Over the last few years, text messages have become a mainstay of communication. In fact, recent studies show that people use smartphones more for texting than any other function phones provide. Marketing departments have not overlooked this fact and are using SMS to promote deals, remind users of payments, and otherwise keep their brand at the front of the consumer’s mind.
Hotels have the potential to reach guests through SMS from planning to after the stay, providing valuable and useful information that doesn’t intrude on the experience.
Following are suggested uses for SMS over the entire guest journey:
Planning: Connecting with guests via SMS can begin as soon as a phone number has been entered. This is a great time to push seasonal or package deals, provide information about local merchants, or alert guests to area events taking place during the time of their visit.
Booking: During the booking phase, many guests will have special requests or traveling needs that aren’t specified in fill-in-the-blank forms. SMS can be an opportunity to stand out and create positive memories before the guests arrives by providing a way for guests to make these things known, as well as to know that someone has seen and responded to the request. This is also a perfect time to send them a link to download your hotel app to their phone, because you know the phone is in their hands when they see it.
Travel: Traveling, usually the most stressful portion of the guest journey, can be made easier by using SMS to alert guests to road construction or other traffic delays nearby, the best route to your property, and where to find parking. If your hotel offers a shuttle or other means of transport from the airport, you can use SMS to assure guests that their vehicle has arrived and let them know what to expect.
Check-In: Mobile perhaps has the biggest impact during the check-in process. Reducing guest frustrations at this time is critical. SMS can be used to welcome guests to the property, point them to the fastest desk to obtain a key, let them know their room is ready, and take some of the pressure off of the front desk.
Stay: During the stay, text messages can be used to push in-house amenities, local attractions, and a reminder about the features available on your app.
Check-Out: SMS can be used to either speed the check-out process if guests do not need to stop at the desk, or to simply thank guests for their stay and ask them to return, again, taking some pressure off of the front desk and creating positive emotional connections to your property.
Memories: After the stay, you could provide discounts on the next stay or possibly even a property photo as a keepsake.
How do you use SMS to provide a better experience for guests on your property?