3 Examples of Using SMS Messaging for Hotel Customer Satisfaction Surveys
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 for long. In my previous blog I talked about using SMS messaging to ask guests about their stay before they hit the web and write their review. Here are three examples of how to use SMS messaging to gauge customer satisfaction.
- Ask a single question. This is probably the most straightforward and easiest approach to use. Send the guest a message asking them to rate their visit from 1-5 stars. If you don’t get five stars, you may want to follow up with them to get more details. You could follow up with other text messages, but a phone call from management is probably best. If you can understand their issues and relate to them personally, you might make them feel better about your hotel. That might mean the difference between a bad review and a good (but maybe not great) review.
- A short series of questions. If you can put together 3-5 short, easy to answer questions, you might be able to use a series of text messages as a survey. These are a little harder to construct for a number of reasons. The questions need to be short, but clear. The answers need to be short so they’re easy for a guest to type. And the whole survey needs to be short so it doesn’t take up too much of the traveller’s time. As for example number one, if the answers are not as positive as you’d hope, then follow up personally.
- Send a message with a link to a survey. Online surveys are great. They offer the chance to get more detailed feedback than you can in a simple text message. The downside is that the guest needs to click on the link, rather than typing in their response immediately. Fortunately, click through rates in SMS messages are much higher than you’ll find in email. So this method could work for you if you want more feedback than a warm fuzzy star rating.
Whichever method you choose, don’t make it hard or too big. If you send the message out shortly after they leave (before they write their online review), they may still be travelling. With the visit fresh in their mind they’ll probably be willing to answer your questions – as long as it doesn’t take too long.
Once a guest has sent you feedback, definitely send them a thank you. A text message expressing your gratitude is good, but a coupon code or discount for their next visit will certainly leave them feeling appreciated. With each message costing you 3.5p or less you can see how SMS messaging is a massively cost effective way of communicating with your customers.
If you would like more ideas on how SMS messaging can benefit your business download 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 flies under many marketers radars when it comes to building an inbound marketing strategy. But if Buzzfeed's news app is to be believed, there are days when SMS generates the greatest percentage of shares on that channel, beating out Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and email. SMS share buttons are reported to have been used 4 times more than Twitter buttons. When you consider Twitter has 317 million active users, then SMS marketing has huge potential for a hotel business.
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.
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.
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.
Online travel and review sites are great for travellers. 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, but how can SMS help?
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.
The travel industry has made some inroads into using SMS messaging, but hasn’t yet taken real advantage of the potential of A2P messaging. Find out how it can be used to save time and provide the high-quality service today’s mobile travellers expect.