Text messaging, which was once done primarily between personal contacts, made its way into our professional lives and now is a great way for businesses to communicate with customers.
Which leads us to ask: are you using text messaging as a form of communication with your hotel guests?
The lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that hoteliers are searching for ways to communicate with guests while limiting the amount of face to face interactions (a term referred to by the hotel industry as contactless hospitality).
The emergence of contactless hospitality has driven hoteliers to leverage hotel guest messaging software for communication. Using text messages to communicate with your guests provides hotels with benefits that range from increased revenue, to more online reviews, to satisfied guests and service recovery opportunities.
Here are 6 ways that hotel guest messaging software can benefit your hotel:
1 - It is Preferred by Guests
Text messaging has become 3-8 times more preferred than face to face communication for consumers across all generations. Using modes of communication that aren’t preferred by guests not only annoys them, but leaves room for missed messages and confusion.
Why not communicate with your guests in the way that they prefer and find most convenient?
2 - An Opportunity to Proactively Share Information
Save everyone time by proactively messaging guests the information they need regarding their reservation before, during and after their stay. When guests have the answers to their questions directly on their cellphones, it eliminates the need for guests to make endless calls to the front desk, or visits to the concierge desk.
Things that are helpful to share with guests via text include:
- Check-In Procedures
- Updated COVID-19 Cleaning and Safety Standards
- Room Service Menus
- Housekeeping Status Updates
- A Link to Leave an Online Guest Review
We’ve created text messaging templates for you to use. A key feature of hotel guest messaging software is automated messaging. Send automated messages the day of a guest’s check-in, or an hour before a complimentary happy hour.
3 - Use it As an Opportunity to Drive Revenue
Connecting with guests via text is an opportunity for hotel employees to upsell rooms and guest experiences. With the ability to attach website links, photos and pdfs, guests can be offered any number of upgrades.
With guest messaging, enable guests to respond to your text upsell offer: would you like to schedule a spa appointment after your yoga class? Would you like to enjoy a larger room? We have a suite available for you now
Messaging is an ideal opportunity to raise guest engagement and drive ancillary revenue at your property.
4 - Everybody Texts. All the time.
It’s not surprising that 97% of smartphone owners text regularly (and almost two thirds of Americans own smartphones). With the amount of texters rising, a new trend shows that 85% of consumers are looking to engage in conversations with businesses via text, this means that they not only want to receive messages and information, but they want responses too.
Hotel operators have traditionally been active only on telephones, but expanding to guest messaging platforms allows hotels to engage with guests in the ways in which they’d like to interact. Text conversations between guests and hotels also provides real time updates. The instant responses are likely to raise guest satisfaction scores as well.
Pro Tip: When it comes to texting, average response times are sixty times faster than email. Guests have high expectations for text message response times. Make sure that your hotel is actively monitoring its guest messaging software to respond to guests quickly and efficiently.
5 - Use it As a Way to Solicit Hotel Reviews
Positive hotel reviews are important for hotels. The effects of poor online reviews can be devastating, especially in the current environment, where hotels are facing occupancy levels that are drastically lower than average. More often than not, leaving a hotel review isn’t top of mind for most hotel guests. However, if guests are prompted to leave a review, and it’s made easy for them, a higher response rate can be expected.
Hotel guest messaging software can be programmed to automatically text guests as soon as they depart. Thank your guests for their business and Include a link in the message for them to leave your hotel a review.
6 - Use it for Service Recovery
Angry guests are never fun to deal with. Whether or not a guest’s anger is justified, having irritated guests is not the customer service experience the hospitality industry strives for. While an in-person apology, or a phone call is often necessary to provide the highest level of service when it comes to apologizing to guests, following up with a text message for service recovery can be a good way to reach out.
A direct, and personal, but less invasive way of connecting with a guest after an incident or missed service request can be via text. Hotels can use guest messaging to offer a follow-up apology along with a complimentary amenity (think free drinks, champagne deliveries, or upgraded rooms!).
Concerned about contacting your guests too much? Don’t worry! Guests can always opt out of text messages. You don’t have to be concerned about sending unwanted texts to guests if it isn’t their preferred method of communication.
Interested in learning more about how ALICE Guest Messaging can connect you with your guests? Schedule a demo of ALICE today!