldmine of any CRM effort. Highly profitable offers can provide business during slow periods. These offers can be communicated via mail or e-mail. 3. Best customer/extraordinary service : The Mecca of all is to understand if the most profitable customers are the most satisfied. This involves very detailed satisfaction analysis, combined with valid financial data about each customer  –   all appended to the customer database. It‟s uncertain whether anyone is there in the hospitality industry, but certainly companies are getting very close to understanding the most profitable customers and most profitable micro-markets. The immediate tactical example of this is can 11

 

 be found in well utilized sales and catering systems, which integrate the  profitability of groups and meetings. Linking the meeting planner satisfaction to each of these sales and catering accounts is the first step in making sure that your best customers are most satisfied.

Scope of the Study This study will provide an insight into the hotel industry and the steps being taken by them to improve their relationship with their guests/customers. From the study, we can infer the present scenario of the practices and programs being followed by the leading players in this sector and the steps being followed by them to enhance customer retention, customer satisfaction and in turn, leading to enhanced profits and brand image in the minds of the customers. CRM and Technology

In CRM the important functions are collecting customer data, analyzing them and making relationships with the prospective customers based on the analyzed information. Among these three main functions, the first and the last ones are making direct contact with customers, while analyzing data is not. The operational CRM deals with those which make customer contacts or otherwise called as touch point points. s. On the ot other her Analytical CRM does the job of analyzing the accumulated data from the various touch points with the aid of business intelligence. By using the new CRM techniques the companies are trying to  provide a consistent but tailored customer experience across all contact contac t points with the customers. 

The Components of Operational CRM:1. Customer Service and Support (CSS): These applications basically automate the support and service functions, including analysis and also provides workflow engines that facilitate efficient problem and inquiry escalation, tracking and resolution. They also provide customizable, dynamic scripting capabilities for the customer service representatives or

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executives as well as the potential to record customer responses in a shared storehouse. Call centers use operational CRM tools; They also integrate with computer telephony integration capabilities which allows automatic call routing with automatic screen pop-ups containing all customer and product information to the agent's work stations as the agents are answering or initiating calls. (Chaudhuri & Shainesh 2001) 2. Sales Force Automation (SEA): These are tools which automate the collection and distribution of all types of sales or sales related information‟s. SEA allow for the design of sales teams based on  particularly defined criteria. Calendar management, activity management, sales reporting and forecasting, lead distribution and tracking of sales contacts with customers and prospects are some of the capabilities offered within these solutions.

3. Marketing Automation (MA): These applications provide the ability to create automated marketing campaigns and track the results. Generating lists of customers to receive mailings or telemarketing calls, scheduling automatic or manual follow-up activities and receiving third-party lists for incorporation into the campaigns are all typical functions. Internet personalization tools are offered here to track behavior on a web-site and allow tailoring of the marketing automation suites.

Advantages of CRM  Using CRM, a business can:  Provide better customer service   Increase customer revenues   Discover new customers   Cross sell/Up Sell products more effectively   Help sales staff close deals faster   Make call centers more efficient   Simplify marketing and sales processes

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Generally, following are the type of data a CRM project includes:   Responses to campaigns   Shipping and fulfillment dates   Sales and purchase data   Account information 

Web registration datarecords   Service and support   Demographic data   Web sales data  

Key Features of CRM Tools CRM includes all business processes in sales, marketing, and service that touch the customer.With CRM software tools, an enterprise might build a database about its customers that describes relationships in sufficient detail.The management, salespeople, people providing service to the customer can access information, match customer needs with product plans and offerings, remind customers of service requirements, check payment histories, and so on.

Need of Customer Relations Relationship hip Management - CRM The generally accepted purpose of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is to enable organizations to better serve its customers through the introduction of reliable processes and procedures for interacting with those customers. In today's competitive business environment, a successful CRM strategy cannot be implemented by only installing and integrating a software package designed to support CRM processes. A holistic approach to CRM is vital for an effective and efficient CRM policy. This approach includes training of employees, a modification of business processes based on customers' needs and an adoption of relevant IT-systems (including soft and maybe hardware) and/or usage of ITServices that enable the organization or company to follow its CRM strategy. CRM-Services can even redundant the acquisition of additional hardware or CRM software licenses.

