While waiting at the airport for your rental car, you
get a notification on your cell phone. It's a text from
your hotel, asking if you would like a drink or food
from room service upon your arrival. It may sound like
a futuristic luxury, but the fact of the matter is that
scenarios like this are not that far off. Text messaging
offers a myriad of ways to boost the hospitality industry,
and hotels are bound to take note sooner rather than
SMS is an ideal platform for the hospitality industry.
A large reason why is its speed; texting allows a guest
to issue a request or ask a question very quickly, and
can relay the information to hotel staff instantly.
This way, staff can react upon a request as quickly
as possible, and can also communicate with a guest rapidly
if any follow-up or confirmation is needed.
The convenience of texting is also a major plus. Rather
than phoning the hotel or navigating to a webpage form
when in need, guests can enjoy the ease and speed of
simply shooting their hotel a text. And with texting
increasingly growing in favor as a primary way to communicate,
guests will find text messaging capabilities increasingly
Text messaging can serve hotels as much more than a
way for guests to ask for help, too. Customer service
via SMS can begin even before guests check in; the day
before a guest arrives, hotels can text guests asking
them to confirm their arrival time. Hotels can even
ask if guests will need directions, help with a rental
car, or anything to eat or drink when they arrive. This
service allows hotels to plan ahead and ensure the smoothest
SMS can also enhance the experience of arriving at
and checking into a hotel. While pulling up to and parking
at the hotel, a guest can receive a geo-targeted text
from the hotel welcoming them and offering any relevant
hotel and area information. After checking in, guests
might also receive a text asking them to rate their
check-in experience. Further, a low rating could connect
guests to the hotel manager, while a high rating could
suggest they offer a review and connect them to a relevant
Yelp or TripAdvisor page.
And, of course, SMS can be put to work to improve guests'
stays. Texting offers a more convenient and quick way
to request room service or connect to hotel staff. This
spares both guests and staff the time and effort of
addressing simple requests and concerns over the phone,
especially frequently asked questions like requests
for WiFi login information.
Hotels can also use texting as an arm of marketing,
alerting guests of new deals via SMS. During a guest's
stay, hotels can text them to let them know when an
upgrade becomes available at a reduced rate, so that
guests are more likely to have all options available
to them to have the best possible stay.
Even towards the end of a guest's stay, texting's benefits
remain significant. Guests can receive an automatic
text a day before check-out asking if they would like
to extend their stay. Once guests check out, they may
also receive a text asking about the quality of their
experience, similar to the check-in experience text.
From beginning to end, there is a diverse range of
ways that hotels can implement SMS during a guest's
stay to improve their experience. It's clear that texting
holds a wealth of benefit waiting for the hospitality
industry to tap into.
About the Author -
Sharon Housley is the VP of Marketing for NotePage,
Inc. a software company for communication software solutions.