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March 25, 2019

How Text Messaging Solves Top Hotel Guest Experience Challenges

David Wang

2019 How messaging solves hotel challenges-Blog Header Image

This is a great quote from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” This is true for Amazon, but it definitely applies to the hotel industry as well, and quite literally.

Hotels should act like hosts for their guest, catering to their every need, when they need it. After all, they are paying for it.

Sounds easy right? Not really.

No matter the size of the hotel, there are common guest experience challenges that hoteliers are faced with every day. 

In this article, we will share the four most addressed issues from hotel executives regarding their guest experience, and how leveraging a guest text messaging solution can solve tackle those challenges.

1) Real-time Guest Communication

With today’s technological advancements, hotel staff rarely get to engage with guests and truly understand how they feel about their stay. There used to be at least two touchpoints where guests interact with staff, but with mobile check-in and checkout capabilities, those opportunities are becoming rare occurrences.

Also, with fewer guests wanting to call the front desk or wait in line to request services, texting opens up another channel for guests to conveniently ask for what they need or request information without the need for them to be in the room.

For example, if the guest is lounging poolside and wants to order a beverage, they can simply send a text to the hotel staff and have it delivered to them. Or if a business traveler needs to make a reservation for a client dinner, he can also send a text to make the reservation.

Basically, anything a guest needs can be handled by a text message which makes their stay less stressful and enables communication with staff easy and frictionless no matter where they are.

2) Improve Operational Efficiency

Having the right technology and processes in place is essential for hotel staff to provide guests with fast and efficient service.

On the operational side, hotel staff also benefit from using a guest messaging software as they are able to communicate with guests in a clearer and efficiency manner, which can help reduce phone call volume and long lines at the front desk. In a hotel, things can get hectic and loud sometimes, so being able to clearly understand what guests need also help reduce errors.

With the automation capabilities of a guest messaging solution, hotel staff can quickly respond to common guest questions like “what’s the WIFI password?” or “when does the gym close?” with a template or auto-responder.

Additionally, some hotels are also integrating a guest messaging software into their property management system or service ticketing system. This integration enables hotel staff to process guest requests via text message and automatically send it to the right department to fulfill, which eliminates several steps that the staff needs to take to submit a guest request.

For example, Zingle’s guest messaging software integrates with Amadeus HotSOS Service Optimization System, which a two-way integration that enables service requests via text to be automatically routed to the HotSOS system to process the request and sends a confirmation back to the guest.

Below is a visual example.

As you can see, the integration between Zingle and HotSOS helps streamline requests entirely, with the exception of delivering the towels. This also ensures that no guest request is missed, as Hyatt is able to respond to 100% of guest requests by communicating whit guests via text message.

3) Increasing Revenue per Guest

For hotels with a robust offering of amenities like a bar, restaurant, spa, or other unique amenities, texting presents a real-time way for hotel staff to promote those services in a personalized way.

Going back to the importance of integrations, by integrating a guest messaging software with the property management system, hotel staff can see the type of guest they are communicating with along with any unique information about them.

For example, if you know that a newlywed couple is staying at your hotel, you can send them a promotional offer for a romantic spa and/or dinner. If they are interested, they can respond and make the reservation right away. This is a good strategy for enticing guests to partake in your amenities during slow times.

Another great example of real-time upselling is the Talbott Hotel in Chicago. On any given day, they know which rooms are vacant so the staff at Talbott sends a text message to guests asking if they want to have a late checkout or extend their stay. By sending this text in a timely manner, they are able to generate an additional $5000 per week through late checkouts and extended stays.

This goes to show that if you make it easy for guests to spend, they will. However, you need to hyper-personalized when sending promotions to guests and do it sparingly as some guests may find it annoying and opt out.

4) Boosting Guest Feedback & Online Ratings

All the effort that hotels put into providing a better guest experience boils down to one thing…what do guest really feel about their stay?

Getting real-time guest feedback is definitely one of the top challenges we hear from hoteliers. The traditional methods of handing out feedback cards are getting thrown in the trash and post-stay emails are getting ignored because it’s not timely.

This is where texting can help. Because it’s considered as an instant form of communication, texting enables hotel staff to engage guests with both a mid-stay survey and a post-stay survey.

This is especially useful when it’s sent out after an interaction with a guest. For example, if a guest just ordered room service via text, you can respond with a thank you message and a quick feedback survey asking how the food is and if there is anything you can do to make their stay better. This way, it doesn’t seem like a random survey.

During the morning of or the night before checkout, you can send them a post-stay survey to gauge how their overall experience was and if there were any unresolved issues. This allows hotel staff to immediately respond to any complaints and resolve them before they leave and post a negative review on TripAdvisor.

Guests truly do appreciate the convenience hotels provide by offering a texting service for them to engage.

In fact, MarBrisa Resort in San Diego increased guest satisfaction scores by 15% by communicating with guests via text and mobile messaging.

Additionally, they rave about it on TripAdvisor.

No matter which guest messaging solution you decide to go with, make sure that they have the capabilities you need and the experience to provide guidance and help you design a guest experience strategy that will lead to happier guests that come back to your party.

Check out our free eBook: Confessions of a Hotel General Manager

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