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Building the tech stack for your hotel is not always easy. Especially because nowadays you have a great number of alternatives and different hotel software to help you reach the desired results.
Within the technology stack in a hotel, two key pieces are highly interconnected: the Property Management System and the Customer Relationship Management software (CRM). Not only do these two systems work together but they benefit from a seamless integration.
The integration between a PMS and a hotel CRM is a relevant point that not many people consider when evaluating options for their hotel. But how exactly does it work? In this article, we will discover how to use that integration to boost your revenue and elevate your guest experience.
How do a PMS and a hotel CRM work together?
A Property Management System is the core software of a hotel technology suite. Why? Because that’s where you will receive all the information regarding your guests, manage the reservations, and more. However, a PMS is not an “all-in-one” platform, meaning, there are different things you can’t do with it.
For example, if you want to deepen your guest communication, try to get more information about your guests, upsell or even automate your guest journey, other tools will help you with that.
And that is when a CRM comes into place. A hotel CRM will help you not only to gather data from different sources (the PMS one of them) but also to act upon that data, make decisions, create campaigns, send out communications and even automate your workflows.
The PMS will push data into the CRM, and this one will use that data for different purposes and in different ways and will push data back into your PMS. That’s what the integration between these systems is like, a dataflow that comes and goes between the two parties.
You want to have one source of truth, meaning, being able to look at your data and knowing it is up-to-date, clean and structured. This empowers you to make data-driven decisions and reduce mistakes.
A CRM does that for you. It structures, cleans and organizes your data to make sure there are no duplicates, profiles are merged, and everything is clear so you can understand and extract insights from it.
If there is no connection between your CRM and your PMS, you won’t be able to leverage your guest data. It will sit on your PMS but you won’t have the capabilities of putting together campaigns, adding data from other sources like your website, tracking their behaviour and more.
If you are using a CRM, this one should have an integration with your Property Management System.
How to ensure the correct integration between your CRM and PMS is in place?
First: The connection
There are different ways you can connect a CRM to your PMS. In the first place, the important part is that the data is flowing from one system to the other. This means that the data captured by the PMS travels smoothly to the CRM. If you have reservation numbers in your PMS, you will also see them in your CRM. This is called a direct integration.
However, there is a great number of PMS available in the market, which makes it difficult for CRMs to develop a direct integration with every provider. Luckily, there is another way you can leverage the power of integration between a PMS and a CRM: a report-based integration.
Even if there is no direct integration between the two systems, nowadays you can still get all the benefits from using a CRM. Through a report-based integration, you will export all the reservation data from your PMS and place it into your CRM. In many cases, this can be done in an automated way, by setting workflows to export data daily.
Second: The data
One key point to ensure a good integration and dataflow is the type of data you are reading. In some cases, PMS can collect data with different names; therefore, you must establish the “translation” towards the CRM. For example, in the CRM it might say “Loyal Guests Program” whilst in your CRM this will read as “Loyalty Program Code”.
The important part is that you map those cases to ensure everything has the correct tag when bringing data from one system to the other.
Once all the data is mapped, you can start using all the different functions of the CRM, such as campaign creation, automation to save time, and more.
Whether is a direct integration or a report-based one, it is crucial to onboard your staff so they know how to handle both tools and where to find the answers they need. For example, if you are sending marketing campaigns or planning your guest journey, they should review the hospitality CRM not only at the moment of planning but also when reviewing the results, since the numbers will be stored there.
In addition, if your hotel CRM is already exporting all the data of your guests, it might become the only source of truth where you can review your guests’ profiles, preferences, historical changes, past reservations, demographic information, and more.
Why use a CRM together with your PMS?
Even though both systems handle data, they do not work on the same things. If you are looking to grow your guest loyalty, have your personalised guest journeys, create better guest relationships and increase revenue through upselling, a PMS won’t be enough.
A CRM is a specialised tool that will help you not only to use the guest data you already have, but also to collect and store more information about their preferences, past purchases, website behaviour, subscriptions, and more. In other words, it gives you much more data and also the tools you need to use it.
In conclusion, if you have the right integration between your PMS and a CRM, you are already a step ahead of the competition and can leverage your guest data in a way not many hotels can.
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