The hospitality industry is by nature a very personal, very human business. Whether you’re in the lodging, travel and tourism, food and beverage, or recreational segments, the experience still comes down to a human. It’s exactly for this reason messaging can help transform the customer experience by giving service providers a way to connect and engage with guests in a way that is easy, convenient, and preferred.
Hospitality has a major opportunity to leverage messaging in a way that doesn’t detract from the human connection, but adds to it. Messaging allows guests to ask simple questions or request services via web chat and SMS, liberating them from standing in line, waiting for an email or waiting on hold. In this article, we’ll explore how messaging can help the hospitality industry get more personal.
High Tech and High Touch
Providing a memorable guest experience is part physical and tangible (the hotel room, the ambiance of the restaurant). Just as important are the intangibles – the care and attention of staff, the ability to easily change or cancel bookings, etc. Messaging can help make the intangible exchange of information faster and easier. In fact, guests are are looking for it to be a standard part of the experience.
In our research, we found making reservations and bookings is one of the top 5 use consumers would most prefer to do via text. Others include checking order status (38%) scheduling or changing appointments (32%) and making or confirming reservations (31%) (Harris Poll). In fact, messaging can enhance the customer’s experience across the entire guest journey.
Mobile is already a large part of the consumer’s purchase path. According to eMarketer, 40% of all digital travel sales will come from mobile devices, with over 80% of those purchases coming from smartphones. There is a rising dependency on our mobile devices when it comes to researching and purchasing a trip.
With so much emphasis already placed on mobile, a move to messaging seems like a natural and organic option that customers are likely already looking to do. Your guests may have simple questions about things like early check-in, or room or table preferences. Messaging helps you to address these questions quickly, so you can secure the booking.
Effective communication with your guests prior to arrival leaves a favorable impression of your company that you’re sure to see in satisfaction scores. Quiq’s clients, including those within the hospitality segment, have found that servicing customers via messaging has not only reduced service costs and reduced work time, but also increased customer satisfaction scores by 5 – 10 points.
Your guest experience begins before they even arrive. Providing them information such as a welcome message, local things to see or, events scheduled during their stay will go a long way to build excitement and add to the physical experience you’ve already orchestrated.
Messaging allows you to connect and engage with guests in a way that is already an important part of the way they communicate on a daily basis. Quiq Messaging allows you to receive messages from guests from their phone, Facebook Messenger or web chat, so that making requests for room service, valet, or spa appointments doesn’t interrupt their experience. In addition, our messaging solution allows you to send outbound messages directly to your guest’s mobile phone increasing your chances to upsell additional amenities or offer promotions and in-stay deals that are specific to that guest.
Upon departure, sending your guest a message – thanking them for their stay or visiting your restaurant – can be one final reminder of the excellent service and attention they’ve received. You can continue the conversation with messaging by sending updates and offers to entice your guest to come back. You are also likely to deflect calls for one of the most common guest issues post-visit – missing receipts. SMS is a convenient way for guests to request receipt copies without the hassle of calling and waiting on hold.
If you’ve given the guest a memorable experience, they may be enticed to share it with others and become your brand ambassador. Today, reviews are a critical part of the buyers process and word of mouth can build or block that path to purchase with 95% of consumers reading reviews before booking. Encourage guests to share their positive comments about your business with their social networks.
Disrupt or be Disrupted
Texting within the hospitality industry is an idea whose time has come. Hotels, resorts, restaurants, and others within the hospitality segment need to heed the signs that consumers have been putting up for years. As an ever increasing number of millennials represent today’s travelers, it becomes even more critical for hospitality companies to consider text messaging.
According to Forbes, Millennials are the most important consumer generation for the travel industry, having spent more on travel than their predecessors with plans to spend more. While texting is the preferred method to communicate across all age groups, Millennials view texting as more effective and use it at a much higher rate than non-millennials. For those providers who strive to reach this new cohort, messaging is the key.
Quiq Messaging is helping companies within the hospitality industry connect and engage with guests in personal and meaningful ways, providing them the information they want, the way they want to receive it. Learn more about Quiq today at quiq.com.
Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with our friends and family. With Quiq, customers can now engage with companies via SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Web Chat, In-App,and Kik for help with their pre-sales and post-sales questions. Learn more about Quiq today at quiq.com.