Eight Brands, One Customer

In the highly competitive hospitality industry, customer loyalty is paramount. That's why Hilton Hotels has just implemented a new CRM strategy it is calling OnQ. "There's a certain level of trust between Hilton and our customers," says Tim Harvey, CIO and senior vice president at Hilton. "And this system gives us the ability to consistently provide the type of service that earns a customer's trust." Harvey says the system, which runs on Microsoft Windows servers, uses Group1 software for merge/purge and E.piphany for analytics, is more about providing top-notch service than it is about generating marketing campaigns. "Marketing and upselling programs are in the scheme of things," Harvey says, "but companies tend to get too enamored with this type of software and neglect the basics. What's important to us is that we make a difference in guest service and really give customers what they want." Harvey explains that E.piphany is being used to track customer behavior and create a more unified customer information store. "We have eight hotel brands, so we don't want to send out eight pieces of marketing info to the same person who has stayed in each of our hotel brands." The OnQ system integrates all the primary functions of the hotel, including front office, housekeeping, accounting, finance, human resources, night audit, groups and packages, revenue management, and forecast management, among others, according to Harvey. Harvey says that there are additional benefits to using customer analytics and self-service software in the system. "One of the many advantageous features of OnQ is that it enables hotel management to forecast business trends and make market-driven business decisions based on revenue-maximization tools built into the system," he says. "In addition, front-desk team members are benefiting from computer-based training that is completed in less than half the time usually required, due to the user-friendliness of the software, and resulting in greater operational efficiency and cost savings."
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