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The term CRM is used to describe either the software or the whole business strategy oriented on customer needs. The second one is the description which is correct. The main misconception of CRM is that it is only software, instead of whole business strategy. Major areas of CRM focus on service automated processes, personal information gathering processing, and self-service. It aattempts to integrate and automate the variousand customer serving processes within company.

There are three parts of application architecture of CRM: 1. Operational - automation to the basic business processes (marketing, sales, service) 2. Analytical support to analyze customer behavior, implements Business intelligence like technology 3. Co operational - ensures the contact with customers (phone, email, fax, web...)

e-CRM or Web based CRM

e-CRM application in hotel industry are straddling across business functions to retain, capture and capitalize on customer data, i.e. integrating all aspects of  business process and systems by keeping the customers as the core. e-CRM  projects are no longer viewed as stand-alone implementations but are now being increasingly pursued in context of larger business objectives and core strategic agendas. Corporations realize that the true values of their customers in down turn are the ones that will be equipped, tied over the slump and jump start, consolidate and thrive e-CRM Components in Hotel Industry Sales functionality: functionality: Contact management profiles and history, management including activities, order entry, proposal generation

account

Sales management functionality: functionality: pipeline analysis (forecasting, sales cycle analysis, temporary alignment and assignment, roll up and drill down reporting). Telemarketing/Telesales functionality: functionality: call list assembly, auto dialing, scripting, order taking. 15

 

Time management functionality: functionality: single user and group calendar/scheduling, e-mail Customer service and support functionality: functionality: incident assignment, escalation, tracking/reporting, problem management/resolution, order management/promising, warranty/contract management  Marketing functionality functionality:: campaign management, opportunity management, web based encyclopedia, configuration, market segmentation, lead generations/enhancement/tracking.  Executive information functionality: functionality: extensive and easy-to-use reporting  ERP integration functionality functionality:: legacy systems, the web, third party external information  Data synchronization functionality functionality:: mobile synchronization with multiple field devices, enterprise synchronization with multiple databases/application servers E-commerce functionality: functionality: manages procurement through EDI link and web-server and includes B2B and B2C applications Service support functionality: functionality: Worker orders, dispatching, real time information transfer to field personnel via mobile technologies (Rmana & Somayajulu, 2005) Customer Service Call Center Software,Help Desk Software,Partner Relationship Management Contract Management Software: Contract Management Software enables an enterprise to create, track and manage partnerships, contracts and agreements. Example: Upside Software, Accruent Software, diCarta, IMany.

Customer Relationship Management Software for the Hotel Industry

Guest Ware is a unique Customer Relationship Management System (CRMS) designed specifically for the lodging industry to provide personalized guest recognition and exceptional service quality. Leading hotel management

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companies use Guest Ware to improve guest satisfaction, lower operating costs,  build guest loyalty, and increase revenues. (www.guestware.com) Guest Ware is installed in over seven hundred hotels and resorts worldwide; including Marriott International, Kimpton Hotel Group, Hyatt Hotels, Star wood and many independent hotels and resorts. Marketing Solution - The CRM Approach  Now more than ever, it is critical for hospitality sales and marketing professionals to maximize their return on investment (ROI) in marketing. Experts agree targeted marketing to existing customers is the best way to increase marketing ROI. Most industry consultants estimate the cost of finding a new customer is between 5 and 10 times the cost of retaining an existing customer. Improvement Analysis - Implement Process Improvement Industry surveys show that guests are less likely to return if they experience a  problem during during their stay. Guest Ware‟s Improvement Analysis tools  tools   provides with the information to eliminate recurring problems and keep guests coming  back, so to lower operating ccosts osts aand nd increas increasee guest satisfaction aatt the same time. (Raghunath & Shields 2001) Comment Card Tracking - Listen to your CustomersC ustomer survey on restaurant or an extensive questionnaire of guests, the Guest Ware Comment Card Tracking system assists to manage customer feedback. Guest Ware will improve  productivity in the follow-up process and provide valuable manage management ment reports tto o maximize the benefits of your surveys. Guest ware Enterprise Solution  –   For Effective Means Intended for hotel chains,  brands and management companies, co mpanies, the Enterprise Guest Ware Wa re database maintains a single view of the customer essentials for CRM. Enterprise Guest Ware enhances property management systems (PMS) and central reservations systems (CRS). It allows hotel companies to implement enterprise CRM while leapfrogging existing hotel technology investments. Communications Server - Two-way Messaging The Guest Ware Communication Server integrates two-way messaging (or other types of text- based  based messaging) me ssaging) with Gue Guest st Ware‟s Rapid Response. It allows It allows staff to receive and close requests and maintenance issues from a pager or cell phone. 17

