Hotels are a business as old as time, and sometimes that can show when it comes to the technology they use to run their business. Hotels that are reluctant to adapt to the texting revolution are sure to be left in the dust by competitors who understand that in this day and age 64% of customers now prefer to use a texting option for customer service. Texting is a dynamic tool in the Hospitality Industry that allows for personalized service that allows the hotel to grow their repeat business through tailored experiences for their guests.
Below are five cases in which the harnessing of a texting solution can help keep your customers satisfied and streamline your day-to-day operations.
Pre-Check in Service
A hotel can make a great first impression on the guest before they walk in the door. By providing guests with information like reservation confirmations and check in time reminders, it helps your guest feel like they are in capable and experienced hands. Some other uses are:
- Room requests
- Special room features (like crib setup)
- Directions to the hotel
- Parking policies
- Links to train and subway schedules
- General information about the city
The most exciting thing about the pre-check-in process is that if you choose a solution for your hotel's communication system that can setup an automated texting campaign, this step can be done once and then sent out to every new guest who has a reservation automatically. This means your staff can be freed up to provide better face to face service and follow up on special requests in a more efficient way.
Texting allows guests to easily arrange to have common room service requests handled by the staff without the hassle of calling into the front desk and having to hold if the front desk is busy. By using keywords to request common services, it allows the hotel’s customers to easily ask for additional services while allowing the hotel to keep track of usage requests and see trends in things like spa usage or valet services. For example, if a guest would like to order more towels they can just text in "TOWELS" along with your room number to the hotel’s inbox, and staff would be alerted in seconds and able to fulfill the guest’s request. Some other examples of great ways that texting can boost the hotel customer's satisfaction are:
- Ordering room service from hotel kitchens
- Turndown Service
- Room Cleaning
- Shoe Shine
- Arranging wake-up calls
- Ordering Newspapers
- Arrange an in-room massage
- Toiletry Requests
Offering hotel guests a quick and easy way to communicate with support staff allows them more options and can lead to more repeat customers if they find the service easy-to-use and responsive to their needs. By allowing the guests to easily request the services they need it helps build the brand of the hotel and can lead to customers wanting to join a loyalty program for further discounts, a big boom to any franchise seeking to further gather members to alert them for events and special rates.
An SMS texting platform gives the guest a convenient and powerful way to arrange transport to and from the hotel. By texting in to the valet desk, the guest can have their car brought out front and ready for them to walk out the door and explore the town. Simple touches like that can really make an impression on the guest and make them feel like they are getting the VIP treatment. Other options to help the customer get out and explore their destination include:
- Shuttles to and from sporting events
- Ordering taxis
- Handicapped accessibility services
- Texting in for a map of the local area and freeways
- Car washing and detailing
Valet service is a vital part of the high-end hotel experience, and now that hotels can combine the advances made in texting for customer service with the convenience that valet service provides. By attending to the customer’s transport needs it helps make a more memorable trip and can lead to repeat customers who want to experience the same level of service at the same hotel or franchise.
Whether it is simply a place for travelling businessmen to stay during the week or a full-blown corporate conference, hotels need to be ready for any business need that may come up. Text messages allow those managing the conference to keep things running on schedule and deal with the inevitable surprises and delays that can happen in any event. Using the power of texting, hotels can offer a powerful suite of services to help keep conferences running smoothly. Some examples include:
- Audio/Visual Equipment Rental and Setup
- Event information and reminders
- Express Mail and package pickup
- Fax Machine
- Notary public appointments
- Meeting Room Reservation and cleaning requests
- Printing and photocopying services
- Catering requests for business meetings
Texting allows the event organizers to quickly communicate with staff and leads to more positive experiences and help keep a conference running on time. When the conference runs smoothly the organizers will get positive feedback from their clients, and serves to both make an impression on the organizer and the attendee, creating a growing web of prospective clients.
The concierge is there to keep the hotel guest entertained during the downtime they have during vacations or business conferences. Through the human touch of the concierge and the convenience of text messaging, the two form a powerful tool that will leave guests impressed by the immediacy of the texting experience and the level of customer service in hotels that the concierge embodies. Some examples of services the concierge can facilitate through texting are:
- Airport shuttle information and booking
- Information on local sights
- Help plan family activities
- Sporting event information and tickets
- Tickets to museums and concerts
By combining the old-school attention to detail that is concierge is known for with the rapidly expanding power of texting as a service solution, the role of the concierge is set to explode in the quality of service it can provide in the new landscape where texting for customer service is becoming the preferred medium.
When the guest has checked out of the hotel they can automatically be sent an sms poll asking them to rate their service, allowing you to follow up with customers that were highly satisfied with the service and send them things like offers to join loyalty programs, coupons and discounted rates. By automating the process it helps the hotel cut costs of having employees call to follow up with satisfied customers and allows them to reach out to customers not satisfied with the service, allowing your managers address any problems that may come up.
The methods of communication in the hospitality industry are rapidly changing. Are you in the industry and looking to step up your customer service game or expand your loyalty program? Check out our Hospitality Industry Spotlight to learn more about the power of texting in customer service today.