Is it better to communicate with hotel guests through text messaging or email? Various research reports SMS open rates as high as 98% compared to just 20% of all emails. And on average, it takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text versus 90 minutes to respond to an email. Hoteliers can take advantage of texting with guests to improve both revenue and satisfaction.
With contactless communication a priority for guests, hotels have the opportunity to create a personalized conversation. Through text messaging, you can learn your guests’ needs and preferences while providing the individualized services that will keep them returning to your hotel for years or even decades.
In 2020, Clarion Hotel The Hub reimagined guest messaging to create a conversation - not simply send announcements - as guest and hotel needs evolved throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotel saw a 95% engagement rate from guests when using texts for a variety of reasons, including pre-arrival communication of COVID closures and restrictions before check-in. Once guests arrived, The Hub earned an additional $1.3 million in new revenue through upselling in-room packages, such as 'date night' and 'relax' packages, to help fill the void by closed amenities.
The most challenging part of creating a conversational message with a guest is knowing where to start. We’ve been helping ALICE Guest Messaging customers for years and have learned a trick (or 12!) that we want to share with you. By combining messaging with concierge and service delivery, ALICE Front of House solution can empower hotels to increase revenue and guest satisfaction.
Here are 12 sample texts for hotel messages to guests:
Pre-Arrival Guest Messaging Communication
- Contact guests who have reservations to let them know of any COVID-19 protocols your hotel follows, such as masks or sanitation procedures.
Sample message: Greetings! We look forward to having you as our guest on January 7–9, 2022. Please note, we value the health and safety of our guests and employees and want to share the precautions we are taking to protect you during your stay: [hyperlink]. Please let us know of any questions or concerns you may have.
- Ask hotel guests about their arrival plans (time, number in party, etc.) and use requests from past stays to ask questions.
Sample message: Greetings, (Guest Name)! We hope you are staying well during this trying time, and we look forward to your arrival tomorrow. Please let us know when you plan to check in and if we can assist you with transportation and luggage. Would you like additional blankets and pillows in your room like your last visit?
- Ask hotel guests about their interests and plans during their stay so you can offer suggestions.
Sample message: Hi, Ms. Smith! We hope you are looking forward to your trip to (City) this weekend. Pack your jacket, as our nights are dipping into the 50s. What are your interests for your visit? We have many suggestions and ideas to help you make the most of your trip.
- Offer to make reservations based on past trips:
Sample message: Greetings from your friends at the Island Hotel! Last year you told me how much you enjoyed your dinner at Little Italy Café down the street. Would you like me to make you a reservation for Saturday night?
Contactless Communication for Housekeeping
- Move stayover service to on-demand. Inform guests of this change via hotel text message (which can be automated based on their arrival date and time).
Sample message: Welcome to Island Hotel! In order to protect you and our valued employees during this time, we are offering housekeeping service on an on-demand basis. Kindly text this number when you would like your room serviced, and we will accommodate your request at a time that is convenient for you.
- When guests request housekeeping service, employees can easily reply with a message template explaining the precautions being taken for everyone’s protection.
Sample message: Hi, Ms. Smith! We would be happy to service your room today. Please note, our staff will only enter the room when it is unoccupied, and will be wearing gloves and a mask for everyone’s protection. Here is a link describing the safety procedures we are taking [hyperlink]. When would be a good time for this service?
Contactless Communication for Hotel Food & Beverage
- Replace in-room collateral, like menus and door hangers, with text message communication. Send a hyperlink with your menu to guests on the day of their arrival.
Sample message: Good afternoon, Ms. Smith! We are now using digital menus. You can look at the menu here [hyperlink]. Be sure to check out the Italian wines we’ve added since your last trip. We think you will like the [X], based on our chat last year in the bar.
- Send your guests a personalized text message with an upsell offer like special in-room packages. Use information collected via pre-arrival and check-in communications to customize the offer.
Sample message: Good evening, Ms. Smith! I hope you are enjoying your visit to (City). We invite you to unwind after your busy day with our Relax Package: [hyperlink] Simply reply to this message and we will deliver it to your room.
- Send your guests a text message to ask how they would prefer to receive their meal.
Sample message: Thank you for your room service order. How would you like to receive your meal? Lobby pickup? Placed at the door without interacting with staff members?
COVID-19 Response Text Communication
- Introduce your “Chief Hygiene Officer” to your guests via text. Let guests know who they can direct questions to, and how they can reach that person.
Sample Message: Greetings, Ms. Smith! I’d like to introduce you to Adam Wilson, our dedicated Chief Hygiene Officer. If you have any questions related to our COVID-19 response protocols, you can reach him by texting 555-555-5555.
- Send a link to your website that details all of the “behind the scenes” work that is happening: professionally laundered staff uniforms and linens, staff and guest masks available upon request, social distancing protocols implemented for staff in the back of house areas, etc.
Sample Message: Hi Ms. Smith! Curious to know what Island Hotel is doing to ensure our hotel, staff, and guests are healthy and safe? You can view what’s going on behind the scenes here: [hyperlink].
Survey Hotel Guests with Text Messaging
- Check in with your guests during and after their stay.
Sample Message: Greetings, Ms. Smith! We hope you are enjoying your stay. What has been your favorite part of your stay so far? Anything not living up to your expectations that we can fix?
Deliver exceptional, personalized service to hotel guests with contactless text messaging. Discover ways ALICE Front of House solution can empower your hotel staff. Schedule 15 minutes with the ALICE team today.