 

The software helps streamline service delivery and uses existing e-mail systems or a modem to communicate with most two-way messaging devices. With the latest offerings in CRM, Hoteliers can:   Develop comprehensive guest profiles from reservation information and demonstrate to guests/customers that the property is in touch with their needs   Drive guest-centric data down to the transaction level, allowing employees and guest-facing technology to deliver greater value to the guest/customers. Generate a realistic profile on the spending and stay patterns of guests, allowing the  property to create guest-centric marketing for increased loyalty and spending. ITC Maurya Sheraton - Field selling, Loyalty programs, Reservation systems, Web & Call centers are the major sources of database development. The hotel has 35,000 members in its database. They regard this management of their database as an asset because it enables a superior customer understanding. Using the Database: Product and service improvement is just one result of tapping into a database. Developing special promotions and employing direct mail to promote these campaigns is another major use of database marketing. For example: A sales team of Mughal Sheraton, Agra had completed a review of an upcoming weekend. This review revealed that bookings to date were some what below forecast and that a special promotion may be done in order to speed up the business. The sales team then enveloped special promotion packing to encourage bookings for weekends. They searched their welcome break holiday  package database and scratched it to identify and seg segment ment the ccustomers ustomers who tend to (Sheth, 2002): Book on long weekends Book on a short term basis Respond to promotional campaigns

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The direct mailing was used as a principal means to reach out to these customers. Activities like these are today referred to as database marketing. It is aggressive selling to the potential customers who have particular needs and wants and  building a match or ““fit” fit” the needs of the the noted.  noted. Therefore, out of the database of 35,000 members, only a few but almost some customers were contacted by direct mailing which resulted in sizeable sale during the otherwise lean weekend at Mughal Sheraton Agra. Database Mining

Starkov, (2006) points out that Database mining is the process to distill the target customers groups out of the massive data files typically found in hospitality operations. In other words, these are systematic ways to distill through a database of a multitude of databases to get the information for which one is reaching. Some hotels outsource these tasks to companies that specialize in this field or at  best, do it internally. It enables users to easily integrate company/ property management reservations and point of sale systems, automatically extracting operating data from legacy databases for use in the marketing database. The systems analysis tools allow users to profile their most profitable customers, analyze their buying habits, develop & assess the performance of targeted marketing campaigns. The biggest advantage of database mining is that it helps to focus the efforts and available resources into one direction which is most  profitable and out-base mining helps to eliminate the non-profitable customers and hence reduces the costs and enhances the profits. The profits enhanced are not only in monetary terms but also in terms of customer loyalty and long term retention. Companies in hospitality that are adopting the database marketing approach to enhance sales are seeing increased customer satisfaction which further results in increased revenues. From the point of view of the internal customers also, a new profession is emerging in the hospitality industry of getting and keeping a customer. (Rmana & Somayajulu, 2005) Relationship Marketing

Rama (2005) suggests that frequent customer programs and database marketing efforts contribute to a more comprehensive approach to satisfying customers called relationship marketing. Relationship marketing depends on the goodwill 19

 

generated by frequent-buying programs as well as on the information provided from database marketing efforts, goes beyond simple short term awards and involves all the elements of a firm‟s and  and   services to encourage a personal relationship with each customer.

