Hotel managers are consistently delegating solutions and answers to continue to build a healthy relationship between the hotel and its guests. However, delegating quickly becomes chaotic as managers receive more and more calls, placing current and potential guests on hold, all while trying to find a staff member to handle maintenance, reservations, transportation, noise, or room service issues through a walkie talkie.
In a time where the hotel industry is becoming increasingly competitive and guests are relying on immediate responses, allowing old technology to further grow guest wait times is a poor way of managing guest relations.
Hotels such as Marriott and Hyatt are quickly moving away from telephones and walkie talkies— what now seem like relics of the past—to modern messaging solutions such as Facebook Messenger, Webchat, Apple Business Chat, Google My Business messaging, and even Instagram Direct message. As these real-time messaging platforms become the de facto means of communication between your hotel and guests, it’s important to make messaging a central part of guest relations.
Building Hotel Loyalty Through Messaging
In a recent study from OpenMarket, 90 percent of hotel guests in the US and the UK said they would find communicating via messaging with a hotel useful, and it’s no wonder why. Messaging can help hotels provide guests with a more personalized and convenient stay, thereby building guest loyalty.
Personalize Your Guest Experience
A personalized experience can be the difference between a run-of-the-mill hotel stay and a memorable stay that makes guests want to return. Messaging tools can help you connect with your guests to personalize the experience before they even set foot in your hotel.
Before their arrival, guests may have questions or special requests. Allowing guests to ask these questions through the website via Webchat provides them with a convenient option to get the information or services they need. Having a real person respond directly via chat can provide an additional layer of personalization and make guests feel truly welcome at your hotel.
Providing text support ahead of a guest’s stay can also make booking more convenient. Since many guests use text messaging every day, they may be more comfortable communicating via text. Adjusting your communication options to meet guests’ needs and preferences can make guests more likely to reach out and book a stay at your hotel.
While messaging and texting options can provide exceptional personalization, beware of overusing chatbots. Chatbots produce automated responses that may or may not address a customer’s unique concerns. Your guests will probably be able to spot a chatbot, and it could create the impression that your hotel doesn’t offer personalized service.
Add an Additional Layer of Convenience with a Digital Concierge
Providing guests with a digital concierge is a surefire way of personalizing their experience and introducing your hotel’s brand the moment they check in. Employing a digital concierge provides guests with a go-to solution for their most pressing questions and concerns.
Podium’s Messaging Platform can help guests connect with the digital concierge, allowing them to text questions and requests directly through their phones. Guests can then receive an immediate response from a real person, providing next-level personalization that can make a guest’s stay more comfortable and more memorable.
Enhancing the Customer Experience
Introducing messaging doesn’t just improve personalization and convenience—it can also enhance the overall customer experience. The following services can give your guests an unparalleled stay.
Provide Multiple Channels of Communication
Providing guests with multiple channels through which to communicate is convenient for them because it allows for most guests to select their preferred channel rather than having to adapt to a less familiar channel.
However, juggling multiple channels can be complicated for hotels. Luckily, Podium can make managing multiple channels simple and straightforward. Guests can message the hotel using various messaging channels, and those conversations are held on the same platform instead of being spread out across multiple screens.
Webchat allows guests to initiate a text-based conversation through your website. Since Webchat is quick and convenient, your guests won’t have to put down their phones to interact directly with your staff.
Texting is the new normal. People text every day, so texting your hotel may feel natural to guests. Plus, texting provides guests a quick way to request services and ensure their stay is ideal.
Facebook Messenger can be used online or via the app. It’s an important communication tool that some of your guests rely on. Allowing guests to contact hotel staff through Facebook Messenger provides one more option, ensuring that guests can contact you through their preferred communication tool.
Google My Business Messaging
Google My Business is one of the leading review websites, but it also offers messaging. Responding to customers who reach out via Google My Business is valuable. Not only do you want to improve customer satisfaction and meet their needs, customers who reach out via Google My Business may also be inclined to review your hotel on the platform, so a prompt response from a real person could impact your ratings.
Revolutionize Room Service
When guests order room service, they are looking for a quick and convenient meal in the comfort of their room. Providing the option to order and pay for room service directly through their phones makes enjoying room service even easier. Instead of guests picking up the phone and being placed on hold, they can now text in their request to quickly receive an ETA.
Saving Hotel Staff Time & Hoteliers Money
Hotel employees have a lot on their plates. While they run the hotel, they must also juggle guest interactions. Part of the workload issue stems from dependency on phone calls, email, and face-to-face interactions that could be more efficiently handled with an Interaction Management Platform™.
Streamlining Staff Communication
Streamlining staff communication can save time, make your staff happier, and save you on staffing costs. Plus, messaging with coworkers from the same tool you use to message guests, provides the context to resolve issues in real time.
Assigning Conversations to Hotel Staff
Assigning conversations to hotel staff is one of the keys to streamlining communication. Rather than needing to place a call on hold to find the right person to answer the question, messaging-based conversations can be routed directly to the inbox of the correct staff member. Since conversations can be assigned directly, there’s also less question of who should respond, and fewer conversations may fall through the cracks.
Managing Your Messaging Channels in One Inbox
Adopting new messaging channels can seem overwhelming. Checking each inbox is time-consuming, and it’s impossible to check each inbox regularly enough to respond as quickly as you’d like. Podium’s Messaging Platform condenses Facebook, Google, and text messages into one inbox, allowing you to manage and respond to all of your messages from one platform. Not only can this save your staff time, but it also allows them to respond more promptly.
Technology exists to make our lives better and easier. When the hospitality industry uses messaging tools carefully, you can offer more tailored personalization to your guests. This allows you to provide guests with the customized stays that will keep them coming back year after year.
Podium is redefining the way guests interact with hotels. Through its Interaction Management platform, hotels can message leads and guests, get reviews and feedback, and communicate easily with their teams. Podium was named as one of Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups and powers over 30,000 businesses.
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