As digital and contactless forms of communication grow more popular within the hospitality sector, traveler expectations are evolving quickly. Travelers of today anticipate being able to purchase train tickets online, check into flights via mobile apps, and text their lodging providers.
Some emerging trends related to guest messaging that are sure to change the industry as we know it.
Guest Messaging Trends Every Hotelier Should be Aware of
The days of arriving at your hotel after a long trip and having to stand in line are finally over. Mobile/digital check-in has grown by 66% since the pandemic began and is here to stay.
Platforms for the guest experience give hotels the ability to digitally collect visitor information prior to arrival to speed up the check-in process. Due to the fact that they no longer have to rush to meet front desk personnel hours or rummage through their bags at check-in, visitors benefit from improved flexibility and convenience. Digital check-in allows employees to personalise a guest’s arrival while saving time. For instance, you could use digital registration to ask guests about any special requests or occasions in advance and have a surprise waiting for them when they check in.
To increase revenue and guest satisfaction, it is essential to provide upsell options that cater to various guest groups. Hoteliers can leverage conversational commerce through guest experience platforms to develop upsell campaigns and add-ons to profit on pre-existing guest purchase intent.
Providing guests the option to upgrade their room, pay for a late check-out, or have a bottle of champagne on ice for arrival, are just a few examples of upsell opportunities. You should develop upsell campaigns for each segment of your target audience that you serve if you want to get the most out of your conversational commerce approach.
Think of running a family-friendly beach hotel as an example. Then you might send a pre-arrival automated message through SMS or messenger offering extras like a snorkel excursion, an upgrade to a “family suite,” or in-room babysitting services.
Texting was the most preferred form of communication while traveling across Gen-Z, Millennials, Gen-X, and Baby Boomers.Travelers of all ages expect being able to contact their hotel by whichever means are most practical for them, with SMS coming in first place. A priority is having the ability to book a reservation, check into a hotel, or order room service via their phone. It gives hoteliers the chance to send more offers and communications via text in order to increase income.
With SMS capabilities, hotels can confirm check-in timings, provide pre-arrival text messages with links to add-ons or upsells, and offer additional property information like parking information. Guests can easily contact hotel employees during their stay by sending text texts to request room service or to report any maintenance issues. After check-out, surveys that ask for feedback can be provided to help with changes.
Travelers are used to receiving immediate answers to their inquiries and anticipate rapid access to information. Through automated chatbots, hoteliers may satisfy this desire with the aid of artificial intelligence. Applications known as chatbots may respond intelligently to human encounters, doing so without the involvement of a real employee. They are an excellent resource on a hotel’s website to respond to inquiries, offer additional details, and assist guests with bookings. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be pre programmed or use natural language processing to deliver more individualised experiences.
An interested guest might use a hotel’s live chat feature on their website to inquire about availability and get a prompt response from an AI bot integrated with the booking engine. From this point, visitors may quickly choose their dates and make a booking within the chatbot.
The adoption of guest messaging in the hospitality industry is no longer a matter of if, but when. In an industry built on providing great guest experiences, it’s only logical that SMS and messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat will soon be adopted at scale.
You must first identify the various guest demographics, their preferred methods of digital connection, and their preferred forms of communication before implementing a guest experience platform. It would be beneficial if you provided guests with a variety of methods for communication, such as SMS, chatbots, and messengers (such as Facebook, Whatsapp, and WeChat). You may streamline communication by managing different channels through a single inbox using guest engagement tools.
Hotels can allow these digital and contactless connections to create exceptional experiences with the use of hotel software, such as guest messaging platforms. These solutions have also shown to be helpful in boosting productivity with smaller teams, which was a problem that many hoteliers experienced after the pandemic.
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