When coming up with a negative hotel review about different services, the issue usually includes a lack of effective communication. There is no need to talk about how that kind of review influences the entire hotel rating and its perception. Chances are that an SMS-based information system would be the best way to prevent those problems. Let us explain why this solution is especially sustainable in the travel industry.
Nowadays, the most natural way to send information is via the Internet. In the travel industry, however, it has some serious drawbacks that may affect the stay of your clients, but which are easy to avoid.
Think about your mobile data when travelling. Unless it’s a domestic trip or within an area where using mobile data doesn’t mean splashing out, people usually only use the Internet when Wi-Fi is available. This means that if you have some urgent info, it may only reach your client when it’s already too late.
With an SMS message, there is no need for a smartphone. Even though, according to Statista, in 2020 there will be around 4.8 billion users of mobile phones, of which 3.5 billion are smartphones, there is still a group of approximately 27% of mobile users without convenient web browsing. An excellent example of that group is older people. Sometimes their mobile skills don’t surpass calling and reading SMS, so e-mails or other messages may simply be inaccessible for them. Thus they are excluded from Internet-only communication. Yet older people often travel more than younger ones, and this trend seems to continue, so it’s worth bearing them in mind.
Also, SMS messages win in terms of open rates. Chances are your e-mail open rate is about 20%, which is the average score for newsletters. Compare it with a whopping 98% SMS messages open rate. What’s more: on a phone, there is only one SMS inbox, no spam folder, and a feeling of urgency that is associated with an SMS notification.
So, let’s resume: no need for an internet connection, almost no skills nor apps needed to read a message, and an exceptionally high open rate. Those three facts make your strategy of sending important info via SMS almost foolproof. The only weakness is the possibility of losing/leaving the phone somewhere or letting the battery die, yet probably your customer will take care of this – and the same problem affects smartphone users too anyway. Even if your customer has all the data collected and accessible, sending it via SMS seems like going the extra mile for them.
SMS messaging is exceptionally versatile, so you can easily tailor it to your specific needs. Here you’ll get some quick ideas for starters and inspiration. As you spend more time using this system, you’ll find out how it supports both you and your customers best and where else you could implement it.
This step is quick and easy. All you need to start with SMS messaging is your number, e-mail, name and a password. With JookSMS, you can try out the platform for 30 days, and then pick a plan that best suits your needs.
A good point to begin with when planning the implementation of an SMS messaging system is to find out what information is crucial to your customer.
The staff probably hear a lot of similar questions throughout the day, so providing your clients with answers before they ask these questions helps not only them, but also lets your employees focus on less tedious tasks. Another helpful resource may be your knowledge base.
Don’t worry that you’ll forget about something: you can adjust your content anytime you wish. Later divide all the possible information into two groups: that which is crucial to each customer and that which depends on specific needs or activities.
This is especially important if you offer various options when booking: full or half board, access to relaxation areas, etc. Think about segmenting your clients and adjusting the messages accordingly, so they receive only the information they are supposed to.
After bringing all ideas together and dividing them according to their universality, it’s high time to organize them.
The right way may be to map your customer’s activities and adjust the time and topic of the message to their predicted needs. Let’s take a look at an example timeline.
A day before your guest arrives, you can send them the location of your hotel, the hour of check-in and contact details, as well as a number to call if they have any questions.
When they start the stay, you can provide them with all of the necessary information according to the options available for them: room number, meal hours, a lock code to their room or promo code for some attractions, like a spa. On, or before, the last day of their stay you may want to send them the hour of check-out and a survey to get some feedback on their visit.
An SMS message is only 160 characters long, so use them wisely. Don’t go for very official and extended copies nor put too much information in one message. They have to be clear, fast to read and relevant to your customers. Regarding the last point, the categorising that we mentioned earlier will be extremely helpful in creating the impression that you know your customers and take individual care of them. Remember, the last thing you want is to look like you’re sending spam.
When sending some non-urgent information, like promotional offers to a spa or a survey, you may think about including some links that lead to further details. Even though opening them will require an Internet connection, the level of urgency is definitely lower than with absolutely necessary information. The use of links only opens more possibilities to provide your clients with the best service.
As soon as you know what to send and at which point, you can modify your database so that it has all the relevant data needed to set up your SMS messages properly.
The crucial point is getting your customers’ consent to communicate by this channel, especially if you plan to send some promotional content. You may divide their consent into two separate points: one about providing necessary information, as well as via e-mail, and the other one to send promotional content, special offers etc.
This will allow you to operate according to the law. Before going live with your system, check out the specific requirements in your area of operation.
SMS messaging opens a wide range of possibilities and, in addition, it comes with amazing tools to make the implementation process easy and accessible to anyone.
If the idea seems interesting to you, yet you’re afraid it’s not scalable, JookSMS has you covered. With its features to schedule and automate the sending of messages, it allows you to set everything up in just a few minutes. It won’t make any difference if you have ten guests or ten thousand: you can be sure each of them will get the message.
By connecting your SMS platform with your database, you can make fantastic use of personalization features.
Even such a simple thing like greeting your customers by their name can give your communication a personal touch and create an atmosphere of hospitality right from the first message.
With an SMS platform, you don’t have to think about sending every message at the right moment. If you set up your messages and schedule the sending time, the platform will take care of the rest.
Having an SMS-based channel of communication with your clients is not only effective but may also result in added value, as they will feel taken care of and truly welcome in your hotel. With JookSMS, you can try their system out for 30 days for free and see what results it brings for you.