The transition to digital communication is natural.
Hospitality and the travel industry have advanced technologically over the last decade, from the booking speed to the ease of reviews sharing. Guests, but hoteliers and vacation rentals also, are adapting to an increasingly connected world and habits.
Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the way we exchange information. Email, SMS, social media inboxes – the speed and volume of information exchange are only growing. Given that messaging apps outperform other forms of communication in popularity, no one can afford to ignore this change anymore.
But how to manage all these channels? Who will answer guests’ inquiries? How to maintain reputation?
#1 Travelers want to be able to message.
The slow adoption of this solution is not because of the lack of desire of guests and travelers.
Many take advantage of messaging during everyday activities. More often, the same is expected from companies and brands, from businesses and services. It is simply much easier to send a message.
#2 Messaging doesn’t create more work. It saves time.
The staff is often bustling performing daily tasks, especially during specific periods when a higher number of guests is expected.
Messages are a much faster, more efficient and convenient means of communication for guests and staff.
Benefits like automated answers will provide accurate information and instant answers – even when staff is busy. Templates allow to quickly send answers to common questions such as working hour inquiries or various instructions.
#3 Messaging doesn’t harm service. It elevates it.
Messaging allows hoteliers and vacation rentals to create close relationships and personalizing the guest experience. Guests can easily send requests to staff and alert them to problems or situations that do not suit them. This service will enable faster recovery of possible shortcomings and thus increase the quality of service.
Most guests rarely report aspects of the service that do not suit them precisely because they do not have a tool adapted to them to do so. We are not all the same, and it is not realistic to expect that each of your guests will want to communicate with you in the same way.
Messages are a great way to get feedback, repair any damage in time, and increase your guests’ chances to come back and leave a positive review.
#4 Messaging is a unique way to communicate.
Messaging is different from phone, email, or face-to-face communication, and messaging with guests will be different from communicating with family or friends.
You will implement the technology quickly, but it remains to define the rules and method of communication. Just because it’s something as familiar as a message doesn’t mean you don’t need to be as professional when answering mail queries. Be sure to pay attention to procedures and responsibilities to avoid unanswered inquiries.
You can combine messaging with chatbots, computer programs designed to simulate conversations with users. A chatbot can be used to further free up staff and automate similar queries.
#5 Messaging is a critical puzzle piece.
Combining messaging with property management systems that alert, monitor and measure performance will most certainly elevate the guest experience.
Messaging is not just another channel. Although it can be, it should ideally be part of an integrated system of tools and processes to optimize the guest experience, which eliminates on-premise solutions. Difficult to integrate, difficult to adapt. From a tech perspective, this requires operating software that quickly adapts and integrate seamlessly.
The Good Old Days
Regardless of personal preferences or attitudes, technology unquestionably changes the way we communicate with each other. Sending messages is a great example.
Let’s remember the good old days when we used phones solely to talk. We seem to be slowly closing the circle. The primary mode of communication now is short digital letters that lack the sophistication of classic written messages from the past – Jane Austen style. And better 😉
A growing trend in hospitality is using text messages to provide contactless experiences. And although messaging has been around for more than two decades, the golden age has arrived earlier than expected – driven by the challenges posed by the pandemic.
As strange as it may sound to many, meaningful human interaction does not necessarily have to be personal.
Sending messages is fast becoming standard practice in hospitality. It is a powerful tool that can save you and your guests time while helping you not to run out of valuable feedback.