Turning a first-time guest into a regular customer is one of the most important goals in the hotel business. Everything centers around guests having an amazing experience—an experience they will share with others and want to have again themselves. Chocolates on the pillow, warm cookies when you check in, even free WiFi are great, but those are nothing new. Today, hotels need to offer that something extra to make their guests' stay something special.
Make SMS part of that something special
Sending guests a text message alone isn't going to make for an amazing stay. SMS can't do that, but it can carry a message that is part of the larger experience. SMS is the way you open the door and make that connection that creates the experience.
Here are five simple ways to use SMS to create an unforgettable experience and support everything else that you do to make their stay as amazing as possible—and lead the next visit too.
Tips on what to do during their stay
How often have you visited a place and wondered what's good to do in town? What if the day or two before you arrived you received a text with links to the best stuff to do while you're in town? That would be amazing. An SMS with suggestions for restaurants, shows, museums, is great for first-time and seasoned travelers alike.
That first message builds a relationship with your guest before they set foot into your hotel. Before your guest is a guest you're helping them with their trip. That's a the way to make a first impression.
Send WiFi info right where it's needed
When your guest checks in, send the WiFi information to their devices without your guest even needing to ask for it. At check in, you can say "And all the WiFi information was just sent to your phone. Let me know if you have any questions." Your guest doesn't have to keep a piece of paper or dig through a book in the room or call the front desk. The message is there and ready the moment they want to connect.
Make sure everything is okay
Asking if everything is okay with an SMS is an unobtrusive way to see if your guest needs help without bothering them. You don't need to make it complicated. Did they forget anything. Is the room clean and satisfactory. Simple and done. With 2-Way SMS, your guest can reply and you can take care of their needs.
Dinner's on us and other discounts
Everyone likes a good deal. Send offers for your services or discounts at some local places. Beyond discounts, these messages let your guest know the services are available. Spas, restaurants, business services, all these services are things you want your guest to know about. Maybe they won't use them this visit, but maybe the next time. These messages are simple ways to capture revenue opportunities that your hotel might be missing.
Your ride is ready when you are
Wouldn't it be nice the day before you have to check out you get a message letting you know your options for getting to the airport? How about being able to book a taxi for the morning without needing to worry about when you need to leave? Simple questions like "When does your flight leave?" and "Are you flying international or domestic?" is all your concierge needs to know to book a taxi for your guest.
Take one thing off your guest's mind and you make their experience even more pleasant.
Bonus: Get feedback with a few taps
Once the trip is over, just ask how things went. A simple 1-10 scale Net Promoter Score can tell you a lot about someone's stay. If someone has more feedback, give them the chance to give it right there. Don't make it complicated, make it all part of the total experience.
Create a relationship with messaging
None of these messages on their own will make a great guest experience. Combined, they should be part of your effort to offer the best experience you can. That great experience drives more repeat business and more revenue for your hotel. Happy, satisfied guests become advocates. Advocates who can help you grow your business.
Offering information when needed. Offering help at the right time. Asking for feedback to make things better. These are the hallmarks of great customer service. SMS is just one of the many tools at your disposal, now the question is why aren't you using them now?