Sending messages is finally in focus.
Hotels, apartments, hostels and campsites are starting to accurately interpret the signs that guests have been sending for years.
Millennials are the most critical consumer generation in the travel industry, spending more on travel than their predecessors. Although messaging is the preferred method for communication of all ages, millennials find messaging more efficient and use it to a much greater extent than other generations.
The use of mobile messaging apps accelerated in 2020, especially in the first months of the pandemic. User growth slowed in 2021 – as expected, according to eMarketer.
Nevertheless, the exponential increase in messages opens up the opportunity for a seamless experience for your guests.
Precious Seamless Experience
A seamless experience is something we were writing about, focusing on the omnichannel communication process. Such interconnected processes integrate digital and traditional communication models.
That is currently the most desirable service segment for many hoteliers, property managers and vacation rental. Many are mostly still too burdened with inherited on-premise technologies. But only the change is constant.
Many have tried to achieve seamless experiences by increasing the ratio of staff and guests, developing sophisticated policies and procedures or investing in education. Still, they fail to reach such guest experience because they do not directly control many elements. Different systems, rarely integrated, with different user interfaces are at the heart of the problem.
That is why we constantly emphasize the importance of a two-way connection of tech solutions that you choose.
Why is a flawless, uninterrupted and seamless experience necessary?
From the guest’s perspective, the whole experience highlights any touchpoint, digital or personal. According to McKinsey, hotel guests who experience an uninterrupted experience during their trip are 61% more willing to recommend an accommodation provider.
Can a mobile app help?
Many have launched apps to support their guests better and provide a seamless digital experience. However, only a small percentage of guests are willing to download applications, especially for a one-time stay (usually 20% of guests, although this climbed to almost 50% during a pandemic).
The answer is already here.
Guests won’t download the app for their stay, but the vast majority already use one or more messaging apps.
Phone calls today don’t even make up the top 10 most used smartphone apps while messaging is more than a welcome method of communication.
Messaging-based communication has many benefits, including:
knowledge and ease of interface use;
ability to perform multiple tasks;
no repetition with conversation history;
language of communication adaptable, translations possible;
improved guest satisfaction;
increased guest engagement with reduced dropout rates.
With guests expecting personalized interactions, unique and real-time, messaging allows all elements of the experience to be delivered seamlessly throughout the trip. Sending messages is a simple first step in changing the guest experience.
Using technology for better guest relations hides critical benefits such as:
increase guest satisfaction and loyalty;
a deeper understanding of guest needs and service optimization;
better service strengthened by information and communication.
The pandemic has brought the need for contactless technology.
According to eMarketer, more than three-quarters of Internet users worldwide will use some messaging app by 2024. The pandemic sponsored an increase in usage at least five years earlier than anticipated. The use of messaging applications is almost ubiquitous among mobile internet users.
Messaging is an adhesive that brings together the guest experience and unlocks the stated benefits. The hospitality and travel sector (too) often avoid technology to interact with the guest because it takes away personal service. Since guests use smartphones every day and have much more private conversations, it is high time accepted as the standard.