Hilton’s Silcock on the value of data-driven decisions
Hilton’s Silcock on the value of data-driven decisions
07 FEBRUARY 2020 9:19 AM

Hilton EVP and Chief Commercial Officer Chris Silcock explains how the company parses the nearly 1 billion data points it collects every day into ways to improve the guest experience and owner value.

LOS ANGELES—Nearly 1 billion.

That’s the number of data points Hilton collects every day, and it’s all in the effort to “get the value out of it and push it back into the business to bring it to life,” according to Hilton EVP and Chief Commercial Officer Chris Silcock.

Hilton’s efforts and investment in data analysis are applied in many ways today, from machine learning to personalization to loyalty and even to brand launches, Silcock said. The ultimate goal, he said, is to “start to understand trends sooner, provide that to our hotels, and—in fact—use (the data) in real time to make better business decisions.”

Silcock spoke with Hotel News Now on video during a break at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit about the company’s efforts with data analysis and the growing impact data has on the industry:

Some takeaways from the conversation:

Personalization is a multilayered strategy: Silcock talked about the “different stages and levels of personalization,” that range from serving up relevant content to guests during a web search, to suggesting new products based on past behavior, to recommending room choices based on where guests have stayed at other hotels.

The goal is to provide “much more contextual information to our front-line team members,” Silcock said. “We’re trying to get to a stage where if you arrive and … we should know that you’ve had a delayed flight or some trouble on your trip, we can understand that. So when we’re standing in front of you, we can empathize and treat you in a way that will be more meaningful to you contextually in that moment.”

Loyal guests expect more: Silcock said Hilton’s most loyal customers “expect us to use what we know about them in order to improve their experience. We find that if … one of our loyal customers know we know something about them, actually, it’s a detractor if we don’t use it to make the experience better.”

That all plays into Hilton’s value proposition for its loyalty members, Silcock said, and allows the company to provide data-driven services to its members that range from better pricing to room choice and more.

Real-time reaction is the goal: “The one thing I’m most excited about is that once we get to the point where data is event-driven, i.e., it’s reacting real-time to how customers are behaving, then we’re going to be able to use it in ways that are so great for the customer experience and so great for the owner, because we’ll get better utilization of the product,” Silcock said. “I think the opportunities are endless.”

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