WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular mobile apps, and the single most popular mobile messaging platform in 128 countries, according to Market Intelligence Insights. Given the fact that hotel guests are rarely far from their smartphones, it is understandable that many want the option to communicate with hotel staff via WhatsApp. Meanwhile, the rise of hotel chatbot technology also makes this a more appealing proposition for hotel owners too.
In this post, you will learn more about how WhatsApp for hotels can improve guest satisfaction.
4 Tips to Improve Guest Satisfaction With WhatsApp
For hotels, communication with guests is important. After all, you need to communicate before they arrive, during their stay, and after they have left. Having a single point of contact for every step of that customer journey is important and below, you will find four tips on how WhatsApp can be used to achieve this and improve guest satisfaction.
1. Send a Useful Welcoming Message
When guests book a hotel room, they are required to provide contact information, including a telephone number. A simple yet effective way to use this to enhance customer satisfaction is to send an automated, helpful message prior to their arrival. In doing so, you also create a conversation channel, which can be used throughout their stay.
In this initial message, it may be a good idea to provide useful information about their stay, such as check-in times, your pet policy, or places to see. This can help to make a good first impression and build confidence that your staff are available to help. Chatbot technology can also be used to ensure the communication channel is useful 24/7.
Ultimately, communication is the key to delivering the kind of great guest experience that generates positive reviews.
2. Remember to Up-Sell to Customers
Once your WhatsApp conversation has been created and guests are reassured about your availability and their own travel plans, it can be sensible to try to enhance their experience further. Think about some of the services, leisure activities and other offerings you have at your disposal and use the channel to up-sell.
While up-selling benefits your hotel, because you can charge more money, the extra services you offer can benefit customers too. For example, encouraging them to book your spa or a yoga class may help them relax during their stay, while offering them a table in your restaurant can help them to settle in to the hotel.
A hotel chatbot can play a role here too, providing rapid responses to customer questions and promoting some of your services in the moment when they are most relevant. There is a delicate balance, of course, because customers do not want to be bombarded with offers and will see through many less-than-subtle attempts to get them to pay more.
With this in mind, it is important that you use your WhatsApp communication channel wisely and always respect guests’ privacy. Pinpoint opportune moments for up-selling and learn when to back off too.
3. Communicate Informally With Guests
Although hotel chatbot technology certainly has a place when using WhatsApp for hotel communications, it is also crucial to understand that the real value and the most game-changing aspect of using the app in hotel settings is the opportunity to provide a genuine human touch and communicate on a more informal, personal basis.
Using the application, guests can send messages and receive almost instant replies from members of hotel staff, including the front desk. This means guests can ask any lingering questions they have about the hotel, the services you offer and other aspects of their stay, without needing to come down to reception or make a telephone call.
In addition, WhatsApp allows your hotel to send guests images, which can enhance communications, or even send important documents. Meanwhile, because WhatsApp informs users when a message has been received and when it has been seen by the recipient, your hotel staff can know that the guest has actually read the message.
4. Boost Your Review Management Efforts
Finally, WhatsApp for hotels can also assist with review management efforts. Receiving a bad online review can have a devastating effect on your hotel’s reputation, potentially putting other travellers off of booking with you, but a direct channel to guests during and immediately after their stay can help to prevent this from occurring.
One of the ways to do this is to use a hotel chatbot to automatically send a customer satisfaction survey to guests at the end of their stay, before they check out. Their response to the hotel chatbot can then allow you to anticipate how a guest may talk about your hotel to others and what they may have to say about it online.
Clearly, the best review management strategy is to ensure that your guests have a pleasant stay by offering excellent service and great facilities. However, in the event that you do receive a negative response from the survey, you can then mitigate some of the damage by offering reductions for future stays, or even a reduction on the current stay. This could then be the difference between them leaving a negative review online or not.
How Can Your Entire Hotel Team Use WhatsApp?
Despite its effectiveness, WhatsApp is not yet a common tool for communicating with customers and part of the reason for this is that it usually requires having a single phone, with a single account, which can make it difficult for an entire team of staff to be connected all the time. On paper, this would be almost impossible for a hotel.
Fortunately, there are several tools on the market, including HiJiffy, which allow staff to share the WhatsApp account, while centralising communications from various other channels, such as email, Facebook Messenger or Booking.com. These new technologies are helping to revolutionise the way hotels communicate and create value for guests.
Hotel guests are rarely far from their phones, so it makes sense for hotels to use mobile messaging platforms to communicate with them and WhatsApp is one of the single most popular. Using this app, and connecting it with a hotel chatbot, you can find creative ways to improve the customer experience before, during and after their stay.