Relationship marketing is “knowing the customer and using that  that   information to  bond with them.” Form the initial personal contact and then then   serve as the foundation for nurturing this brief encounter into a friendly and accommodation relationship by focusing on personal guest information. In addition to knowing the  purchase habits of members (room selection, certain amenity preferences, and so forth), personal information such as spouse‟s name and hobbies hobbies are added to a member database (see previous section on database marketing). (Swift, 2001) The company uses this information to tailor special events and products to small segments of the membership. Complaint Handling

Few companies, use or pay attention to complaints. Who wants to hear what they‟re doing wrong, especially if the criticism is well founded. It is estimated is  estimated that 90 percent of dissatisfied customers whose problems were not solved will never do  business with the retailers that sold them the product nor will they again buy the  product that caused the problem. In case of hotels customer/guest is more likely to switch if the provided service is not satisfactory to their expectation. On a personal level we all know what our faults are but we get defensive way they‟re re pointed out. We‟re also aware of weaknesses in our job  job   performance,  problems in our   organization and imperfections in its products and services. But reacting to criticism is difficult. We tend to respond in a guarded and defensive  way, which may avoid squarely confronting the real problem. Likewise, companies tend to let themselves off the hook too easily: “We never could have satisfied that customer.”  customer.”  (Schneider and Bowen, 1999) The astonishing news is that those people who do complaint and have their problem taken care of, tend to be more loyal to the company than the people who  were satisfied in the first place. World-Class companies see complaints as opportunities to improve, to impress customers and to turn complaining customers into loyal ones

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Priority Marketing

Priority Marketing focuses on what‟s important to the customer. What is important is  important to one customer however, may not be as important to another. Consider the varying demand placed on a hotel: An airline stewardess may find the 24 hour room-service extremely valuable, a retired couple may need dietary menu options, a tour wholesaler may favor low prices, and a young female executive considers a security a priority. Hotels should break down their services and ask customers what is important to them. This approach can field very valuable insight about changing customer  preferences. Identifying groups of customers who have similar preferences or even similar tastes (such as sharing common perceptions of quality or states), hotels can target  promotions to capitalize on known characteristics and individualize the  presentation. (Rmana & Somayajulu, 2005)

Objectives of the Study

The primary objective would be: Industry”.    To study “Customer Relationship Management in the Hotel Industry”.  The other objectives would be: To study the programs and practices of CRM employed by the leading hotels in India   To study the measures to build a better relationship between the customer/guest and the hospitality unit and finally to conclude the findings and suggest any recommendations regarding the future growth prospects.  

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RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

In this section I have first explained about research philosophy and approaches. In the later part of the chapter a brief and detailed overview of the research design and methodology used by me for this dissertation are provided. Research Design

After having defined the marketing research problem and developed a suitable approach, attention must be given to the formulation of a detailed research design, which will provide pertinent information. According to (C.R. Kothari, 2004) when defining research design, he presents it simply as „the framework for a study used in order to guide the collection and analysis of data‟.  data‟.  According to Kothari (2003), there are two major types of research design:1. Exploratory research --concerned with the development of initial hunches or insights. 2. Conclusive research --intends to verify insights and help decision makers to select a specific course of action. Even though exploratory and conclusive research has distinct purposes, they both consist of the same research components. They differ only in terms of the degree of formalization and flexibility of the components illustrated in table below: Research project Components Exploratory Research Conclusive Research Research Purpose General: To generate insights about a situation Specific: To verify insights in selecting a course of action Data Needs Vague Clear Data Collection Form Open-ended, Rough Usually Structured Sample Relative Small Relative Large Data Collection Flexible, No set procedures Rigid, well laid out Procedures Data Analysis Informal, Typically nonQuantitativeFormal, typically quantitative

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Exploratory Research:

According to Kothari (2003), the primary purpose of exploratory research is to shed light on the nature of situation and identify any specific objective or data needs to be addressed through additional research. Exploratory research is the most useful when a decision maker wishes to better understand situation, identify relevant courses of action or gain additional insights before an approach can be developed. In general, exploratory is appropriate to any a problem about which little is known. Exploratory studies are distinguished by flexibility concerning the methods employed. Literature searches, experience surveys and study of selected studies are some commonly used approaches (Kothari, 2004).An effective way of doing exploratory research is to seek out and talk to individual with expertise related to the situation being investigated. Conclusive Research:

