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3 Reasons Why Every Hotel Needs a Messaging Strategy

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Astha Gupta in Guest Experience

Last updated December 16, 2022

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Changes in guest behaviour are neither controllable nor preventable. However, it can be used to make hoteliers' lives easier. Hotels' utilisation of instant messaging to facilitate communication has become a major hotel industry trend in recent years.

In the past, it was normal to phone a hotel to make reservations and inquire about room rates and availability. As internet usage increased, though, hotels began accepting online reservations and email confirmations. As a method of communication, phone calls have rapidly lost popularity.

Hotels around the world are increasing marketing and communication using instant messaging apps. As a result of a shift in guest behaviour, fewer phone calls and email checks are required. In contrast, instant messaging is frequently used. The phenomenal increase in usage from one year to the next provides insight into what is occurring. Together, the Meta family of apps has more than 7 billion monthly active users, with 2.3 billion individuals utilising one of these apps daily. WeChat is the second most popular app, with 1.3 billion users. 37.5 percent of the world actively uses these applications.

Every hotel's first priority should be to monitor and adapt to guest behaviour. The second would be the rate at which these modifications were implemented. At this time, it is also vital to be able to distinguish between what is a trend and what will eventually become an integral component of hotel design. Adoption of instant messaging systems such as WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger, among others, has altered current guest behaviour and, consequently, the hotel industry. Being on the front row of these developments, I've heard talks ranging from "This won't work at all" to "This is the next revolution that the hotel business requires."

This new trend allows hotels to tackle some of their most pressing issues without difficulty. Use chat to resolve queries and negative experiences in real-time and to provide information.

Using a platform that serves as a 24/7 support system for every guest, guests may contact the hotel with just a few taps on their phone. It is also easier for hotels to automate key prompts that can provide guests with the information they require in seconds, regardless of their location.

One strategy to reduce the impact of bad feedback and experiences is to address issues as soon as they arise. Globally, hotels respond to unfavourable evaluations after 4.3 days. Guest chat applications make this process rapid and result in 400% more positive online reviews.

Develop deeper guest relationships

Because of their customizability and ease of use, these platforms are straightforward communication tools that facilitate the growth of stronger relationships. Using a centralised control system, hotels can deliver messages in a conversational tone to a big number of individuals in order to attract their attention and learn more about them. Because these networks are digital and always active, hotels and guests can communicate at all times.

Why is this superior to email? 82% of text messages are read within 5 minutes, however only 25% of emails are opened. This two-way communication saves hotel a wealth of opportunities while optimising guest communication with hotels.

IM simplifies hotel procedures

The guest's convenience is one facet of instant messaging, but the benefits to the hotel itself are immense. Instant messaging provides hotels with a unique opportunity to connect with guests via discussions, deliver personalised experiences, send mass messages, and, with the use of AI, track guest attitudes through these messages.

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Upsell with ease

Reconnect with guests at crucial occasions in order to upsell the appropriate hotel offerings. With a more personalised platform and increased open rates. Each message can be sent at any time during the guest's journey, including prior to arrival and after departure. The optimal timing would maximise the likelihood of a conversion. Typically, late check-out announcements are most effective on Sundays. For rooms containing couples, it is a safe bet that they will accept a complementary drink with a special supper if it is given.

SMS upselling and cross-selling can have a conversion rate as high as 23%, which is eight times that of email when handled effectively. The average person checks their phone thirty times every day and spends three hours on their devices. Consequently, instant messaging applications may maximise the return on messages sent.

Since 1978, when the first spam email was sent, audiences' behaviour has changed rapidly, which has had a significant effect on the field of digital marketing. Being in the service profession implies that the customer is always right, regardless of how messy their room is or how their psychology has matured as a whole. Nobody can foresee what the next great thing will be, but hotels that want to succeed in the near future should invest in instant messaging.

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Astha Gupta
Senior Partner - Product Marketing @ RateGain