Hotels for Hope brokers and manages hotel inventory for large events. These events can be festivals, consumer events, etc.; amounting to 100,000+ room nights per year. By running a fully white label, customized booking portal that integrate directly into their clients ecosystem, Hotels for Hope has helped global brands centralize their booking process, increase their digital footprint, and mitigate risk.
As a for-profit social enterprise, Hotels for Hope has developed a crowdfunding platform called RoomFunding: $2 per actualized room night is donated to nonprofit partners. Since 2010, they have donated over $800,000 to nonprofit partners. This philanthropic nature has spurred growth; for over 3 years they have made the Inc. 5000 list.
A need for backend integration
While the portal Hotels for Hope has been using since 2010 has been seamless on their clients’ end, the same unfortunately can’t be said about their own experience. They have been using Zoho CRM from the beginning. Historically, when hotel rooms were booked on Hotels for Hope’s database, these reservation data were siloed apart from their CRM data.
With no stable integration, Zoho CRM was unable to automatically incorporate the room reservations as they came in; it had to be done manually. Needless to say, this took time. Moreover, it prevented them from further customizing their process, creating marketing automations, and leveraging data analytics.
Zoholics: Where problems meet solutions
Hotels for Hope CEO Neil Goldman met Cloudbakers at a Zoholics conference in 2014. After a brief discussion, it was clear that Neil could benefit from the work Cloudbakers does. Once the 'bakers had a clear understanding of the webhook integration Neil was in need of, they got the ball rolling.
Webhooks, customizations, and a smooth user interface
Cloudbakers’ application development team built an integrated webhook that grabs Hotels for Hope’s room reservations in real-time and automatically uploads them to Zoho CRM.
Additionally, the 'bakers created internal components that tag each individual reservation with identifying information. This allows Hotels for Hope management to organize the reservations like never before (by specific events, times, organizations, etc.).
Finally, they customized even further with an integration between Zoho and Campaign Monitor that allows for deeper marketing automation and customization with triggered email campaigns.
Integrations that run themselves
Hotels for Hope was a unique project for the Cloudbakers team in that it required minimal user training. (Normally, adoption is one of the most important aspects of a technology shift.) In this case, there was nothing new to navigate; the integration simply does its job and the users experience the benefits. As Neil puts it, “I’m not even sure what Cloudbakers had to do to put all of the integrations in place--I just enjoy watching these integrations work.”
And work they do! In addition to saving tons of time by automatically uploading reservation details into Zoho CRM, the integrations allow Hotels for Hope to increase their offerings to clients. As they run their white label booking portals, doing a lot of customization on the booking side, they can now do more in the way of automated marketing and email campaigns. They are analyzing data on a deeper level, figuring out what works best, and acquiring much larger customers. This is exactly what Cloudbakers likes to see.