The insights gained from exploratory research might be verified by conclusive research, as the objective of conclusive research is to test specific hypothesis and examine specific relationship (Malhotra, 1999). Conclusive research is especially useful when the decision-maker already has in mind on or more alternatives and is specifically looking for information pertinent to evaluating them. Therefore, when conductive a conclusive research, the decision maker can choose the best course action in a situation. The kind of research is based on large, representative samples, and the data obtained are subject to quantitative analysis. There are two basic forms of conclusive research:- Descriptive research Casual research The distinction between the two is based on the primary purpose of a conclusive –  conclusive  –  research project and the nature of the inferences that can be drown from it.

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Descriptive research:

Descriptive research is the design involved in the vast majority of marketing studies. The goal of descriptive research, as the name implies is essentially to describe something. Specifically, it is intended to generate data describing the composition and characteristics of relevant groups of unit such as customers, salespeople, organization and market areas (Parasuraman, 1991).Data collected through descriptive research can provide valuable information about the study units along relevant characteristics and also association among those characteristics. STEPS IN THE RESEARCH PROCESS

The present study focuses on “Customer Relationship Management in the  the  Hotel Industry”.  Industry”.  This study is descriptive in nature while it seeks to identify the present scenario of the practices being followed by the leading hotels in India for enhancing customer retention, satisfaction and loyalty. It not only intended to assist any player in this field to capitalize on existing potential but also formulate strategies in planning, designing and marketing of CRM tools and  programs ultimately leading le ading to a better brand image in the minds of the customers and increased revenues in the long run. Research simply means a search for facts- answers to questions and solution to  problems. It is a purposive investigation and an organized inquiry. This research project has a specified framework for collecting the data in an effective manner. Such framework is called “Research Design.”  Design.”   The research process consists of following steps:THE RESEARCH PROBLEM   DEFINING OBJECTIVES   Relationship Management in the Hotel Industry”.  Industry”.    DEVELOPING THE RESEARCH PLAN

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AND

RESEARCH

 

Data Source:

The type of data taken into consideration for this topic is the Secondary data. It is that data which somebody else had collected and which had   already been passed through the statistical process. It was collected from  hotel tariff cards, magazines, newspapers, articles, and internet and company records.  ANALYZE THE INFORMATION The next step is to extract the pertinent findings from the collected data. In this  project, the collected data is presented as the CRM practices followed by each hotel covered in the study STEPS IN THE CRM PROCESS

The first step in CRM is for the internal customer that is to create awareness among the concept, advantages and requisite disadvantages of the function.them Thentowards equip them by training in their own functions & scope of CRM within that function. At Maurya, they are trained to learn more about the guest and his background so that when he talks to the guest, he can strike a conversation that is of some interest to the guest. That may not be necessarily related to his stay at the hotel but these informal conversations with the guest can help build an excellent rapport with the guest which will lead the guest to know the employee by the name.

In future interactions, it is possible that the guest may only wish that most of his work done through that employee. This is also a form of customized and  personalized selling within the hotel. Maurya does not have a separate training for CRM. Any time when they have a special promotional scheme for a particular property, the marketing team (which has formulated the promotional scheme) puts together the details of the scheme, clearly marks out what is the customer expecting from the property and also if these are some special arrangements to be made for it. This team briefs the General Manager of the property about the customer expectation. The General Manager thenmuch decides the path of trickling down to that information, who should know & how to know. 25

 

In Maurya Sheraton, they use a phrase to explain this percolation which is “Nice to know and needs to know” which essentially means that it is nice to  know for all employees of a particular property about the running of the promotional scheme at their property but not all need to know about every aspect of the scheme as it may not be relevant to their scope of work but they do need to know the tier  points of the scheme relating to their scope of work. The second step in CRM process is to integrate the information which is received through touch points. From a marketing point of view, it is important to get the desired input back from touch points in such a way that all the bits and pieces  picked up by different touch points can be organized and used as valuable information by various other touch point to offer the right product to the right customer and that too at the right time.

