InterContinental Hotels Group has introduced a dashboard for corporate enterprise clients that offers monthly and yearly spending data breakdowns by brand, city, state and region, as well as booking channel, allowing users to see whether travelers are booking through global distribution systems, central reservations offices, directly through IHG hotels, its website or app or other methods.
Called the Customer Insights Portal, the tool was introduced in November to a select group of clients, according to IHG. “I view it as a real positive step for any large brand to step up to the plate and put a dashboard together,” one corporate travel manager who had access to the pilot told BTN, requesting anonymity. “I think this is quite helpful. It gives top cities, so I know where our spend is. There’s also average daily rate, room nights, stays and the nights per stay. It’s a pivot and will set the bar for other hotels to engage and do the same thing.”
IHG Spending Data Dashboard
IHG created the dashboard based on enterprise customer feedback and findings from other corporate tools it has introduced, such as its Business Edge product for small and midsize companies.
“The tool gives travel managers actionable data about their company spend with IHG,” VP of American sales Betty Wilson told BTN. For example, “when [travel managers meet] with sales managers, we want to turn that into more productive time. [Buyers] said it would help if they could look at data points ahead of time so they could come to business review meetings with thoughts and ideas on how to drive actions rather than spending 10 or sometimes 30 minutes looking at charts and data. They wanted to do that in advance.”
Additional data offered in the dashboard include a loyalty program breakdown, green stays, customer satisfaction scores for a client’s travelers and internally produced content. The loyalty section includes percentage of stays by members, new members, spend, status breakdown, room nights and more.
Satisfaction scores are based on surveys travelers complete after their stays. “How a travel manager might use that is if they are trying to drive share movement into a brand,” Wilson said. “A travel manager might see a score increasing for a hotel that they want to move more market share into and may internally highlight that for travelers, saying, ‘This is a hotel on the move based on what other travelers from [our] company are saying about it.’ “
For now, the spending data dashboard includes 2018 and 2019 data, and will add 2020 information as it becomes available. Some pilot users have asked for prior years or the ability to see reports by week, which Wilson said IHG will consider, along with other suggestions users have. “This is brand-new, and before we enhance a lot more, we want to consider all the feedback from users who have been on it,” Wilson said. “We might think something is important, but if the customer doesn’t, we’ve focused on the wrong thing. We want to listen to customer feedback and focus on what they care about.”
The travel manager with access to the dashboard would use the Customer Insights Portal to work more on loyalty as well as “on closing some of those gaps that we see so clearly from this reporting instead of having to wait and ask for it and make it into a project.” The ADR feature is appreciated, “as that is something we are always looking at and concerned about.”
The travel manager also said that a connection to IHG’s request-for-proposals tools would be nice. “Those are separate from what you’ll find in the portal,” Wilson said, adding that IHG sees RFPs as “a big innovation opportunity for the industry and not just IHG, and we want to lead the charge on that.” She offered no further details on possible changes for RFP products.
The portal is available to any corporate travel customer who has a managed relationship with IHG from a global sales perspective. “They will get a notification with their credentials,” Wilson said. “If they don’t see it, they can call on their global sales rep or me to help them.”