How Automated Messaging Service At Hotels Can Meet The Changing Guests' Expectations
What’s in it for me?
We bet you’ll think of automation even in your sleep after reading this article! Presenting a spot-on guide on the importance of automating your messaging service with PMS integration to schedule pre-arrival calls, enhance guest communication and engagement, drive delightful conversations, boost staff and operational efficiency, send across a digital concierge page for personalized experience, provide contactless service, and a lot more with Guest Messaging. What’s the end result? An enhanced experience that appropriately matches your hotel guests’ evolving expectations.
Hotels have increasingly begun to realize the importance of adopting technology and implementing it to their own benefit. The focus has shifted to providing guests a comfortable and hassle-free environment. The emphasis is on providing a personalized guest experience that can make their stay enjoyable and memorable. In the quest for providing their guests a top-notch and hassle-free service, hotels are leaving no stone unturned to go that extra mile. The tools of modern trades are a blessing for hospitality organizations as they help circumvent the issues generated from a human point of view. One of such tools is the automated messaging service that usually helps in doing exactly that for the hotels.
Apart from providing swift replies and being available 24×7 for serving visitors, automated text messaging helps in reducing costs, enhancing operational efficiency, and improving services, thereby improving the overall customer experience. Both customers and businesses can benefit from improved communication, reservations, and guest service systems. Automated messaging has helped the tourism and hospitality industries replace expensive human labor with technological labor. It’s easier just like automated voice messaging and helps reduce labor costs and avoid customer service issues.
Automation And Its Growing Relevance In The Hospitality Industry
Today, robots and AI are being used extensively to aid communication, related to greeting the guests, providing room service by using automated messaging services to provide visitors prompt and fast reply. A lot of hotels have already adopted such technologies and implemented them in their service. However, the balance between both the worlds should be maintained as even the most technology-savvy guests seek personal services and the human warmth that cannot be replaced by software. Nothing lights up your day like a warm smile, not even the most efficient robot butler that is programmed to take care of your needs! Therefore, assimilation of both technology and human touch in customer service is needed for a personalized experience. It’s all about humanizing the technology in a way!
Automated Phone Messaging System
Automated Guest Messaging Software (GMS) enables hotels to engage with their guests through various messaging channels in real-time. This automated messaging service allows hotels to send transactional messages, reply to guests, and manage guest requests. With an aggregated hotel guest messaging platform, properties can increase guest engagement, boost customer service scores, and receive key insights into guests’ sentiment throughout the whole of the guest journey cycle- pre-booking, booking, pre-arrival, on-arrival, mid-stay, check-out, and post check-out!
Why Do We Need To Use An Automated Message Handling System For Our Hotels?
Communication is often regarded as the single most important aspect in the quest to delivering a smooth, seamless, and hassle-free guest experience. In the context of the hospitality industry, nothing can be considered to be more important than this where the phenomenon of the guest experience is at the forefront. To ensure this particular aspect, hotels need to focus on delivering a top-notch service along with minimum errors. Even though errors cannot be rendered moot, they can be certainly minimized. Human errors are bound to happen from time to time despite being professionally trained coupled with years of experience. Hence, hotels are rapidly implementing an automated messaging service to address this particular issue along with tapping into the plethora of benefits that such tools usually offer. The automated messaging app is also aimed at addressing the common issues that are usually highlighted by the guests such as the issues related to housekeeping, delay, or late response to any queries related to the hotel and its services among others.
Guests Expectations: Past Vs Present
In the past, the guests had to wait for hours for a response from the hotel’s end as there would have been a human agent on the other side answering their queries, by being involved in numerous other pursuits at the same time. In other words, it was too much of a hassle attending to so many conversations and requests simultaneously.
Again, during the stay, when the intercoms would cease to be reliable, there was no other option for the guests but to get down and walk all the way to the hotel lobby to communicate their needs to the front desk. Face-to-face communication is healthy but not when one has to do it for every small thing or a petty issue that needs to be resolved.
How Can The Ever-Changing Guest Expectations Be Addressed?
The expectations of travelers and guests have drastically changed over the years, especially in the past decade. Just a decade or so back, hotels had to call each of their guests respectively ahead of the reservation to get a confirmation from their end and it would consume a lot of time which could have been utilized better. In addition, some guests would remain unreachable as their calls would go unanswered. However, such instances are a thing of the past as the modern guest messaging solution provides you the opportunity to reach your guests simply via a text message. This modern messaging solution allows you to remind them regarding their booking and confirm their reservation while simultaneously preparing for their arrival.
Yet another instance that has changed due to the advent of the automated messaging service is that previously the guests at times had to walk up to the front desk to register any issues that might have been encountered by them. This often resulted in disgruntled guests as they had to waste their precious time looking for solutions. This process often took a long time to get things resolved and directly impacted the customer feedback. However, post the introduction of an automated guest messaging solution, any complaints can be instantly registered simply via a text message and solved quickly. This saves precious time for the guests coupled with the fact that it minimizes meaningless human interaction.
