5 Ways Hotels Boost Guest Engagement By Texting
Your hotel wants to boost guest engagement, because you know that if you can keep guests engaged before, during, and after their stays, they're more likely to do things like:
- Leave great online reviews
- Refer friends and family
- Share pictures of their stay on social media
- Come back
- Ultimately grow your revenue
The trick is providing great guest experiences every step of the way, and communicating with guests on their terms is key to them engaging with you.
How does texting help you overcome this challenge?
I’m going to show you five detailed ways your hotel, bed and breakfast, or resort can use texting to boost guest engagement—making everyone happier in the process.
1. Answer guest questions directly from your website.
You probably allow prospective guests to book their stay entirely online, without having to talk to you. But many people have questions they need answered before they book.
These questions can come up at any hour of the day, and answering these questions is a critical step in securing their reservation.
One great solution is to let guests text you from your website. Studies show about nine in 10 people would rather text you than call or email, and texts don't have to be answered immediately like phone calls, which gives you flexibility.
Our SMS Chat lets prospective guests text you directly from your website, so you can answer their questions and book more reservations.
What is SMS Chat?
It works like a live chat on your website. People can start a chat and the messages are delivered to your agents. The difference is your replies are sent to that guest's cell phone as texts.
Two perks to SMS Chat are:
The customizable prompt is highly engaging, and is famous for starting conversations. That's big for bringing in new guests.
You get that person's cell phone number to follow up with later if the conversation isn't resolved quickly, or if they have to exit out of your site unexpectedly.
People prefer to ask a real person their questions rather than having to search through a website for an answer or being left on hold during a call. Texting fits their mobile, on the go lifestyle.
You can also set up autoresponses for your inbound texts. This way, even if you’re tied up with another guest, that prospect can get an instant reply and feel confident a real person will get back to them shortly. For instance, you might say:
“Thanks for your message! We’ll respond personally ASAP.”
Most people searching for places to stay are doing so after work or on the weekends, which also tends to be when you're busiest. So the flexibility and speed that texting provides becomes powerful.
2. Save time by checking in over text.
You want to speed up your check-in process, but you are finding yourself in a game of phone tag or having people miss your emails, costing you time and headaches.
When you need to confirm a guest's check-in, text them once to get a response instead of calling repeatedly and only getting their voicemail.
Text messaging is one of the fastest ways to perform confirmation and check-in processes, because they’re typically read within 90 seconds.
Sometimes you'll need to be confirming check-ins, but some other situation grabs your attention. You can schedule messages in advance, so you can complete your check-ins even when you're caught up in another task.
By using our scheduling feature, you can have your messages sent at any desired time. Promptly responding on your behalf will nudge travelers into securing their reservation instantly, giving them peace of mind.
Upon check-in, you can even text and ask if there are any specific dietary restrictions, or any local attractions that they’re particularly interested in to ensure that they have an all-around, personalized on-site experience before they even arrive.
Go the extra mile when possible. It will always be appreciated.
Knowing how to streamline your communication reassures your guests that they are in capable hands, paving the way for repeat business and referrals.
3. Offer a mobile concierge service.
Guests have questions about your town, your property, and more, but they may not be close enough to ask you in person.
You can engage with your guests on the go by offering a mobile concierge service.
Guests could text you for things like:
- Information about your town while they are out exploring
- On-site events
- Facility features, such as a fitness center or winery
- Dining options
- Custom room requests (e.g. “Please have a bottle of champagne delivered to our room by the time we get back”)
Part of a great guest experience is a personalized experience. It's a lot more personal (and valuable) to get recommendations from the staff than from Google.
Guests relying on Google searches may also not be getting updated information.
Phone calls and emails take too long to ask quick questions such as “What are your happy hour specials?”, etc.
They might not even know the concierge number, but once the concierge texts them, there is an open line for questions. Visitors can quickly save your number as a reference.
It’s great to be helpful to guests throughout their entire stay, extending beyond the confines of your property.
Jordan Haag of The Crash Pad explains how one of his hostel visitors had gotten lost on a local hiking trail. By texting via Text Request, Jordan was able to immediately respond and pick the guest up, safely bringing her back to The Crash Pad.
You can even set up keywords that trigger automated responses. A great example of this is prompting guests to text “BOOK” for updates on future deals and room openings. You can even include “RoomService” as a keyword, allowing guests to place food and drink orders.
Texting can rapidly connect guests and the front desk, saving you time and making your guests happy.
4. Request reviews through text.
You want reviews, but guests don’t always want to leave them.
Most people don’t want to take time to leave a review. It’s time-consuming to sit down and write a review over email. So if you want people to leave you a review, you've got to make it easy and quick.
So why not text them a review link?
By implementing SMS services as a part of your customer service, your hotel can make great strides towards reaching your customer base and their output.
According to TripAdvisor, 83% of travelers rely on insightful reviews before making a final decision.
5. Leave a lasting impression.
It’s important to deliver the same quality of service through the entirety of your guests’ experience, so how do you ensure that you are doing so even at check-out and beyond?
Personalize your parting message, including details about their stay—especially if there were any notable ones.
“Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. [Last Name], for choosing [Hotel Name]. We hope you enjoyed your double-decker tour of [City Name]! We’d love to see photos you took at [Local Attraction]—and we’d appreciate it if you mentioned us when you post online!”
If you’ve been engaging before and during their stay, that final text is a great opportunity for you to ask them for a review, share their experience on social media, or to sign up for future offers/rewards.
Showing your guests that you are paying attention to their stay communicates that you care. They don’t want to be identified as their room number, they want to be addressed by their name.
You will leave a lasting impression by being personable and acknowledging specific things about their stay.
They will be more inclined to leave a review for you upon leaving.
After your guests leave, you can maintain your relationship with them by sending special offers and promotions. Keep them in the loop by sending messages that are tailored to their specific interests and needs.
Bridge the communication gap between you and your guests through text.
You’re trying to improve guest engagement, and texting with guests throughout their stay is crucial to doing it. You just need a way to manage those engagements and conversations across your property.
Text Request can help you stay on top of your day-to-day tasks while also providing a platform for your guests to manage their own experience.