Direct Messaging Guests Step-by-Step: The On-Site Experience
Direct messaging has been around for quite a while now and its popularity among travelers is definitely strong and steady. In fact, recent findings show that more than 8 out of 10 (85%) of consumers want to be able to send texts to and receive texts from businesses. What used to be an innovative way of communicating a few years ago is now the new day-to-day normal, even for older generations.
Direct messaging is always a good way of establishing communications between hotel businesses and guests but there’s one particular stage that brings the most benefits to both parties: the guests’ on-site experience.
There’s no time like the present, they say. While it is important to keep communication channels open during all stages of the shop-buy-travel experience, the on-site one is of particular importance because, as a hotelier, you have the option to make a great impression, to address and fix issues, and to avoid unpleasant experiences that might result in negative post-stay reviews.
So, how exactly do you take advantage of communication through direct messaging, while the guest is staying at the hotel? Here are some ideas of how you can reach out and make a great on-site impression:
The first natural point of contact while on-site is through a welcome text to guests. Of course, they can still go through the in-person check-in process and meet some of the hotel staff, however, a direct message can be a collective welcome from the entire team. Let travelers know that every single one of the hotel representatives is aware of their arrival and ready to do everything in their power to make their stay pleasant.
After the check-in and welcome process, you can use a standard template, which is easy and time-effective, in order to casually check on the guest and see if there’s anything that they might need your assistance with. You can find a proper example of such a template in our best practice guide, How To Use Templates To Direct Message Your Guests. This will let the guest know that you are continuously at their disposal and willing to assist them in any inquiry they might have.
Next, while the guest is enjoying the stay, messaging poses a great opportunity for encouraging feedback. Sure, post-say feedback is great and it gives you the chance to advertise your hotel’s strong suits and make improvements in the future. But why not take advantage of the guests’ current status (on-site) and make those improvements right away? Nothing says that you care about your guests’ positive experience and well-being more than action.
So don’t be shy and ask them via text message if they are enjoying their stay or if there is anything that you could do to make it better. If you want to gain extra credits, take a close look at the purpose of their stay: Are they on a business trip? Are they on a city trip? They might have revealed something during check-in or in the booking process. The more you know about the guest, the better and more targeted you can interact.
Ultimately, a departure message can wrap up a positive impression that will, later on, translate into great post-stay feedback. You can thank the guest for choosing your hotel, offer any useful information they might need (like the check-out time, for example), and you can encourage them to review your hotel and their stay, through the hotel’s own satisfaction survey or on different sites or social media. Keep in mind that solicited reviews are 16% more likely to be “extremely positive” 5-star reviews.
Guest feedback is time-sensitive and collecting it while the guest is on-site gives you, as a hotelier, the opportunity to impact his current experience instead of promising a better/different one next time. Immediacy is key nowadays and direct messaging is an extremely useful tool that can ease communication and improve a hotel’s reputation and popularity.