Quick And Efficient Service Via Guest Messaging
Customers want more efficient service than before, and with consumer behavior changing constantly, businesses also need to stay up-to-date. Modern customers are mostly global travelers that include millennials, corporates, and families. They have much higher expectations, such as proactive service, tailored interactions, and connected experiences across the hotel in all areas. Gone are the days when customers expected just the basics. In these modern times with so much exposure around, and the rise of digital and social media presence, customers expect hotels to understand their needs and expectations in a more personalized manner.
Customers remember clean and comfortable rooms, prompt services, and the human touch. They also remember the people and personalized services offered to them during their stay. They love to be called and remembered by name and not just as a room number. These expectations are designed by customers’ prior experiences and the specific circumstances of their life situation.
Texting has emerged as one of the most popular ways for hotels to communicate with their guests. However, the time-consuming nature of one-on-one text messaging makes it at odds with the busy atmosphere of the front desk. A tool such as automated messaging to guests increases employee productivity as it enables hoteliers to spend less time doing the actual sending and more time communicating.
How Automated Guest Messaging Can Be Integrated With Your PMS
In adopting automated guest messaging services and employing tools such as chatbots, a hotel can more efficiently service typical guest requests, especially the more routine ones (request for more towels, reporting a maintenance issue, ordering room service).
An entire generation of guests prefers not to pick up the phone to call the reception or talk to a human being. They are also not accustomed to waiting for someone to answer a simple question or to wait for something to be distributed, as simple as a hotel WiFi password.
In terms of communicating with the staff or carrying on with internal operations, you can rely on an automated messaging service. This way you will boost operational efficiency helping the team help the right guest, at the right time and the right way.
Obtaining customer reviews post-stay or getting guest feedback mid-stay is going to be much easier, thanks to Guest Messaging. With one simple message, your guests can express themselves or you can share a survey to gauge your guests’ expectations and opinions post-stay.
Benefits Of Automated Messaging Service For Your Hotel
• It increases staff productivity and operational efficiency
• It helps in saving time with speedy replies
• It helps in keeping a track of client data
• It helps to personalize guest communication and experience
• It helps to upsell and streamline communication
• It helps improve engagement with guests at every touchpoint.
• It provides a boost to marketing results and revenue
• It aids in streamlining customer service efforts and minimizes the number of disgruntled customers
• It allows ascertaining guest opinions and expectations and helps to have straightforward and transparent communication with the guests
• It is a speedy process that decreases the dependency on manpower
• Lastly, it is something that goes beyond the time-consuming phone calls and widens the communication channels
How Hotel Text Messaging Can Elevate The Guest Experience By Meeting Expectations?
The hospitality industry has been drastically hit due to the ongoing pandemic ranging from travel bans to dining restrictions and heightened sanitation expectations. A remarkable customer experience is critical to the sustained growth of any business. When it comes to pleasing the guests, ‘personalization’ is as buzzed as a word can get, but for good reason; there’s no excuse not to be taking a more focused approach to customer interaction. With a veritable banquet of options at their fingertips, travelers are demanding more than before. The collection and use of customer data will allow a hotel to effectively personalize its service for the guests. So, first things first, it is a must for the hotels to understand their guests by undertaking the practice of mapping the hotel guest journey.
A Brief Look Into The Guest Journey Mapping
This is regarded as the process of creating a customer journey map, a visual story of your customer’s interactions with your brand. This exercise is primarily aimed at helping your business step into the shoes of customers/guests and see their business from the perspective of the customers. It allows you to gain an in-depth insight into common customer issues and how to address them and improve upon them. Firstly, all the possible customer/guest touchpoints are mapped out to create a guest persona that can be built upon to make the remainder of the journey worth remembering.
Can You Automate Text Messages? Guest Journey Messages With Examples
From the very first moment when guests contact your website till their first stay at the hotel, it is your responsibility to stay in touch with your guests even after they are gone. It is your duty to keep them updated about your ongoing offers, discounts on special occasions, and so on. It is also an opportunity to provide a personal touch by wishing them on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas among others by relying on your automated messaging service. This aspect of personalization is what often separates you from the rest of the hotels and helps you secure a unique place in their lives.
1. Pre-Booking Stage Messaging
Here is how to send automated text responses:
• Room Tariff
Joanna: Hello, I have a request related to extension.
Hotel: Hello Joanna! How can we help you?
Joanna: Looking to book the same room for 2 more nights, is that available?
Hotel: Yes, absolutely
Joanna: Thanks, what about the tariff?
Hotel: Your room is a double bedroom for which tariffs start at $50 per night. You can also take a look at our other options below, sorted in ascending order of price per night.
• Shuttle Service
Here is how to automate text messages:
Here is how to automate text messages:
Pre-arrival guest: Is the shuttle service available for tomorrow?
Hotel: Hi Kim. Please let us know your estimated arrival time to prepare for the service accordingly
Pre-arrival guest: I’ll be there by 1:30.
