You have heard of “guest”, you have heard of “messaging”, but do you know what is “Guest Messaging”?
Guest Messaging is a new category. In general, Guest Messaging for hotels is to message guests via Website Chat, SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp… while guests can also reach hotels via the same channels in turn.
There is no question that Guest Messaging is on the rocket. The number of mobile messaging app users worldwide is growing from 1.58 billion in 2016 to 2.48 billion in 2021 (Clement, J.). On average, people send and receive 32 messages/day, particularly the youngsters (18-34 y.o.). Facebook Messenger is the most popular channel with 145 billion messages/day worldwide. It clearly shows that people prefer typing than talking, so it’s easier for hotels to reach guests through messages, which are usually read in 5 seconds. (Burke, K.)
Seeing the huge potential of messaging, many hotels have started to adopt Guest Messaging, including the giants: Hilton, Starwood, IHG, and Hyatt (Ting, D.). Despite the leading trends and great attractiveness of Guest Messaging, there are still some common misunderstandings need to be addressed.
1. I don’t want my guests to feel intrusive
Guest Messaging allows hotels to proactively send messages to guests, some might wonder, will the guests feel disturbed? The fact is, it depends on the guest’s choice and how you do it.
First of all, the guests have the right and the opportunity to make a choice. They can choose to receive the message or not, as well as choose their preferred channels, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS. For example, Bookboost Guest Messaging allows you to ask for the guest’s consent beforehand on the website, in the confirmation email, or in the message. For guests, they can always reply “stop” to the message to be excluded from the sending list.
In particular, messaging the right information at the right time is the key to success. 57% of people are willing to receive messages, especially for a discount and useful information (Simple Texting). Meaning what? Guys, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to upsell!
According to Bookboost’s real case studies, many guests actually like to be reminded by messages. For example, on the day before check-in, guests appreciate the SMS offering useful information on hotel address and parking space, etc., preferably with the booking link attached. With an average open rate of 99% and a conversion rate of 8%, there is no doubt that Guest Messaging can help you delight guests if used properly.
2. I am scared by the word “Automate”
Guest Messaging can automate replies to queries and provide information whenever needed by guests. Some of you are scared by the word “automate” because hospitality is all about service and human connection. If technology automates everything, where should I stand?
Relax, my hotel friend. Automation does not mean to automate everything. You can use automated replies to handle “chores” and free yourself! Think about how many times you and your staff have to answer similar questions on the phone again and again? What is the check-in time? Where is the restaurant?… Now you can set up keyword replies according to your own reality. For example, when the guest asks a question containing the keyword “restaurant”, detail information of the hotel restaurant will pop up. With the help of chatbot, repetitive inquiries will be answered quickly and beautifully.
For Bookboost Guest Messaging, the Omnichannel Website Chat is even more powerful. It is a live chat platform integrating messages from different channels (e.g. SMS, Email, Messenger, WhatsApp) all-in-one place. It can be easily installed on your website so that you can receive and reply to all messages with just a click.
Bookboost’s Omnichannel Website Chat has successfully helped Maika, Operations Manager of Jorplace Beach Hostel reduce around 60% calls! The hotel staff is happy to cut repetitive work, while Maika also feels relaxed because now her staff can focus on booking related queries to drive more direct bookings. Maika sees automation as the time-saver and money-maker, two birds with one stone, isn’t it amazing?!
Last but not least, there is always some space for you to utilize creativity to personalize automation and keep the human touch. Instead of replying like a robot, you can set up automated replies in a more personalized tone. When chatting with a guest, his/her guest profile is also shown next to the conversation, so that your staff can generate more “human” conversations to tap into guest needs and increase guest satisfaction.
3. When I hear “technology”, I have a“complicated” headache
No, no, no, Guest Messaging is the opposite of complication. What if I tell you it only takes 1 minute to install on your website?
It’s true, for Bookboost, you only need to log in the platform and turn on a button, then the chatbot is ready to use. Why not start a free trial and try by yourself today!
But how about the time and energy invested in learning and training staff? Well, comparing with the cost spent on answering low-revenue-potential and repeated calls, this small investment made on Guest Messaging is highly worth it.
In reality, Guest Messaging providers have been working for years to make the product easy to use. With the down-to-earth experiences focusing only on the hotel industry, Guest Messaging has been developed to be more and more mature. For Bookboost, training guidance, webinar, experienced technical support, and complete after-sales service is only a few of the many resources to help your staff adopt the tool faster and better.
And what about integration? Can Bookboost integrate with my PMS system seamlessly? Integration is indeed a major concern for hoteliers. However, integrations can be made in different ways, such as direct integration, through a service provider, or in a secret Bookboost way!
Overall, Guest Messaging is efficient, humanized, and easy to adopt. Obviously, you can feel a strong temptation. There are some misunderstandings, but what holds you back is the incomplete understanding of Guest Messaging. Let the professionals do their job, you just sit back and embrace the future of hospitality.
Book your free demo with Bookboost expert, we will show you how it works!