7 ways to enhance guest experience with smart SMS technology
Despite being first introduced back in 1992, SMS is far from obsolete as a marketing method in the tech-savvy 21st century. And with open rates up as high as 98%, you’re missing a trick if you’re not utilising SMS technology in your hospitality business.
According to marketing statistics, texts have a 209% higher response rate than phone, email or Facebook. Plus, the possibilities are endless when it comes to utilising SMS to improve your guest’s experience or market your business. Text messages are also easy to tailor to different guest segments, can be automated and triggered at different stages of the guest journey, encourage two-way conversation and are a cost-effective communication method.
Stuck for ideas on how to successfully use SMS at your property? Here are seven to get you started:
1. Deliver a seamless pre-check-in experience
Contactless guest-facing tech is high on the priority list for many travellers. Meet their expectations by inviting guests to check-in early and complete a health declaration from their mobile device. You can trigger this SMS to automatically send to guests prior to arrival. By responding to guest needs, you’ll be well placed to deliver a touch-free customer journey.
2. Notify guests when their room is ready
This simple personal touch can make a really positive impact on your guest’s stay. Combine SMS with your staff portal so that when a housekeeper marks the room as clean, a text is automatically triggered telling the guest that their room is ready. Using SMS here is a triple win; it’s efficient, it saves you time and it keeps your guests in the loop.
3. Meet guests’ around-the-clock arrival needs
With SMS, you can anticipate and address your guests’ needs, regardless of their arrival time. If you’re a campground or holiday park, you can auto-send boom gate codes for after-hours entry. Hoteliers and other indoor accommodation providers can inform guests of key codes for external entry or point guests to key/card collection, such as a kiosk.
4. Promote two-way communication between staff and guests
To encourage guests to reply to your messages, you can enable two-way SMS. This adds a personal touch and allows guests to interact directly with your staff, with texts delivered to a central inbox. It’s also a flexible and convenient solution as guests can send texts before they arrive or if they are off-site. By nurturing this guest relationship, you increase the chances of the guest returning in the future.
It relieves pressure on your front desk staff and also channels a customer preference, with 64% of consumers preferring texting over voice as a customer service channel.
5. Encourage in-house dining
For properties with on-site restaurants, SMS is a really effective tool for bumping up bookings. Entice guests with an upsell or dinner offer and if your website has a booking system, add a link for them to reserve a table. Alternatively, use two-way SMS so that your guests can reply with reservation details. Your staff can then use the interactive table reservation tool in your POS system to confirm the booking.
Not only does this streamline the guest’s dining experience, but it also drives revenue to your restaurant.
6. Use as a mass communication tool
In the event of an emergency or if you have an important announcement for in-house guests, you can utilise SMS (alongside other communication methods) to get the message across quickly. “We once had a park client who used the SMS feature to alert about 3,000 guests of a missing three-year-old child,” says Bill Best from RMS Cloud. “The text described what the child was wearing and with all hands on deck, she was located safe and well thanks to the power of direct messaging.”
7. Gather guest feedback
How do you encourage guests to leave a review? With SMS, you can improve your NPS or Tripadvisor review score by triggering a pre-written text message to your guest post-stay. Although email is a good communication device, SMS has a stronger receiving rate, with 85% of customers preferring text messages over a phone call or email.
Delivering strong communication at every stage of the guest journey is vital to enhancing their overall experience. With mobile devices never too far from their owner, SMS marketing is a cost-effective technique you can’t afford to ignore. Find out more about RMS Cloud’s SMS functionality and see how it can help your business thrive.