Enabling seamless communication with guests via mediums of their choice instead of requiring them to adapt to something they’re not familiar with is important for your hotel marketing, sales, and the overall guest experience. Most of the guest communication has already moved to digital and mobile channels and this is only going to solidify in the post pandemic era.
To make sure that you’re reaching your guests on channels that feel most natural to them, you need to consider going beyond traditional means of communication. Texting, messaging apps, video chat, in-room tablets, kiosks, web apps or native apps – these are all different channels to engage your guests throughout their stay.
A recent study shows that 94% of business travelers and 80% of leisure travelers want to use their smartphones to request service and message staff.
While a percentage of your guests will always opt in to receive relevant information and offers via email, generations of digitally native guests will want a more instantaneous communication and access to information that’s possible via channels like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS, in-app chat, etc.
The information you provide to your guests and the response to their inquiries should be the same regardless of the channel they choose to communicate with your hotel. Now, let’s take a look at how you can achieve that.
Today’s businesses, hotels included, need to leverage technologies that fit in with our mobile, socially connected lifestyles. Making this possible may seem like a lot of work and a heavy investment but it doesn’t have to be. Working with a hotel tech provider that provides a guest engagement platform with multiple communication options and that can easily handle integration with 3rd party solutions can make this process painless for your hotel.
Even after all the different channels are set up and you’re ready to go, the right technology partner can minimize the complexity of juggling multiple channels by making management centralized, simple, and easy for everyone involved.
For example, with a platform like avery, guests can message the hotel and make service requests using various channels, and those conversations will be available in a single dashboard view instead of being spread out across multiple platforms.
You want to encourage your guests to reach out to you and let them know that your staff is there to fulfil their every need. Here’s what a typical guest communication toolkit includes.
Email communications. From booking confirmations and important info about their stay to upsell and cross-sell offers, well-timed emails tailored to your guests interests are still an incredibly effective way to engage with guests and build a relationship with them. This communication medium enables you to capture information about your guests’ preferences (business or leisure traveler, type of room, special dietary requirements, etc.) and use this info to personalize the experience, provide more value, and increase revenue per guest.
Web and/or native guest apps. You want your guests to feel connected throughout their stay so you can continually improve every aspect of their experience. The best way to achieve this is to integrate all key information, service and support functions, deal notifications, and loyalty offers into a guest app, making them available from your guests’ personal devices.
Automated messaging. From booking to post stay, there are numerous engagement points where you can start a conversation with your guests. You can leverage messaging automation via SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc. to communicate with your guests on a platform they know and love. You can send automated messages based on specific triggers (guest checks in, guest makes a request, etc.) and let the system do the work for you. Not to mention that your guests can message you with questions and requests 24/7 and get instant response.
According to an OpenMarket study , 90% of hotel guests in the US said they would find communicating via messaging with a hotel useful.
Video chat. A video chat service is all about personal connection as it enables you to have face-to-face conversations with your guests. Your guests can access it from their phones and connect with your front desk staff or concierge who can help them solve any issue they may be experiencing in real time. Being available to instantly respond to requests via video chat will make every guest feel like a VIP in your hotel.
Digital signage. Hoteliers are discovering that adding digital signage displays including kiosks throughout a hotel is a great way to share important information and offers with guests during their stay. There are many different use cases for digital signage in hotels, including displaying menus and special offers, providing property directions, promoting ancillary services, enabling digital check-in, etc. Interactive screens can be a great channel for self service and also enable guests to customize their experience to see only the information that is relevant to them.
In-room tablets. This may not be a novelty for most hotels, but it is definitely a channel that’s worth mentioning. There are numerous ways to leverage in-room tablets to impress your guests and increase room revenue. The devices can be preloaded with a guest app that lets your guests order room service, book a restaurant or a spa, request a taxi, and more.
avery omnichannel guest experience platform
It may be difficult for hotels to piece together all the above channels so that they work seamlessly and deliver real and measurable value. Quite often, hotels use multiple guest communication channels, but they all operate in isolation. A true omnichannel approach requires integration in order to deliver a seamless guest experience across all channels and have a unified view of the guest journey.
At LasoExperience, our goal is to help simplify the management of guest communications for hotels, by providing the channels they choose, have them work together, and integrate with other 3rd party solutions that they may need as part of their toolbox.
Offering your guests a choice of how they want to communicate with your hotel will undoubtedly lead to greater guest satisfaction. Each guest will want something different from the customer experience, so you need to ensure that channels like mobile apps, messaging, video chat, and more are available whenever they need them.
Whether your guests want a digital concierge with 24/7 availability or just to receive relevant info and offers on their email, It’s up to you to give them what they want and bring their experience to another level.