Guest communication tools: why guest engagement is important?
Guest engagement has never been so important, as we move forward through the next couple of years travelers will look for peace of mind when planning their trips. Hotels need to clearly communicate cleanliness and hygiene policies, and be accessible to guests throughout the guest journey.
Consumers expect immediacy, whether it’s quick search and book options, or response to their enquiries and in-stay questions, or dealing with cancellations – hotels have to deliver a higher level of service in ever decreasing profit margins and reduced people resources. Hotels will need to use their staff smartly to make sure guests are serviced and hotel operations are seamless. Technology is providing the solutions while improving opportunities for the hotel all within the confines of social distancing and heightened health anxieties.
Guest messaging solutions give the additional boost hotels need to secure bookings, manage online check in, and provide guest services digitally – especially when there is less people interaction. This not only protects staff and guests but gives the opportunity to reach guests instantly.
Hotels can own guest communications
With the rise of social media, the way to communicate and engage with guests has changed radically. People have moved from email and phone to social media apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS. Instant messaging has given way to a generation of travellers who want information quickly and efficiently without being bombarded with lengthy email messages, or having their inboxes inundated with irrelevant offers.
Millennials and younger generations prefer texting rather than calling because it is less intrusive and time consuming. Hotels need to look towards SMS and messaging apps where 75% of consumers are OK with receiving SMS from brands (according to Techjury). This gives you the chance to be direct and relevant.
Hotels should engage with guests on the messaging platforms they are using. Guest messaging platforms provide a central inbox for all consumer messaging channels, so your staff only need to manage one inbox. Preset answers and automated replies is saving hotels a huge amount of time on repetitive enquiries.
Making Upsells work for your hotel
Upselling is a great opportunity for hotels to maximize revenue from occupancy and increase RevPAR, upselling potentially makes up 10% – 20% of hotel guests’ total spend (Hospitalitynet).
The front desk has become the first personal touch point upon arrival, making the front desk prime for more sales responsibilities. In the short-medium term this will need to change, social distancing will mean less people contact – yet how do hotels keep open communication channels with their guests?
Traditional ways of upselling through the front desk or emails are no longer effective. According to PhocusWire, marketing campaigns only have an average open rate of 16.1%, click-through-rate of 2%, and conversion rate of 0.3%, which is very low.
SMS and messaging apps have opened a new door for hotels. Upselling by direct messaging has a much higher open rate of nearly 99% (Adobe Blog), response rate is 209% higher than phone or email (techjury), read within 3 minutes, and we have seen a conversion rate of 10% according to one of our own case studies.
Precise Targeting: Message the Right Guests at the Right Time
A real case: Jorplace Beach Hotel which has selected BookBoost as their guest communication tool
Maika, the Operations Manager of Jorplace Beach Hostel was struggling to increase ancillary revenues. Guests are very budget-conscious, seeming unwilling to spend on extra services, not even when they needed it.
To tackle this problem, Maika launched a campaign precisely targeting specific guests with relevant messages; for example, scheduling an invitation for a ‘late check-out’ at exactly the moment these guests are having such a good time to inspire them to act on this offer.
With a conversion rate of 10%, guests purchased the late check-out. Moreover, 87.5% of all late check-out sales resulted from using Bookboost’s messaging services. It turns out that guests are more than willing to pay for more, you just need to pick the right audience and communicate the right message to them.
In a time when staff numbers will be at an all time low, hotels need to be as efficient, yet responsive as ever.
One of YieldPlanet’s partners Bookboost wants to make it easy for you and your teams to address all customer enquiries in the most lean and efficient way possible. Bookboost Guest Messaging is offering all YieldPlanet customers its Web Messenger and Unified Inbox for FREE! All you need to do to get Bookboost Guest Messaging products totally for free is just sign up, using a special code “freeforme”. Take advantage of the special offer until 30th June 2020.
You might also be interested in reading:
Strategies for hotel revenue managers in COVID times: brace your business upfront! Part II
Strategies for hotel revenue managers in COVID times: brace your business upfront! Part I
Rate management in the peak season with YieldPlanet’s Channel Manager
Price management: the key when selecting hotel technology