Contactless communication and guest messaging have become both the present and future of business and customer interaction. Deterring unnecessary physical contact, it helps build relationships and improve revenue flow without sacrificing peace of mind.
For hotels, this form of communication has become paramount. As restrictions slowly lift and guests feel more at ease travelling, it’s important to connect in a way that makes them feel comfortable and confident. In this article, we’re taking a look at why contactless guest messaging is so imperative for hotels, and how you can leverage messaging throughout the guest’s entire journey – to build loyalty and maximize revenue.
Why Guest Messaging is Critical For Hotels
As the guest journey takes on a new form of narrowed in-person touchpoints and more digital options, contactless guest messaging channels such as text, email, and WhatsApp, become a new safety requirement for hotels. Providing convenience for the guest they ensure all contact is done with physical distancing standards – so the guest stays informed and satisfied.
For hotels, contactless communication such as guest messaging also benefits operations. With guest messaging channels, you can have a centralized inbox of guest messages and requests to reference throughout their stay. This deters guests from visiting your concierge or searching for an employee – tactics that could compromise physical distancing standards and keep guests waiting. With contactless guest messaging, your employee can consistently share updates from a distance and guests can have peace of mind knowing their request is being taken care of.
Opting for contactless guest messaging can also help you better tailor your message to the guest. Rather than having a prompt in-person conversation with no additional background information, channels like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp can provide basic profile details to make the guest’s message more personal. In addition, if you’ve had previous conversations with the guest, seeing requests or information about their prior stay, can help you communicate better this time around.
Lastly, contactless guest messaging is a method of communication that is on the rise with guests everywhere. Even before the pandemic, guests had been shifting to digital options at high-speed. By leveraging new communication methods like WhatsApp, Twitter Direct Message and more, you meet the customer on their preferred channel – which can be rewarded with loyalty and advocacy.
How Hotels Can Leverage Guest Messaging Throughout The Guest Journey
At a hotel, there are a number of key touchpoints to engage guests on. Whether it be at the concierge desk, in the guest’s room, or on their way to a spa appointment, it’s critical to make sure you are connecting with guests on their preferred channel and building relationships. Even without the in-person touch.
Here we highlight key moments within the guest’s unique journey, to reach out in a contactless manner.
Messaging a guest before they arrive at your hotel, is a great way to build a solid first impression. It can start the conversation off on a positive note and make your guest feel more comfortable about continuing the dialogue or making a request later on.
Using a dedicated platform, you can even streamline the process by scheduling pre-arrival messages by day, so employees don’t have to consistently reach out. Further, if you have an online check-in portal, you can link it in your initial message to ensure the entire experience is contactless.
When crafting your pre-arrival message, we suggest sending it in a reasonable time frame to their arrival, 24-48 hours is best practice. In addition, try incorporating an inviting opening, their arrival and departure dates, notes on hotel precautions and lastly a link for more information on your website.
For those looking to broadcast messages to specific groups of people using segments, like wedding parties or business conference attendees, broadcast messaging is your ideal contactless method. Send a pre-arrival reminder on the guidelines for the number of guests in a particular area, or inform your guests in-stay of their dinner reservation time. With Broadcast Messaging you can ensure the right group of people sees your message.
Reservations and Appointment Reminders
For guests with appointments or reservations, sending a reminder with their time slot and appointment precaution updates poses as a thoughtful gesture. Not only does it prepare the guest for the modified experience, but it also shows your consideration for their time and well-being.
For any in-stay reminders, we suggest greeting the guest, sharing the title of the appointment they booked, the time and date of the appointment, and information on your COVID-19 response. Having a link to a resource is a great asset for a guest to revisit when it is closer to their arrival time.
When it comes to requesting a new pillow, an extra bedsheet or room service, customers may be apprehensive to visit concierge or find the nearest employee. Having contactless communication like texting or a branded app can streamline the process and make it easier for the guest to reach out.
Using contactless, guests can send their requests from the comfort of their room, and employees can send immediate updates. What’s more, with a customer experience management system, you can go further by having all customer conversations siloed into one inbox. In addition, you can monitor request fulfillment, where customers can be updated on the status in real-time and management can understand operations and employee efficiency better.
Show your appreciation by thanking the guest for their visit. Following up with a guest message after their stay at your hotel is a great way to fortify your relationship and obtain valuable feedback on their experience.
For follow-ups, we highly recommend sending an email or a text that includes a clickable link to a survey. Having feedback immediately after their experience keeps it top of mind, so you can ensure you’re meeting expectations and guests feel safe – critical qualities for building brand advocates and repeat business.
How Your Hotels Can Streamline Guest Messaging
It goes without saying that as a hotelier, you interact with a large number of guests on a daily basis. When it comes to messaging and staying on top of guest requests and conversations, it can easily get overwhelming, especially when you are dealing with a number of channels like Facebook Messenger, email, text, WhatsApp and more.
With a modern messaging platform like a customer experience management system, you can gain a single view of all customer conversations in one shared inbox. Employees can easily search through conversations and auto-route specific guest inquiries to the appropriate department. With this, you can encourage staff collaboration. Employees can share customer threads with co-workers, assign tasks to specific departments and escalate any issues to management. This makes it easier for conversations and requests to be answered fast and effectively.
Lastly, a customer experience management system can aid your efforts with request fulfillment. As a hotel, there is no shortage of inquiries coming in from your guests. With a CEM you can see the requests immediately, and update the status so both the guest and management can have insight into its completion. Management can then benchmark the time to fulfill requests and create a standard in your hotel to ensure all operations are optimized for the guest’s satisfaction.