Everything Hotels Should Know About Messaging Through WhatsApp
Ever since WhatsApp hit the market for individual users, people all around the world just can’t seem to get enough of it. This particular app has become incredibly popular and its applicability now goes beyond the entertainment function. In fact, there are now more than 5 million businesses worldwide using WhatsApp Business to facilitate their engagement with clients, through easy, immediate, and contactless communication.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting social distance, the need for contactless communication in the hospitality scene is on the rise. Not only that but many guests use WhatsApp on a daily basis and hotels should always be able to cater to guests’ preferred channels and specific needs. WhatsApp Business facilitates engagement with clients, through easy, immediate, and contactless communication.
We at TrustYou are listening, and gearing up to add the WhatsApp Business API to our Guest Messaging solution, joining Facebook Messenger, Google Messaging, SMS, Webchat, WeChat, and Email solutions. So let’s take a dive into the main reasons why you should integrate WhatsApp into your communication strategy!
WhatsApp is incredibly popular
Among many direct messaging options in terms of direct messaging - SMS, Facebook messenger, etc.- what does WhatsApp have to offer and why should you use it? Well, first of all, many people and especially among the younger generations have become accustomed to using it all day, every day. It is estimated that, at the beginning of 2020, WhatsApp hit the 2 billion-user-mark worldwide, which is more than Twitter and Snapchat combined.
As we determined this year in our Global Review Insights Report, WhatsApp has the strongest geographic position, being the top messaging app worldwide. It is also one of the most popular social platforms in general, along with Facebook and Youtube. Stats show that over 65 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp every day.
The benefits of WhatsApp for your hotel
It’s no secret that communication between guests and hotel staff is often in the form of direct messaging. Our study shows that guests are significantly more likely to have a better experience when communicating via text messages and on social media. Keeping the lines of communication open during the on-site phase means that travelers are provided with an additional way of expressing their opinion and concerns on the spot. They are extremely likely (91%) to report service issues during their stay, which enables hoteliers to improve the overall experience and avoid negative post-stay reviews.
WhatsApp supports businesses everywhere by enabling special business profiles. For hoteliers, this means that you can create an official profile with important and helpful information for your customers, which can include the address, business description, email address, website, and so on. It’s a way to establish and validate your business and set yourself apart from other users.
Going even further, let’s talk about how WhatsApp can help you leverage your hotel business, beyond brand awareness. As for functionalities, you can probably already think of ways in which WhatsApp is a great channel for direct communication: the ability to create groups, send large files and attachments, and even set up automated messages - these are all features that ease communication and make it even more personal and meaningful.
Keep some level of comfort when communicating
Providing guests with means of communication that they are already familiar with is something that can make your hotel business more approachable and personal. This is also enforced by the fact that WhatsApp requires phone numbers, which means that you can break through the email spam folder and reach your guest more easily, through a trustworthy connection.
WhatsApp is a great channel for personalized communication. Think of it like this: the guests are already checked-in, you have basic information about them, you can also ask for more insights into their needs and expectations and therefore, send information that might catch their interest (it can be about a promotion, an event, a loyalty program). Based on the guest profile and on-site feedback, you can tailor and adapt services to fit their needs. I
Last, but not least, let’s not forget about one of the most important traits of a successful hotel business: an excellent reputation. Given modern communication means, including WhatsApp, it’s now easier than ever to encourage and ask for on-site feedback. Our previous study reveals that requested feedback tends to be more positive when actively requested. Asking for on-site feedback can also prevent possible issues before they turn into negative experiences and bad online reviews. Nothing says that you care about your guests’ positive experience and well-being more than a swift action.
Whatsapp as part of the TrustYou Guest Messaging solution
To make things easier, let’s go through the main reasons why WhatsApp is a highly beneficial addition:
- You can communicate and manage interactions with guests via a centralized live inbox in your Live Messaging while managing other channels at the same time
- You can showcase business profile information and since every business profile needs verification, you enable a safe and secure communication line that your guests will trust
- You can generate a unique QR code to distribute and promote both online and on-site, on the hotel premises, in order to encourage guests to reach out through WhatsApp
- You can rely on personalized templates called “saved replies” to save valuable time and ensure streamlined communication
- You show that you care about your guests’ needs and expectations by enabling them to use their preferred communication channel
- You enforce contactless engagement, which has become crucial in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and represents the safest way of communication
Stay tuned for more information about our own upcoming WhatsApp integration. We’re taking messaging to the next level and making sure that you have the best possible tool when communicating with your guests!
In the meantime, if you have any questions or inquiries, please feel free to contact us.