Hotel: Yes, it’s available
Pre-arrival: Perfect! Please book it for us, thank you
Automated Messaging Service: Here Is How To Start A Conversation With A Hotel Guest
2. Pre-Arrival Messaging
“Hello Hector, thank you for choosing us as your vacation destination. We are looking forward to your upcoming reservation from June 20th to May 25th. Given the current crisis, we have also implemented a few measures by revising our policies and operations. For more details, please visit us on our website. We hope you enjoy your stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you. ” 🎉🎉🎉
3. Text Messaging At On-Arrival
“It’s a pleasure having you here, Melissa! Welcome to Hotel Lex. Your Wi-Fi password is Guest126. Your room is now ready. We have a handy concierge right on *the URL* to access the latest updates and information related to the amenities, special services, add-ons, food menu, on-site restaurant, weather details, things to do, etc. We wish you a pleasant stay”🎉🎉🎉
SMS Templates For Hotels
4. Mid-Stay Messaging
“It’s a pleasure having you here, Rose. We just wanted to follow up and ensure everything you need is in the suite and to your expectation. If anything is missing or you have some concerns, please do not hesitate to let us know.” We wish you a pleasant stay”🎉🎉🎉
5. Text Messaging At The Check-Out Stage
“How you doing, Johannes? Thank you for trusting us with your stay during such difficult times. We hope you felt safe! We would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to share your experience with us by filling out the following survey on *the URL.* We hope you had a fulfilling stay and with this, we also hope to see you soon!” ✈️✈️
Automated Messaging Service : Post Check-Out Messaging
• Birthday Message
“Dear Felicia, on your birthday, we want to let you know how grateful we are to you for bringing so much business our way over the years. We hope to enjoy more productive collaboration with you for many more years to come. On this special occasion, you can avail yourself of a discount of 20% on your next stay with us.”
• Special Discount Message
“Dear Camilla, hope you are doing well. Luckily, we have some ongoing offers and special deals for special guests such as you. You can check out those offers by visiting our website and contacting us for any further details. Have a great day!”
How Guest Journey Can Be Accentuated With The Integration Of Automated Guest Messaging?
There are many ways that a hotelier can elevate their guests’ experiences through their hotel Property Management System (PMS) or guest experience platforms. Through a cloud-based PMS in hotel automation, hoteliers can build guest profiles to tailor personalized experiences during future stays. With the data capturing intelligence built into a property management system, hoteliers can collect and act upon their guests’ likes and reward them for being loyal customers.
By building guest profiles, hotels can boost their lifestyle marketing efforts and drive more revenue through hotel packages. For example, with creative and special packages aimed towards a romantic getaway, spa enthusiasts, or even towards the corporate travelers, hoteliers have the opportunity to increase incremental revenue by selling additional products or services that a guest may have not thought of getting during their stay. Through the right promotions on your website, social media accounts, email blasts and push notifications, new and returning guests will see that effort and want to experience these ‘WOW’ factor packages, creating an increase in conversion and a boost in repeat bookings.
Automated Messaging Can Break Language Barriers
Since the hospitality industry is associated with other industries like travel and tourism, the flocking of guests from remote corners of the world is any other day in the office for hoteliers. Miscommunication is one of the most rampant issues that has been ravaging the hospitality sector for a long time. If your hotel is in a busy metropolitan in any part of the world, it is likely to have guests from all over the world. While some of the staff might be multilingual, it is more likely that it might not be sufficient to cover all your bases. Such language barriers can result in opening up the door for miscommunication and leaving your international guests red-faced or feeling awkward without any automated messaging service in the picture.
Modern guests are mostly global travelers that include millennials, corporates, and families. In these modern times with so much exposure around, and the rise of digital and social media presence, guests expect hotels to understand their needs and expectations. With the changing global scenario, even the guests’ expectations are changing which can be rightfully met by optimal utilization of modern technologies and tools such as automated messaging. While the human touch remains always at the forefront even with the advent of the best automated text message service, it has to be acknowledged as a limiting aspect. On the other hand, a guest messaging app has a wide range of benefits, some of them include 24×7 availability, proactive services, quick resolution to guests’ issues, and breaking language barriers among others. Therefore, it is highly recommended for you to make full use of an automated messaging service for your hotel to not only meet the changing guests’ expectations but to leave a positive impression on your guests, with the right mix of human and digital communication.
Personalize guest engagement from pre-arrival, check-out to post-stay. GuestTouch Messaging is connected to your PMS to make it easy for you to connect with your potential customers and guests at every stage of guests’ journey to boost revenue and provide a convenient and delightful guest experience. Easily respond to incoming messages faster, right from the desk computer. Alerts and notifications ensure that your staff will never miss a message. Automated messages and saved templates help you save time. Increase your website conversions with a website chatbot designed for hotels. Speak directly with potential guests or assist them automatically with an AI chatbot, 24/7. Welcome each guest with a personalized message and micro-page at the check-in and lots more.