I think it is pretty safe to say that everyone reading this uses text messaging pretty regularly. Whether it’s to text our family or colleagues, to make appointments, to pay for parking, or even receive coupons (from brands we don’t even remember giving our phone number to!), we all do it. The world relies on text messaging to communicate immediate notifications.
The hospitality industry has also started to leverage text messaging, and hotels are communicating directly with hotel guests for mobile check-ins, guest requests, and more. Even if hotels were reluctant to use messaging tools in the past, they are quickly adopting them as a means to automate and reduce staffing costs, while still maintaining a high level of service.
A common misconception is that you have to have an in person interaction with your guest in order to make their stay more personable and memorable. However, if you follow these do’s and don’ts, as odd as it might sound to many hoteliers, a meaningful human interaction doesn't necessarily have to be in person.
Do’s of Texting with your Hotel Guests
Do use messaging to complete bookings and respond to questions
It's important to keep in mind that even back in 2016, one-fourth of travelers were booking via smartphone, and that number is only increasing. With the 2021 global pandemic reducing in person contact and increasing the need for quick, mobile communication, having guest messaging is no longer a nice-to-have but a need.
Use this rapid communication to answer inquiries faster and help potential travelers complete their booking directly with you on the other side of the phone. This helps you already prepare for their stay and already have a personal contact with the guest.
While answering questions, the guest might share that they are looking to go on hikes, or wanting to go to an Italian restaurant in town. Using a hotel operations software, you can use these text messages to build a profile on your guest and already have a reservation or recommendations for them when they arrive.
Do use messaging to communicate during your guests stay
There are endless possibilities for using Guests Messaging before a guest has even arrived on property, such as completing the booking, helping with directions, offering mobile check in… However, this nifty communication tool shouldn’t stop when your guest walks in! You can automate a message that goes to guests their first night after check in welcoming them to the hotel. You can also remind guests what time breakfast is, and encourage them to text any requests they may have instead of coming up to the front desk.
When a guest makes a request through an operations platform like ALICE, every department is able to see it. As well as complete the request much faster than tackling a game of telephones. This seamless communication tool is beneficial for not only your guest but also for streamlining all your hotel operations.
Do Ask for Reviews
In today’s hospitality industry, 81% of people frequently or always read reviews before booking a hotel. The right review may determine whether a potential guest books at your hotel.
Using ALICE’s Guest Messaging, you are setting yourself up for a successful review. Taking the time to personalize your guest experience before they have even stepped foot into your hotel right up until they have left. This will leave a positive, happy feeling with your guests.
Use all of the hard work your staff have put into each guest experience to good use and while your guest still has a positive feeling, send them an automated message thanking them for coming, asking them to fill a short review, and finally express your hope that they return to your hotel.
Lastly, make sure you interact with the hotel reviews that come in from your guests! It shows you read the reviews, that you care, and want them to come back. 80% of people believe hotels that respond to guest reviews care more about their customers.
Don’ts of Texting
Don’t forget to make it personal
Automated messages save a lot of time and are a great first impression/conversation starter. Whether it’s to share the hotel’s covid protocols, or welcoming them after check-in, automated messages are great. However, they are only the first step, the rest must be personalized to that customer.
Be conversational, but not casual, and ask specific questions for example if the family has kids and are going to the pool, suggest if they need extra towels. If a solo traveller is navigating public transportation, help them with navigation.
Remember that a meaningful human interaction doesn't necessarily have to be in person. Especially when our human interactions are limited with the global pandemic, we can make an impact with our guests with the instant communication we can have.
Don’t text like it’s your best friend
This might be common sense to most, but what I have learned is that not all sense is common. When your team is reaching out to a guest asking what their request is, “Whatcha need?” and “How can we help you” are very different. “You bet” and “We’re on it”, also very different.
You don’t want to sound like a robot, however you might be communicating with high level executives, or anyone in between. Be conversational with your guests and communicate with your team what is okay to say, and how it should be said.
Texting your guests is without a doubt the future of the hospitality industry. It is a useful piece of communication that needs to be seamlessly implemented in your hotel and that is where an operations software will benefit you. ALICE streamlines all of your hotel communication with guests and departments.
Want to be able to text your guests? Schedule a demo!