Driving Better Hotel Guest Experiences with SMS 

Not only does it create smoother processes for guests and hotel operations, it helps ensure that hotels can contact guests with relevant, valuable communications in real time.
By Hannah Hambleton, Content Manager at Beambox - 2.7.2020

For every hotel, giving guests a great experience is essential. Not only to meet expectations, but also to manage any potentially brand damaging experiences before they make it online.

Guests now expect smooth, personalized interactions throughout their entire stay, including check-ins and access to guest amenities like WiFi and room service. SMS allows hotels to send perfectly timed, instantly accessible communications, creating engaged guests who become loyal to the hotel brand.

The following are three ways SMS can create better guest experiences for any, and every, hotel.

Send guest WiFi information with SMS directly to guests

Every hotel knows how important offering great guest WiFi is. In fact, WiFi is so essential to every single guest, that the login info is the first thing they want after they’ve checked in. Instead of old-fashioned pieces of paper or info left in rooms, hotels can make it easy for customers to log in by sending all of the information in an auto-generated text, immediately at check in.

This is a great move for many reasons:

  • Giving the information before guests ask for it allows hotels to be proactive in going beyond guest expectations, right from the start. It’s a great way to show how hotels anticipate, and react to customer needs.
  • Guest WiFi is an essential marketing tool for hotels–boosting lead generation, customer retention and guest loyalty. Making it easy for guests to log in begins the data capture process to generate insight needed for future targeting.
  • Creating simple log in procedures for guests will start to create an active, opted-in subscriber base for future WiFi marketing after guests have checked out.

SMS makes it easy to generate powerful guest reviews

Guest reviews on on sites like Tripadvisor are essential. Not only are they important tools for hotels to gauge understanding into customer experience, but they’re also essential tools to generate powerful social proof that helps to increase occupancy rates.

While email is a great way to contact guests and ask for a review, SMS also works. Sending requests directly to a person’s phone is powerful, and harder to ignore.

Hotels can use automated SMS texts to:

  • Send a direct link to a review site immediately after checkout to make the review process quick, easy and harder to ignore.
  • Guests can  be sent texts during their stay, asking for reviews on any guest services they’ve used immediately after doing so. For example, they can be asked to review their meal in the hotel restaurant or their experience at the on-site spa earlier that day.
  • Highlight how important reviews are for hotel improvement and customer insight. They can also include incentives to up review rates such as entry into a prize draw on the completion of a review.

SMS can generate important survey insight for hotels

Customer reviews are essential, but the feedback is limited to what a customer reports in their writing. Surveys are a strong way to check customer satisfaction, as well as identify any areas of improvement and get ahead when it comes to spotting customer trends.

The key thing is to make it simple, quick and contact customers soon after check-out. This keeps their responses fresh, but it also means hotels can potentially mitigate any negative reviews before customers have posted them.

Here are some ways hotels can use SMS for feedback:

  • Ask for a simple guest satisfaction rating, for example from 1-5. It may seem pretty blunt, but it’s a great way for hotels to get a quick overview of guest experience, as well as segment customers who weren’t happy into potential follow up streams.
  • Send a series of short questions through SMS. These need to be carefully written to be simple and engaging, but it’s a great tool for hotels to focus in on specific areas needing feedback,
  • Customers can be sent surveys focusing on generating market research insight, for example asking what can be improved or what they’d like to see the hotel offer.

Hotels can use SMS to increase revenue and engagement during guest stays

Hotels always need to maximize revenue, and SMS is an effective way to direct and drive customers to amenities and bookable hotel services.

Before a stay, guests can be sent a text message asking them if they would like to book at the hotel restaurant, book any spa activities, or take advantage of any special packages or promotions running at that time. This direct contact with guests gives hotels important pre-stay contact, allowing them to demonstrate how seriously they take guest satisfaction.

It’s also a great way to improve bookings during guests stays as well. Segmenting and targeting guests into contact streams based on WiFi data, service bookings, responses to messaging and past stay-information will allow hotels to send relevant SMS texts to encourage upselling. From room service offers to cross-selling promotions, hotels can really maximise revenue with real-time SMS contact, tailoring it to be valuable to every guest.

SMS benefits both customers and hotels

SMS is a great tool for every hotel. Not only does it create smoother processes for guests and hotel operations, it helps ensure that hotels can contact guests with relevant, valuable communications in real time.

As well as helping anticipate, and be proactive when it comes to guest expectations, SMS gives hotels the ability to ask for instant feedback and make generating powerful guest reviews much easier. Hotels can also combine SMS marketing with email marketing with data captured from guest WiFi —creating effective, proactive communications that boost loyalty and occupancy rates.

Hannah Hambleton is the Content Manager for Beambox. Beambox combines guest WiFi with an innovative marketing platform to generate true and lasting customer insight, understanding and engagement. Hannah writes about marketing trends and technology for hospitality businesses.

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