The holiday season is an exciting time of year where families and friends that don’t get to see each other often, come together to relax and bond. Sometimes, it’s the only time of year they get to see each other.
However, with travel comes stress. From delayed flights to jammed-packed traffic, navigating holiday travel can be a hassle.
As a hotelier, your job is to make sure your guests have the most pleasant and hassle-free experience possible so they can enjoy their vacation.
A big part of delivering a stress-free experience is providing a higher level of convenience for your guests, making it easy for them to ask questions and request service whenever they need it without calling the front desk or stand in a long line.
It’s no secret that more and more people are turning to their mobile devices to research and book hotels as 70% of travelers who own a smartphone use them to research travel.
It doesn’t stop there. When was the last time you left your phone at home while going on vacation? I would bet it’s NEVER.
Even when you’re on vacation, there is still a need to be connected to our regular lives like checking in on your business or the dog-sitter. When it comes to immediate communication, text messaging is the preferred way when you can’t talk on the phone or just need a quick answer.
Many hotels like Hyatt, Hilton and MGM Hotels are leveraging the convenience of text or mobile messaging to communicate with guests to make their experience more convenient and hassle-free from pre-stay to post-stay. Let’s check out some examples.
Here are some ways hotels can make guest experiences hassle-free with text messaging.
Even before your guests arrive at your hotel, you can ease their experience by engaging them with several types of text messages. One important thing to note is that since texting is considered a personal communication channel, you must also personalize the text messages you send to each guest. In order to do so, you need to collect as much information as possible during booking to anticipate guest needs before they even arrive.
1) Welcome Message: This message is sent to guests a day before or the morning of their arrival at the hotel. This message let’s your guests know that you are anticipating their arrival and they can text message for any information before they arrive like directions or an extra rollaway bed in their room.
2) Transportation Assistance: If you know that your guests are traveling by air, you can send a message offering shuttle or taxi service so they don’t have to worry about it when they land.
3) Room Ready: Why keep your guests waiting in line to check-in to their rooms? By integrating a Text Messaging Software into your Property Management System, you can automate a text message to your guests whenever their room is ready so they don’t have to wait around the lobby wondering when their room will be ready.
The best times to use text messaging to communicate with your guests is during their stay. Due to the fact that guests don’t have to be in their room or on the property at all, texting enables both hotel staff and guests interact with each other in a way that is quick and convenient for both your staff and guests.
1) Service Request: Enable your guests to request whatever it is they need just by sending a text. From room service, housekeeping to making dinner reservations, remove the hassle for your guests to get what they need and speed up service times. The important thing is to let guests know they can text you by giving them a card with the number on it or have a sign in the room next to the hotel phone.
2) Mid-stay Survey: Sometimes when you wait until your guests leave your hotel to get feedback, it’s too late and they already posted a negative online review. As a way to gauge your guest satisfaction during their stay, you can send them a quick mid-stay survey just to check in. This is a great way to improve service recovery and fix any issues guests have while they are still on the property.
3) Recommendations: Sometimes your guests want some advice on where to go and what attractions/activities are available in your hotel or nearby. This is another way to leverage guest data and send a personalized text message to your guests to help with these decisions. For example, if a guest is traveling with kids, you may want to recommend a museum or a kid-friendly activity like arts & crafts or even a tour.
After your guests have ended their stay with you, there are a couple of ways to engage them through text messages that help end the trip the right way and create re-engagement opportunities. Here are a few examples.
1) Valet Car Pickup:
Similar to service requests, when guests want something, they want it NOW. Instead of having the guest wait in the lobby or out in the cold for the valet to get their car, enable your guests to send a text message as they are leaving their room so when they get outside, the car is already waiting for them. Similar to the pre-arrival message, you can also send them a text message offering transportation service.
2) End of Stay Survey:
It’s often a challenge for hotels to get feedback from their guests after their stay because they may not open the survey email or don’t feel comfortable telling them in person and would rather just leave a review online. To help increase survey responses, you can automate a text message survey to your guests on their checkout date (by integrating with your PMS). This way you can get real-time feedback while the guest is still on the property and resolve any issues before they leave the hotel.
3) Guest Re-engagement:
Now that your guests have left your hotel and hopefully loved their experience. How can you get them to come back next time? Since texting is so personal, we don’t recommend sending tons of promotional texts that can be annoying and lead to opt-outs. Instead, make it personal to them based on their last stay or birthday. For example, you can send all past guests a birthday promotion offering a special discount. The key to re-engaging your guests via text message is to be personalized and used sparingly.
The Bottom Line: More Convenience = Less Hassle
The strategies mentioned in this article are real-life examples of how hotels are reinventing guest engagement and making it hassle-free with personalized real-time text messages.
A higher level of convenience is extra important during the holiday season because there will be more guests, which means more questions and requests. Leveraging a guest text messaging software can help deliver a more personalized experience without your staff going crazy!
If you would like to see how your hotel can use text messaging to provide a hassle-free experience for your guests, Schedule a One-On-One Strategy Session Today and get a free trial of Zingle.
You May Also Like: On-Demand Webinar – How to Get Your Guests to Spend More and Love You for It.