Hotels Use SMS Messaging to Head Off Bad Reviews
Online travel and review sites are great for travellers. In fact, 81% of travellers find user reviews important when searching for destinations according to statisticbrain.com. They are good for hotels too, but they offer a double edged sword. User reviews are unfiltered – that is the travellers can say whatever they like both good and bad. And managing a bad review can be difficult (let’s not get into the hotel who tried to charge visitors who left bad reviews!). Once those words are out on the Internet, they’re out there forever.
And it’s hard to know how your guests feel. Not all unhappy people will complain during their stay. They wait until they leave, then rage about the decor, the service, the food, or the rates. What can hotels do to head off those bad reviews? Try and get to the travellers before they can get to the review site. A great way to do that is to use a customer survey via SMS messaging. And do it before there’s time for the bad review to spread.
Most guests probably provide you with a mobile number when booking. You could also ask for it when they check in. Once you have the number, you’re able to use it to communicate with them about their stay. Just be careful. Make sure you use the number just for messages related to their stay. You can’t later use it for marketing unless you get their permission first.
For example, a guest checks out at 11 am. You can send them a text message a few hours later asking them to rate their stay. If the answers you receive are anything less than great, you can follow up with appropriate measures to make things right.
Depending on their experience, a personal phone call from management might help smooth things over. At the very least, you’ll gain a better understanding of the issues the guest had during their stay. That’s information you’ll need if you’re going to strive for great reviews.
Is it hard to incorporate SMS messaging into your hotel’s procedures? No, it’s actually quite an easy thing to do. It’s also extremely cost effective, especially when you compare it to potential lost business from bad reviews. While you could do a full integration with your management software, it isn’t necessary to do so. A cloud-based SMS messaging service like fastsms lets you enter mobile numbers one at a time, or upload thousands at once. Which approach works for your hotel depends on what you want to achieve.
Manual entry is a quick way to start, and a full integration that will streamline the process can be done over time. It’s all up to you. If you’re not sure how to get started, we’re available via live chat, email, or phone to answer your questions. Alternatively read our free “Hotels Guide to SMS Messaging“.
Sometimes bloggers or journalists get a bit carried away. They see some data or fact, and run off to declare there’s a trend you need to know about. The latest one I’ve seen is all about how to reach the generation of “cashless shoppers”. The argument goes that you need to use SMS messaging to reach customers because they are all shopping online – where you obviously can’t pay in cash.
SMS marketing can be a double-edged sword, which is why it's crucial to ensure that each one of your campaigns is well thought out, immaculately spelt, financially accurate (i.e., the prices listed are correct), and, perhaps most importantly, the time and date is 100% accurate. Only once you have triple-checked each one of the components should you then consider sending out a batch.
In many ways, SMS messaging is so commonplace people don’t think about it. They just do it. For example, using SMS for mobile marketing in retail is a fairly standard use case whether you’re a company or the consumer. But there are always exceptions – those who innovate when it seems there’s nothing new to be had. Here are two examples of companies from the US using SMS in ways no one else is – yet.
The campervan and caravan industry grew 16% this past year. Campsite and holiday park owners can connect with the thousands of new travellers using SMS messaging. After all, 76% of travellers prefer to take their mobile on holiday rather than a friend.
Festival season is upon us! Experienced festival organisers predict that to be successful you need more than just music. You’ll need to offer an experience to your attendees. In the last blog I covered some of the reasons for that, and ideas on how to start building your SMS marketing list before your festival begins. In part 2, we’ll take a look at how to use SMS to create engaging experiences for attendees while they are at your festival, and even after they leave.
Now that the peak travel season is over, how can travel agents stay top of mind in their customers? If you look around, you’ll notice everyone seems to have a mobile. That means SMS is the perfect way to reach them and make sure you’re not forgotten.
In order to appeal to new customers and interact with existing ones, businesses are always looking for new marketing methods. Whilst many companies are using traditional and online marketing techniques, these aren’t always effective. Email filtering, for example, means that many recipients may not even be aware that they’ve received contact from your company. As many email hosts provide in-built spam filters, it’s easy for email marketing content to be overlooked or ignored completely. SMS marketing, however, overcomes many of the obstacles associated with online and email marketing. Whilst potential customers may not see your company emails, SMS messages aren’t filtered in the same way. The delivery rate is, therefore, far higher for SMS messages in comparison to marketing emails.
With the summer peak season fast approaching, now is the perfect time for hotels to keep in touch with their guests and take advantage of upselling and cross-selling techniques to increase revenues. In this article, we demonstrate how to use SMS marketing to make the most of the opportunities in both and unlock added value for your business.