Improve guest experiences with text-messaging

Michael Smit
Michael Smit
March 20, 2020
person clicking something on their phone
Hotel managers are finding that a lot of good can come from texting guests. Texts are fast, and people read them. It’s as simple as that.

Other options for communicating with your hotel’s guests are:

  • Face-to-face, which is great but challenging during your morning or afternoon rush.
  • Phone calls, which can take time and when the phone is ringing constantly, a lot of guests are met with busy signals.
  • Emails, which guests and hotels alike have challenges reading and responding.

But texting? Employees can do that quickly, it’s always available, and it will get the information in front of your customers’ eyes. Research shows that—at least in the world of marketing—texts have a 98% open rate, compared to a mere 22% for emails. Just think about how many unread emails you delete every week.

This article will show you how valuable it is to integrate texting with your overall customer interaction strategy. And if you already do so, we aim to show you other ways you can make use of texting.

Use time efficiently

woman eating popcorn and watching TV

Suppose a guest with food allergies calls the front desk to check if the hotel restaurant can accommodate them. The caller gets put on hold first while the employee finishes helping another customer, and then the caller goes on hold again after asking their question because the employee needs to confirm with the restaurant. The hotel didn’t do anything wrong, but it’s not a great experience.

Guest messaging solves this. The guest might still need to wait for an answer, but they’re not waiting with a phone against their ear. Instead, they’re waiting while flipping back and forth between talk shows and the football game.

It’s also a more efficient use of employee time. When your hotel promotes texting, your employees won’t be tied down to phone calls as often, and they’ll be able to more easily handle multiple inquiries at the same time.

Solve problems before they’re problems

man checking his phone

You know the issues that regularly come up at your hotel. How many times has your staff helped guests access the WiFi? How many times has your staff had to remind them when check out is?

You can solve problems by automating replies and scheduled messages.

  • Day of arrival with check-in information.
  • Day of checkout with instructions, and also to provide an express checkout option over text.
  • Automatically reply to inquiries about check-in time or the WiFi password. Or even add it to the welcome message.
  • Follow up with the guest after check-in, to make sure their stay is going well.

Whatever that regular, frustrating problem is at your hotel, find a solution and then text guests the solution before they even realize it’s a problem. This saves company time, and it prevents your customers from having a negative experience.

Sell other features

person getting a massage

Your hotel has other services that you hope your customers will buy. But you can do better than hope; you can text.

Shortly after your guests check in and get settled into their room, just after they take a look around the room but just before they flip on the TV, you should send them a text which shows all the fine services your hotel can provide. Tell them about that newly remodeled bar or that classy spa service.

This message shouldn’t be lengthy or sales-y. It should be like a brief menu of other services available at your hotel. This simple reminder works wonders. People that normally have no interest in bars or spas often think differently after the stress of a long and sleepless flight. Akia's promotions product will help you keep this personal, without spamming all your guests.

Also, ensure they can order those services through texting.

Improve online ratings

man with both thumbs up at the top of a mountain

Hotel text messaging helps your hotel establish a more personal connection with guests. It provides an easy way to maintain engagement with every guest who comes through your hotel. Make use of that engagement to ensure a positive experience, then encourage positive reviews.

Online reviews run the game these days. The problem is that people feel a need to complain after a bad experience, but don’t feel a need to praise after a good experience.

Use hotel messaging to encourage customers who had a positive experience to leave a positive review. They’ve already been engaged with your texting service throughout their stay, so send a follow-up text after they leave. Akia's sentiment analysis will identify guests who will leave 5 star reviews, and drop a link to TripAdvisor or whichever review service you’d prefer.

hotel front desk staff on the phone

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