Valamar is a well-recognized and highly rated tourist brand among Austrian, German and Italian tourists, who return year after year to the beautiful Croatian coast to enjoy the sun, crystal clear water and beautiful facilities and services of Valamarhotels & resorts and camping resorts. Poreč, Rabac, Makarska, island Krk and Rab, and the beautiful ancient town of Dubrovnik is where their guests spend some of the most precious moments of their lives. In Dubrovnik in particular, the guest structure is much different than elsewhere. The popular tourist destination hosts many different cultures - Asians, British, Americans, Brazilians and many others – each of which has different preferences.
Over 6,5 million of overnight stays per year
Valamar’s business strategy is clear – to create a memorable stay for more than 1 million guests who spend a weeklong vacation in one of the company-operated 34 hotels & resorts and 15 camping resorts sites along the Croatian cost. Valamar manages 5 different brands with unique offerings, services and programmes. Individual brands are designed to reflect the needs of different customer segments with special focus on families and couples that are the two most important segments. It is here that the company sees its differentiation in the market.
Direct channels (digital and contact center) is Valamar’s most important acquisition channel. As a result, the company invest significant resources into building web pages, digital marketing, sales and contact center activities.
The perfect guest journey begins with inspiration and ends with customer care
A guest journey begins at the inspiration stage of the buying process. Personalized digital marketing (e-mail, social media, paid digital advertising) ensures that future guests receive personalized offers. The second stage of the guest journey is vacation planning and this is where Valamar websites and reservation centre play the most significant role. Compared to competitors, Valamar has an above average percentage of direct guest bookings, putting a lot of pressure on their marketing and sales activities.
After that, the guest arrives to spend their holidays with their family and loved ones. Of course, they expect to have the greatest time. And after their stay is over, they appreciate communication reminding them of the precious time they spent there. This is the care stage intended to drive loyalty.
Understanding the guest journey is the first step towards building a successful business. Supporting a guest through every step of the guest journey is a different challenge altogether. Technology and competences play a significant role in this process: digital sales and marketing activities are supported by many applications and systems and people with competences who manage and perform processes.
Any company that carries out mass marketing and sales activities uses numerous pre-built tools to design, execute and measure its efforts. Hospitality industry is no exception and relies on additional specific tools, such as rating applications and others. This means that the challenge is not just in having people learn these tools but also in having them managed and connected to deliver true business value.
Search for a new CRM solution ended with Dynamics 365 and Hospitality.CRM
When deciding on a new CRM system, Valamar management wanted a solution that would be a very close fit to their needs in sales and marketing. The company looked for a local provider that could provide the support they required. Another big challenge was how to integrate the many existing solutions and applications with the new CRM. From the very beginning Valamar was aware it needed a competent vendor that could understand their business, industry and technology. And foremost, a partner they could trust to overcome every challenge that a project like a new CRM solution can bring.
Valamar found the answer to their challenges in BE-terna and their Hospitality.CRM solution built on top of Dynamics 365. Hospitality.CRM is a comprehensive solution for the hospitality industry that delivers customized features required by hotels, tour operators and other companies in the industry.
The biggest challenge – defining a master guest profile
Guest information is located in different data sources (reception, online booking, loyalty, satisfaction survey and others) so the complex logic algorithms and rules are in place to define a unique profile for each guest in the CRM. With the new CRM in place, the master guest profile aggregates all data sources and offers all relevant guest data in one place.
We are aware that many solutions and application we need to support our specific sales and marketing processes need to ‘speak’ with one another efficiently. From our past experience, we knew this is not an easy task. That made finding a CRM solution that is a good fit for our employees and for our guests a challenge.
- Martina Šolić, Director of Direct Marketing
Reliability of data and stability of the systems are top priorities
With so many different applications and systems in place, it is very hard to be confident in data accuracy. Since Valamar relies on its personalized offering and customer service as an important market differentiator that drives business growth the company wanted to have accurate and reliable guest data in one place. This was the ultimate expectation the new CRM solution had to deliver.
System reliability was the second most important expectation for the new system. It is best described in words of Martina Šolić, Director of Direct Marketing
With a new CRM solution in place we expect to shift our focus from technological challenges to our guests who are our most important asset. We need to concentrate on the first part of our guest journey – pre-stay – as well as the second stage, which is when our guests are in our facilities. Personalization is the key to success here. At every point of our guest journey we need automated processes customized to the stage in which our guests are at a given moment.
Another goal for the new CRM solution was easier communication with guests. Valamar’s marketing team is now more independent when creating personalized marketing campaigns as it has the tools to perform more activities in-house.
With the new solution that integrates with many other sources of guest data we expect to deliver a personalized message to our guests at the perfect moment and through their preferred channel.
- Mihaela Prekalj, Valamar
Personalization – the right message at the right time delivered to the right guest
Targeting relevant segments with relevant messages and campaigns Valamar will now be able to more efficiently perform pre-stay, upsell and cross-sell activities that make an impact. The company is aware that personalization is the only way to make their guests happy at every stage of their journey.
With the right CRM solution in place, Valamar is now confident they are doing the best for their guest.
Our plans for the future are ambitious. We want to strengthen our already good position among our loyal guests, and of course generate new business, which means attracting new guests. We expect the new Hospitality.CRM solution enable us to stop ‘wasting’ our time with technology and concentrate on what is really our core business – our guests.
- Barbara Marinčić Hek, Valamar