Texting has surpassed email and a number of other communication methods as the go-to choice for businesses—and for the companies that support business professionals and other travelers. Hotel guest services that use text messaging tap into an easier way of communicating with guests and make them feel their needs are being attended to personally.
Here are just a few ways in which text messaging makes it easier for hotel front desks to communicate with guests:
- “The last mile.” Many hotels are focusing on text messaging during “the last mile” – the time just before a guest arrives to check in, according to a recent TNooz business article. By connecting with guests during this time, the hotel can ensure that their questions are answered and that check-in goes more smoothly, boosting customer satisfaction and allowing the hotel staff to streamline efforts for greater productivity and efficiency.
- Quicker contacts. Guests who have checked in can text the front desk with any needs, questions, or requests. Companies like Marriott, which recently launched its own chain-specific guest app, report that customer ratings on sites like TripAdvisor have risen in direct response to the app’s use. Customers appreciate a simple, quick way to connect with hotel staff without having to leave the comfort of their rooms.
- One-on-one communication. Guests with disabilities or other special needs are often sensitive about their information being overheard by others standing near a front desk. With text messaging, hotels eliminate this potential embarrassment by keeping conversations about a guest’s needs discreet.
- Better ratings. According to TNooz, one hotel chain chose not only to implement texting, but also to test its efficacy. The chain matched two groups of guests and gave one the option to text. Positive ratings from the texting group jumped 20 percent over the control group’s ratings, with the texters specifically mentioning the texting option as one of the reasons for their increased satisfaction. The numbers indicate that texting works for hotels that wish to improve their Net Promoter Score or other ratings.
Bringing the Future of Texting to Today’s Guest Services
A recent white paper by the Global Business Travelers Association (GBTA) found that while not all hotels have adopted texting, those that have are encountering similar problems. The organization recommended that hotels focus on several key areas when implementing a new texting method:
- Online check-in and room entry that perform seamlessly
- Text or app-based concierge service offering prompt, personalized responses
- Improving communications with airport shuttle services to make “the last mile” seamless
- Pre-trip communications that differentiate between business and vacation travelers in order to provide a more personalized experience
- Improving information exchanges between travelers, hotel staff, the texting service, and tracking systems, such as expense reporting software.
By harnessing technological tools like text messaging, hotels can provide exceptional service in a more efficient and productive fashion, boosting customer satisfaction and repeat visitors while gaining the most value out of expenditures on the project.