People are on the go more than ever before. And with the rise of smartphones, they expect to be able to do everything on their mobile device – from planning and booking a trip, to asking questions about their stay. That’s where hotel text messaging technology comes in.
There are currently 3.6 billion people using text messaging all around the world. By the end of 2018, that number is expected to grow by another 1.1 billion. That means by next year, nearly 5 billion people worldwide will be using messaging as a key way of communicating.
Hotel text messaging is the new industry trend
Text messaging has become so much more than a form of social communication. Companies in industries like fashion and pharmaceuticals have already seen the benefits of using instant messaging as a means of streamlining customer service – answering everything from simple queries to requests and advice.
Guest messaging in the travel industry is the next big communication trend. Studies show that more than 90% of respondents from the US and UK said that responding to hotel companies via text message would either be “very” or “somewhat” useful. Guests prefer quick, direct responses rather than calling the front desk or sending an email – plus, having it all stored on their mobile phones means they can access the information whenever they need to.
With free instant messaging services like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp, setting up this hotel technology is easy. And it’s a crucial step for your business, as it’s been proven to build loyalty, improve review scores and enhance the overall guest experience. We’ve outlined some practical examples of hospitality texting, which you can easily start using today.
When you should use instant messaging
1. Confirm reservations.
This is probably the most obvious use of guest messaging technology. With the click of a button, you can send your guests a reminder of their stay the day before they check-in. It’s also a great opportunity for you to ask for their arrival time and if they need any help arranging transport to your property. This kind of personal service is a wonderful way to set expectations and impress your guests before they even arrive.
2. Share important info about your property.
Instant messaging is a great medium for sharing information about additional services and facilities, such as parking and breakfast. Letting them know details before they get to your property gives them time to get fully prepared for their stay and prevent any hiccups. This is also a good opportunity to make sure they know about any situations or events that could affect their stay, such as a parade causing traffic on the drive to your property.
3. Offer special promotions just for guests.
Things like Happy Hour at reception, seasonal discounts at the on-site restaurant, or a special deal at the spa can change someone from a satisfied guest to a delighted one. Personalised promotions encourage guests to spend their money within your hotel, and can give them that ‘wow factor’ that later reflects in the reviews they leave regarding their stay with you.
4. Send an in-stay welcome message.
It’s an extra-nice touch to send your guests a short welcome message just after they arrive. This creates a relationship with the guest, and gives you the chance to open up communication channels so they feel comfortable asking any questions or voicing any concerns during their stay – a practice that builds loyalty.
5. Ask for requests and feedback during their stay.
Guests are more likely to speak up earlier about any negative experiences if they have a text option – this allows you to fix issues like a malfunctioning TV remote early, improving the guest experience (and your reviews). Open communication also makes it easy for guests to send personal requests such as a late check-out or notify you of any dietary requirements.
6. Send a request for a review.
You can collect more reviews by sending your guests a direct link after they check out. It’s far more likely that they will take the time to write a review if it’s easily accessible to them. Plus, if you’re doing all of the above, it’s very likely your guests will want to leave your property a good review!
Get on board with instant messaging
Chatting directly with your guests is a crucial way of building a relationship, making them feel listened to and appreciated – and improving their overall guest experience. And as you already know, great guest experiences have a ripple effect on your business.
If you want to learn more about what guest messaging can do for you and your hospitality business, download our free ebook.