Resort owners and operators have always specialized in the ‘human touch’, providing highly personalized services and experiences at beautiful locations. Resort guests, paying higher rates with long lengths-of-stay and anticipate having the perfect holiday, expect this kind of high-touch service. But automating that high level of service has proven difficult, as resort products and services are unique. With ongoing staff shortages and high rates of churn, the search for automation to assist in providing that level of experience has become critical.
Barceló Hotel Group believes they’ve found a great partner to do just that in Oracle Nor1, which helps them build and automate their guest engagement efforts. “Our goal is to continue to be one of the best hotel management chains in the world, and our strategic plan includes the objective of increasing extra revenue by improving our guests’ experiences,” said Sara Ramis, CMO of Barceló Hotel Group. “With Nor1’s assistance, Barceló has built an ancillary platform for our business because we needed a better way to present that information to our guests at check-in.”
Nor1’s CheckIn Merchandising front desk upsell service uses the power of artificial intelligence to completely automate the upselling process so Barceló’s staff can focus on their guests. Nor1’s machine learning engine PRiME instantaneously evaluates guest data, then selects a small set of appropriate offers, optimizes pricing, and presents them to the agent in a specific order. The agent, using the vocabulary and service culture of Barceló, can engage the guest by presenting product and service recommendations that are relevant to that guest.
“When a family goes on holiday, it’s one of the most important times of their year,” says Ramis. “Our goal is to present recommendations to our guests to add value to their stay, to provide them with memorable and unique experiences. AI, or more specifically machine learnings technologies have proven to be extremely useful for selling and managing ancillaries during check-in.”
Because the human connection is so important at resorts, Barceló’s people have always been the key to their success. For that reason, Barceló Hotel Group and Nor1 worked together to create a training program for their staff. “We train our teams about relational techniques so that they can spot business opportunities and adapt what they offer to guests’ needs and desires, so we can provide guests with top value throughout the upselling process,” says Ramis.
This technology, and the automation it enables, doesn’t just benefit front line staff; it also helps management by extending revenue strategy beyond the booking engine. Revenue generated during pre-arrival and at arrival becomes predictable and forecastable; Barceló has included line items in their budget and financial control systems for ancillary revenue.
Most importantly, their revenue data becomes visible via business intelligence dashboards that feature performance data by agent and by offer. “Nor1 allows us to evaluate how much each guest is willing to pay for a better stay and to refine the offers available, generating profitable opportunities throughout their trips,” says Ramis. “We can easily measure results and maximise turnover.”
…And the results for Barceló Hotel Group? “We have implemented this program in almost the entire EMEA region with highly satisfactory results both with regard to turnover and guest satisfaction,” said Ramis. “Our upselling strategy – which is a world leader with presence in 25 countries– is yet further proof of the Barceló Hotel Group’s firm commitment to innovation and digitalisation and, most importantly, to keep offering our guests the very best experiences, now custom designed and highly personalised thanks to our great partnership with Nor1.”
Barcelo Hotels & Resorts chose Oracle in 2017.