5 Reasons Not to Be Afraid of Direct Messaging Your Guests
Welcome to part 1 of our Direct Messaging blog series!
The Valentine’s Day pressure is real. Ask anyone in a relationship and they’ll tell you that the holiday of love can induce anxiety, sleepless nights and an urgent need to run to the drug store and get some Pepto Bismol.
Then you factor in being single and this holiday ends up being the worst thing that Hallmark ever created.
But that’s not why you’re still reading this. You’re still reading because direct messaging your potential guests is pretty similar to dating. And just like you shouldn’t be afraid of dating, or of Valentine’s Day, you shouldn’t be afraid of infusing direct messaging into your marketing strategy.
1. You’re Offering to Help
Starting a Facebook conversation with a guest can be just like asking someone out – it can give you sweaty pants and a can’t-sleep feeling like the one you get the day before the first day of school.
And just like in dating, you want to focus on what you’ve got to offer: a personalized hotel experience. If you’re offering guests to help, rather than annoying them with ads or upsells, then there’s nothing to fear.
2. They’re Used to Direct Messaging
Facebook Messenger boasts 700 million monthly active users – who use the service day in and day out. One reason not to be afraid of direct messaging is because they’re already used to talking to their friends and family on Facebook – and why should a hotel be any different?
Speak personably and friendly and act as if they’re talking to another friend.
3. It’s Around the Clock Care
Hyatt was one of the first hotels to offer around-the-clock customer service via Facebook Messenger. Instead of calling and waiting to speak to someone, guests can simply search for their hotel page and ask them a question (Hyatt’s Facebook Messenger is available around the clock).
Marriott Rewards members can use their app to speak to a representative instantly – so no more waiting for someone to pick up the phone when you need an extra towel or emergency chocolate-dipped strawberries when you forgot about Valentine’s Day.
4. It’s One of the Best Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty
One of the best ways to increase customer loyalty is to respond to guests’ questions as soon as possible. Messaging them is another way to show your customers you’re there to make their trip memorable. Plus, it can have a bigger impact on overall guest satisfaction. J.D. Power’s 2016 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study revealed that there’s a “guest satisfaction plateau” taking place in hospitality.
“When guests no longer see added value in the quality of amenities they receive, the only option to truly differentiate a brand is to develop a strong service culture that makes guests feel special and appreciated,” said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power.
Speaking to your guests on their terms – their social networks, when they want, where they want – is a great way to beat this satisfaction plateau.
5. It’s Private
You think of social networks as public platforms – but direct messaging is actually the opposite, and that’s pretty unique. Direct messaging your guests on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and other platforms enables you to chat privately to them, which can be a much better medium than public platforms like Twitter. After all, just like with relationships, there are time you want to broadcast it to the world and there are times for some private moments.
Last year, Skift predicted that direct messaging would be one of the new trends of the year – and unlike Valentine’s Day, getting personal with your guests via direct messaging is not a one-day affair. It’s something you need to work on every day – just like you need to do with good relationships.
Stay tuned for Part 2 – Dos and Don’t of Direct Messaging Your Guests (which are similar to the rules of dating – so you’ll learn two things from one!)