5 Do’s and Don’ts of Direct Messaging Your Guests
Last week, we shared the top five reasons not to be afraid of direct messaging your guests in part one of this blog series.
Now that you’re not afraid (hopefully), it’s time to actually do it: ask someone out (I mean, direct message your guests – you’ll have to read part one to understand the dating references in this piece).
Before we get into our do’s and don’ts, keep this in mind: A lot of articles that focus on direct messaging talk about the basic stuff: be nice and pleasant, don’t try to up-sell in your first message, don’t be unprofessional – just like the basic rules of dating are don’t look like you just woke up, smile, ask a few questions, carry a conversation.
We’ll assume you already know all that; after all, you’re in the hospitality business and being hospitable is our number job (we can’t help you if you don’t know the dating basics, though).
That being said, here are five do’s and don’ts of direct messaging your guests.
1. Do find out if they were delayed
A travel delay can annoy even the most pleasant travelers. If they are willing to chat with you after a delay, chances are they are tired and need something, so predict what they may need before they ask.
If they’re delayed, let them know you’ve sent up toiletries to their room in case they had meant to buy them and hadn’t had a chance, or that you’ve left a do-not-disturb on the door so they can sleep in. Take it one step further and have an article handy about what to do when you’re delayed (the stress can make travelers forget about some basics).
2. Don’t copy and paste
Just like you wouldn’t copy and paste the same text message to a guy/girl you’re going to ask out (please don’t do that), you shouldn’t copy and paste the same message to a potential guest. Here’s a tip to keep your messages creative: if you’re contacting them via Facebook Messenger or a social network, go to their profile and find one thing they like (a band, movie etc.) or one place they’ve visited before. Use that as your icebreaker.
If you went to one of my best friend’s Facebook accounts, even if you’re not Facebook friends, you’d see her cover photo is a picture of a bookshelf. Your direct message to her would be “What book are you bringing to The TrustYou Hotel?”
3. Do use shortened links
Ever receive an email from a friend or company with a link to directions or to an article and the link is four lines long? You want to give a good impression of your hotel and these small things matter.
Go the extra mile and before you share a link with a guest (if they had asked for a nearby restaurant, for example), shorten the link. Using tools like bit.ly, you can even personalize the link like bit.ly/WeCantWaitToHaveValerieAtTheTrustYouHotel
4. Don’t sell during the first message unless…
No one wants a sales pitch during their first direct message unless there’s a reason for it, like “I noticed you checked in a day late, would you like me to add WiFi to your account so you can quickly catch up on any work you might’ve missed?” If you phrase it in a way that shows how you want to help them, it won’t come off as aggressive.
5. Do find out if they’re a repeat visitor and remember their preferences
Before direct messaging your guests, find out if they’ve stayed at your property before and take the initiative to offer them a similar preference as last time. Don’t just say “We know you asked for late check out last time, would you like it again,” personalize it even further – “We know you ordered room service on your last night and you chose the burger and fries. Should I have that sent up on your last night again?”