Strategic Elements of CRM:-

Our experience and research identifies five crucial elements required for a successful CRM initiative in any service organization. For some companies, additional elements may become equally crucial, but we see these strategic concepts as universal: 1. Guest recognition 2. Data capture and maintenance 3. Channel integration and consistency 4. Ranking and discrimination 5. Two-way personalized dialogs Let‟s examine each of these areas in more detail.  detail.  

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Guest Recognition

Recognition means many things. A smiling face, recalling a preferred room type or a welcome back greeting are all common recognition experiences in the hotel industry. These are all typical recognition interactions between a repeat visitor to a given hotel and a front of house employee endowed with a hospitality work ethic. When recognizing a customer of the brand more so than of the hotel, the challenges expand geometrically, but so do the opportunities. Many of the multi brand companies succeed in this area by training reception staff to acknowledge the guest‟s participation in the multi-brand multi -brand frequency program (i.e. I have your frequency program number on your reservation.), but that is only part of the story. The trick is to get the relevant information in front of the line employees rather than keeping it locked up in an offline analytical database or centralized system not available to hotel personnel. If you want to impact service delivery, the information must be in the hands of line employees. An essential concept in discussing guest recognition is that of preferences. Capturing, retaining and making effective use of expressed customer preferences is the essence of guest recognition. You are not only acknowledging that the guest has a prior relationship with the enterprise, but you are able to do something useful for the guest with that knowledge.

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Interpretation and analysis The concern project is based on the customer relationship management in the hotel industry. We have taken 15 hotels from Jalandhar and after going through the deep study we came to know that the maximum no. of hotels are having below 50 rooms in their their hotels whereas only 4 hotels such as Leo fort, Sky lark, The Maya and Redisson Redisson Windsor are having 50 –  50  –  100   100 rooms for their customers. As the pie chart given below no any such hotel is there which has more than100 rooms for their customers.

Rooms   Rooms

Valid

below50 50-100 Total

Frequency

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

11

73.3

73.3

73.3

4

26.7

26.7

15

100.0

100.0

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100.0

 

customer arrival  arrival  Frequency Valid

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

10-15

3

20.0

20.0

20.0

15-20

3

20.0

20.0

40.0

more than 50

9

60.0

60.0

100.0

15

100.0

100.0

Total

As we have seen that the number of customer which are arriving every day in the hotels is 10-15 in 3 hotels wh where ere as in only 3 hotels 15 to 20 customers are arriving everyday simultaneously more than 20 customer are arriving in only 9 hotels every day. The pie chart showing above the arrival of customer arrival everyday in the hotels  

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regular customer   Frequency Valid

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

less than 20

5

33.3

33.3

33.3

20-30

6

40.0

40.0

73.3

30-40

4

26.7

26.7

100.0

Total

15

100.0

100.0

Simultaneously the approximate number of regular customer is also less than 20 in 6 hotels where as in 3 hotels the approximate no. is 30-40 customer and also in next 6 hotels the number of regular customer is 20-30 in regular basis.

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customer need  need  Frequency Valid

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Service

10

66.7

66.7

66.7

Variety

2

13.3

13.3

80.0

2

13.3

13.3

93.3

price

1

6.7

6.7

100.0

Total

15

100.0

100.0

 Appreciation

 Now, through the study we came to know that the maximum hotels are agree to  provide give better service to customer so that their customer become loyal and the relationship between them should continued but we also came to know that out of 15 only 3 hotels for ex-Radisson Windsor, Leo fort hotel and Shekhon grand hotel are considering appreciation is the most important to the customers. Whereas only 2 hotels consider variety as an important needs of the customer. The  pie chart is given below:-

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feedback   feedback Frequency Valid

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

always

11

73.3

73.3

73.3

never

4

26.7

26.7

100.0

Total

15

100.0

100.0

After going through the study we came to know that mostly all hotels take feedback from there customers through which they come to know about there strengths and weaknesses but some hotels do not take feedback because which they are still not aware about there weaknesses and that is one of the reason why there hotels are not among the best in the city.

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contact customer   Frequency Valid

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

Monthly

6

40.0

40.0

40.0

Halfyearly

9

60.0

60.0

100.0

15

100.0

100.0

Total

Contacting the customers is very important when you are in the hotel industry and almost every hotel contacts its customers similarly in the study it can be seen that 6 hotels contact there customers regularly i.e. every month and the rest contact there customers only on occasions or half yearly.

