How Live Chat Can Improve The Guest Experience
If you were around before the internet became a modern god and absolutely vital for any home and business, you can probably still remember what sending out a letter was like. Oh, the time that you spent writing it, how long it took for it to get to the destination, how many days passed before getting a reply… Doesn’t that just sound so… old and far away?
Luckily, the old ways are far behind us. Although some hopeless romantics could argue that letters still have their charm and are certainly personal, it’s no secret that the vast majority of today’s consumers are in a rush. It’s a busy world we live in and we rely on brands to understand our need for immediacy and spare us valuable time.
For the hospitality business, live chat comes to the rescue in a time when 2 in 3 customers would rather communicate through written messages than over the phone and hotel guests are significantly more satisfied when communicating through text messages and social media compared to those who do not. The need for immediacy is stronger than ever and providing a feature which enables travelers to communicate easier and faster comes as a huge plus for any hotel. Luckily, live chat does just that, in an effortless and cost-effective way.
Many hotels nowadays acknowledge the need for rapid communication and the importance of constantly opened lines of receiving valuable information. From a (potential) guest’s perspective, this comes across as thoughtful and effective details, which prove that the hotel management cares about the guest and his experience. The hotel makes things easier and faster for the traveler and he gets the required answers and information in a way which saves him valuable time. What’s not to like?
It’s important for hoteliers to know that providing a live chat feature on the hotel website, straight from the beginning of the guest journey, can be the exact detail that makes the difference between a gain booking or a lost one. This can be perceived as an operational challenge, imposed by the rapid technological evolution of the 21st century, but it is one that certainly pays off in the long run.
We have previously talked about the importance of constant communication between the hotel management and the guest and how to make sure that you are supporting travelers during their entire journey, even prior to the booking and after the actual stay. These are topics that we deeply emphasize on, especially since we are constantly getting insights from the hospitality business and through our guest feedback platform, we help hotels from all over the globe to improve their services and overall reputation. With these insights in mind, TrustYou integrated its Messaging feature and more recently, we released a brand new and exciting update: the live chat widget, incorporated in the Messaging dashboard.
For hotels, this means that they can now implement a website chat plugin on their hotel website, the wifi page or any other webpage, in a quick and easy way - by just adding a code in the already established Messaging account. Afterwards, guest will be able to get in touch with hotel representatives by using the live chat window, which automatically delivers the messages to the TrustYou Messaging inbox. Easy and highly effective.
Also, since personalization is a topic which has a deep impact on hospitality, we developed the new live chat plugin in such a way that hoteliers have the freedom of customizing its numerous capabilities and features. This means that, besides delivering human contact and interactions, though real-time communication, you can also rely on personalized templates, which are called “saved replies”. Let’s say you stumble upon a very common question from guests, maybe something about the check-in/out process or about the breakfast - instead of replying with the same answer over and over again, you can save a template and use it whenever necessary. These replies include template variables for customer and/or business details, in order to give a personal touch while communicating with the guest.
Another useful hack delivered by the new live chat feature of TrustYou Messaging is the option of using the “away message”, which is again, completely customizable. If you do not have hotel staff working around the clock, this comes in handy while receiving a message from a guest. You can make sure that the system automatically informs the sender that their message will be considered and answered to as soon as possible, during the working hours. This lets guest know that, even if there is no hotel representative available at that exact moment, their request will be honored and that the quality of their stay is of high importance to the hotel.
All in all, the modern hotelier needs to be aware of the rise of immediacy among consumers and especially, among travelers. By enabling a live chat feature, you are making sure that you keep the lines of communication constantly open, you ensure that communications are fast, easy and effective and that your brand is humanized and potent. You can have the crucial opportunity of avoiding and/or managing crisis, in order to keep away from negative feedback and a not-so-great reputation. It’s an extra step that shows guest that you are aware of their needs and expectations and that you value their experiences, opinions and feedback.
If you want to get started with direct messaging and live chat, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be more than happy to help you achieve your goals and an overall better reputation!