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“.
SMS messaging can be a one-way, or a two-way affair. Sending coupons, sale notifications, or event announcements are all one-way messaging. The recipient doesn’t need to reply in order to use the information sent. In two-way messaging though, recipients can reply to your messages. And that makes it much more interesting, engaging, and potentially a lot more work to manage.
Even great hotels sometimes have a mix up or some sort of problem that can affect a guest. And with social media and hotel review sites, chances are a disgruntled guest isn’t going to keep their complaints to themselves. Here are three examples of how to use SMS messaging to gauge customer satisfaction.
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.
Hotel guests use review site ratings like TripAdvisor to make decisions about where they’ll stay. If your hotel doesn’t rate well, you’re in trouble. Find out how you can get more positive reviews when you use SMS messaging to communicate with guests.
More and more industries are tuning in to the advantages that SMS marketing can offer their business. SMS marketing is not only useful for acquiring new customers, it can be used to increase brand loyalty as well. This is particularly true for the hospitality industry, which faces challenges unique from other industries, in that they are on the front line when it comes to delivering customer service.
SMS marketing has seen a huge uplift in popularity in recent years, with big brands investing in the technology to better engage with their customers. There are so many benefits of SMS marketing, from the ability to directly to reach customers with your communications, to the fact that over 80% of SMS texts are read. With over approximately 90% of the world receiving mobile coverage, you’re highly likely to be able to reach your audience, regardless of where they are. SMS marketing is cost effective, and campaigns are quick to develop, in as short a time period as the time it takes to write a text message. This gives you the advantage of being able to communicate quickly, and effectively with customers, reacting to information almost instantaneously. With so many reasons to use SMS marketing, we’ve highlighted four sectors successfully using SMS messaging as case studies to highlight the advantages of investing in the technology.
“European travel agents don’t like it”. That’s a statement made by one of the gentleman at my table during the mCommerce Summit earlier this month. He is from Cruise America, a successful RV (camper) vacation rental company based in Arizona, but with 123 locations around the US. We were talking about his company and their online and mobile reservation options.
Your customers are likely thinking about food at certain times of the day, and at those times their phone is almost certainly within arms reach. Using SMS marketing you can time your messages perfectly because you know that the time you send them is the time they get read, usually within 2 minutes.