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loyalty card  card  Frequency Valid

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

yes

6

40.0

40.0

40.0

no

9

60.0

60.0

100.0

15

100.0

100.0

Total

As we can see from the above pie chart that only 7 hotels in the city provide loyalty cards which helps them to know the likes and dislikes of there customers and helps them to grow. There are many hotels that do not provide loyalty cards which they must provide so as to grow even more. 34

 

As we have come to know that the hotels are more concern about the service  providing and for that they take feedback also .but here the three hotels are not taking feedback which lack customer relationship between them. The most of the hotels are giving discount to the regular customer and the situation where any complaints done by the consumers. The concern 13 hotels believe that technology should be there for customer relationship so that they could maintain the relationship with them but after knowing also that technology can help to retain customers . Only 2 hotels are neither believes that such software should be used nor they want to use it in near future. It is also came to know that the six hotels are providing loyalty card for discount and remembrance to their customer and rest are not  providing any type of loyalty card to their customer. As we have seen that the customer relationships in these 15 hotels have been done only through loyalty card and there is no any other initiatives have been taken yet to increase the relationship management.

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technology importance  importance  Frequency Valid

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

yes

14

93.3

93.3

93.3

no

1

6.7

6.7

100.0

15

100.0

100.0

Total

As we have seen tthat hat the concern hotel are believing that they should use technology based software for maintaining the customer loyalty program.but even then they are not using any of type of software such as guess ware used in the most of the hotels .as it can be seen from the given above data

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discount on complaints  complaints  Frequency Valid

always 3 Total

Percent

Valid Percent

Cumulative Percent

14

93.3

93.3

93.3

1

6.7

6.7

100.0

15

100.0

100.0

Here we can see from the above pie chart that the hotels are giving discount only to whom who are doing any an y complains for service as well as prodect.

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discount to regular customer   Frequency Valid

always

15

Percent 100.0

Valid Percent 100.0

Cumulative Percent 100.0

As we have seen that most hotels are giving tthe he discount to the regular customer  but they are nott in the intension to the give the discount to their general customer. So in this way we can able to understand that their loyalty for the customer is only for them who are the the regular customer. They should give discount discount to their general customer.

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crm to retain customer   Frequency Valid

yes

15

Percent 100.0

Valid Percent 100.0

Cumulative Percent 100.0

We have seen that all hotels are believing that customer relationship management are helpful for retaini retaining ng the customer but they are not actually implementing any type of initiative for that. You can see from the above data that the hotels are agree to believe believe the relationship management b but ut unable to have some any type of customer relationship management practices in the hotel .

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CONCLUSION

As we have seen have seen that in 15 hotels whatever we have taken for sample they use no any customer relationship management practice rather tthan han loyalty card and discount when complained by the customer. So it is came after study that the hotel industry in jalandhar only seems to pr provide ovide service to customer but not the long relationship management practice. So for this we have analyzed the above situations and practice and at last come to know that they follow only providing service not relationship marketing with technology and software uses.

Recommendation 

As we know that today hotel businesses are facing an aggressive competition and they have to make Efforts to survive in a competitive and uncertain market place. People have realized thatCustomer managing Customer management relationships (CRM) is a very factor for their success. relationship is aimportant strategy that can help them to build long-lasting relationships with their customers and increase their profits through the right management system and the application of customer-focused strategies. We have seen and analyzed from the sample that the hotels of Jalandhar which are 15 in number are technology less. They are not using any technology for the customers identity,loyalty as well as interaction with them . so they should follow through these recommendation.  

They should contact with customers for ex- by phone, email, fax, web...etc)

  The use of software like Guest Ware which manage guest loyalty, guest

       

recognition, service delivery and the facility. Overall, improves guest satisfaction, lowers operating costs, and increases revenues etc.   Feedback should be taken from all the customer rather than regular customer. They should train their employee to serve better service to their customers . Hotel industry should take initiatives for using the database software to remember the like and dislikes of the customers for the future prospectus. Hotel industry should send birthday cards, membership card, club cards etc for creating identity and positioning in the mind of customer.

