Guest engagement has never been so important. As we move forward through the next couple of years, travelers will look for peace of mind when planning their trips. Hotels need to clearly communicate to questions, provide tailored offers, and be accessible to guests throughout the guest journey. Guest communication is key to this. Therefore, in this article you can find 3 guest communication tips for hotels.
Guest Messaging Provides Opportunities for Guest Communication
Guests expect immediacy, whether it’s quick search and book options, or response to their pre-stay or in-stay enquiries, or dealing with cancellations. Hotels have to deliver a higher level of service in ever decreasing profit margins and reduced people resources. They will need to use their staff smartly to make sure guests are serviced and hotel operations are seamless.
Technology, such as guest messaging, is providing the solutions while improving opportunities for the hotel. Guest messaging solutions give the additional boost hotels need to secure bookings, manage online check in, and provide guest services digitally. This not only protects staff and guests but also gives the opportunity to reach guests instantly.
Own Your Guest Communications
With the rise of social media, the way we communicate and engage with guests has changed radically. People have moved from email and phone to social media apps, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS. Instant messaging has given way to a generation of travelers who want information quickly and efficiently without being bombarded with lengthy email messages, or having their inboxes inundated with irrelevant offers.
Millennials and younger generations prefer texting rather than calling because it is less intrusive and time consuming. Hotels need to look towards SMS and messaging apps where 75% of consumers are OK with receiving SMS from brands (according to Techjury). This gives hotels the chance to be direct and relevant.
Hotels should therefore engage with guests on the messaging platforms they are using. Guest messaging platforms, such as Bookboost, provide a central inbox for all consumer messaging channels, so your staff only need to manage one inbox. Pre-set answers and automated replies are saving hotels a huge amount of time on repetitive enquiries.
Making Upsells Work for Your Hotel
Upselling is a great opportunity for hotels to maximize revenue from occupancy and increase RevPAR. Upselling potentially makes up 10% – 20% of hotel guests’ total spend (Hospitalitynet).
The front desk has become the first personal touch point upon arrival, making the front desk prime for more sales responsibilities. Yet, traditional ways of upselling through the front desk or emails are no longer effective. According to PhocusWire, marketing campaigns only have an average open rate of 16.1%, click-through-rate of 2%, and conversion rate of 0.3%, which is very low.
SMS and messaging apps have opened a new door for hotels. Upselling by direct messaging has a much higher open rate of nearly 99% (Adobe Blog), response rate is 209% higher than phone or email (techjury), read within 3 minutes, and a conversion rate of 10% has been seen in many cases.
Precise Targeting: Message the Right Guests at the Right Time
Let’s give you an example. Maika, the Operations Manager of Jorplace Beach Hostel was struggling to increase ancillary revenues. Guests are very budget-conscious, seeming unwilling to spend on extra services, not even when they needed it.
To tackle this problem, Maika launched a campaign precisely targeting specific guests with relevant messages; for example, scheduling an invitation for a ‘late check-out’ at exactly the moment these guests are having such a good time to inspire them to act on this offer.
With a conversion rate of 10%, guests purchased the late check-out. Moreover, 87.5% of all late check-out sales resulted from messaging services. It turns out that guests are more than willing to pay for more, you just need to pick the right audience and communicate the right message to them.
In a time when guest want the best experience there possibly is, hotels need to be as efficient, yet responsive as ever. Good guest communication, at the right time, with the right offer and through the right channel can boost your hotel’s revenue.