Guest experience is fast replacing a lot of traditional methods to increasing revenue and the sooner you subscribe to this philosophy, the better your chances of success. The Hospitality industry is beginning to understand the need to make life easier for their customers. One of the easiest ways in which hotels can transform guest experience is by realizing the importance of direct guest messaging. It doesn’t matter if you are a brand that has its own in-house messaging app or an independent hotel using WhatsApp or Facebook messenger. What matters is throwing open a line of communication with guests that is direct.
Let’s explore this in detail -
Consider this stat - 72% of consumers in UK want brands to demonstrate that they care before considering a purchase.
And that pretty much sums it up, really. Guests expect a certain experience and being cared for is at the core of this experience. When this expected experience and the experience they end up having with your hotel are the same, satisfaction is guaranteed. And this is where communication plays a role.
Direct guest messaging allows hotels to go one step further in building a relationship with guests. In fact, guests expect hotels to be more proactive when it comes to booking confirmation correspondence. According to a research carried out by TrustYou -
. Guests expect that hotels will initiate communication once a booking is confirmed. 80% of travelers expect to receive correspondence from the hotel, with email as the most likely channel.
But here’s the interesting part, from the same research.
. A vast majority of guests prefer digital communication, with email being the most frequently used medium. However, there is a significantly higher correlation between guest satisfaction for those guests who have communicated with a hotel via messaging (such as SMS or Facebook Messenger), vs those who communicate via e-mail.
In other words, there is a higher likelihood of guest satisfaction when correspondence between the hotel and the guest takes place on a messaging platform. This could be because of multiple reasons:
1. Direct messaging is more personalized than, say, a templatized, automated communication.
2. Direct guest messaging, on an internet-based messaging app like WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, and Skype, also happens in real-time. This eliminates so many possible miscommunications.
3. Direct messaging also guarantees the guest that he or she is being spoken to by a real-person! This makes so much difference when it comes to making guests feel at home!
4. For you, as a hotelier, direct messaging makes more sense because you could assign this task to one of your front-end staff and be sure that all the communication to and from guests is handled by one person or one team and what’s more, everything related to guest communication is available to you within that chat. Every information relating to a certain guest is recorded in one chat. This way you can proactively take care of any (and all) requests a guest may have during his or her consequent stays with you.
Direct guest messaging is a win-win for you, the hotelier as well as your guest. To know more about how this strategy is relevant in the hospitality sector, make sure you register right away for the ITB, Berlin 2018 which is taking place between 7 and 11 March.
Divya Bhat is a content strategist and writer with over a decade's experience in journalism and marketing. Apart from working with some of India's leading media houses, she has also worked as a French language translator. An avid Customer Experience enthusiast, she is also passionate about the Travel & Hospitality industry. You can reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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