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 

They should insure the best possible service improvement with the employee and guest and also provide better product with service rather than  price.   . Surveys: Conducting monthly guest/customer surveys, club surveys, room comment cards, toll free guest assistance centers can help in getting customer feedback and to improve in the areas where there is a lag as suggested by the feedback.   Maintaining suggestion boxes at every touch point/point of interaction  with the customers. customers.   Taking feedback not only from external customers but also the internal customers i.e., the employees.   Proper check on the hotel staff’s and processes’ efficiency by the management, managemen t, say by employing Mystery Customers.   Surveys: Conducting monthly guest/customer surveys, club surveys, room comment cards, toll free guest assistance centers can help in getting customer feedback and to improve in the areas where there is a lag as suggested by the feedback.   Maintaining suggestion boxes at every touch point/point of interaction  with the customers. customers.   Taking feedback not only from external customers but also the internal customers i.e., the employees.   Proper check on the hotel staff’s and processes’ efficiency by the management, managemen t, say by employing Mystery Customers.   Keeping regular track of the sales data for further leads and followup   Employing effective CRM software to improve guest satisfaction, lower operating costs, build guest loyalty, and increase revenues.   Having Guest History programs- keeping a databank of customer profiles along with such details as room preferences, amenities preferred, special requests, meal preferences, wallet services, sending birthday cards to the loyal guests and even their spouses and giving them a hassle-free check-in procedure-like procedure-l ike sending them pickup and drop facilities.   Employing an efficient system of complaints handling as complaints are the opportunities to improve, to impress the customers and to turn complaining customers into loyal ones.   Giving recognition awards to attract old customers.   Giving the customers a more personalized and empathic services as  building good rapport with the customers goes a long way in having satisfied and return customers. Keeping regular track of the sales data for further leads and followup  

Employing effective CRM software to improve guest satisfaction, lower operating costs, build guest loyalty, and increase revenues. 41

 

Having Guest History programs- keeping a databank of customer profiles along with such details as room preferences, amenities preferred, special requests, meal preferences, wallet services, sending birthday cards to the loyal guests and even their spouses and giving them a hassle-free check-in procedure-like procedure-l ike sending them pickup and drop facilities.   Employing an efficient system of complaints handling as complaints are the opportunities to improve, to impress the customers and to turn complaining customers into loyal ones.   Giving recognition awards to attract old customers.   Giving the customers a more personalized and empathic services as  building good rapport with the customers goes a long way in having satisfied and return customer.  

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(January), pp. 1-14. Mohan Babu (2003) - Business Intelligence - Into the Mind of the Customer, IT People, Express. Rama Mohana Rao, K. (2005), Services Marketing, Pearson Education Schneider B. and Bowen D.E. (1999), Understanding Consumer Delight and Outrage”, Slogan Management Review, vol. 41, pp. 35-45. 35-45. Abbey J.R.,(1999) "Hospitality Sales And Marketing", Third Edition, by Ah & LA,  North High Street, Michigan. Chaudhuri Avijit, Shainesh (2001), "Implementing a Technology Based CRM Solution". CRM –  CRM –  Emerging  Emerging Concepts, Tata McGraw Hill Raghunath S., Joseph Shields (2001), "Introduction of e-CRM e -CRM in Indian Hotel Industry, CRM –  CRM –  Emerging  Emerging concepts, Tata McGraw Hill Sheth, J. N. (2002), „The Future Of Relationship Marketing‟, Journal Of Services  Services   Marketing, Volume 16, Number 7, pp 590-592 Swift, Ronald S. (2001), Accelerating Customer Relationships: Using CRM and Relationship Technologies, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey Prentice Hall. www.guestware.com www.ascenantone.com/CRM.asp www.crmdaily.com/perl/story/22438.html www.expresscomputeronline.com/20030623/newsan1.shtml. www.researchandmarkets.com/reportinfo.asp?cat_id=53&report_id=3929 www2.roanoke.com/columnists/shareef/5249.html www.tajhotels.com www.itchotels.com www.oberoihotels.com www. crmguru.com www.visiglobe.com

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