Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mobile Messaging For Hoteliers - Part 2

Leveraging Hospitality Mobile Messaging

Mobile messaging offers advantages to hoteliers hoping to leverage the various messaging platforms discussed earlier in part one. This form of communication between hotels and their guests is both convenient and non-intimidating to users. This means an enriched guest experience and greater customer satisfaction levels, both of which lead to increase brand loyalty for hotels. Mobile messaging lends itself naturally toward being used in a service channel role. Hotels that have implemented mobile messaging use it primarily in this manner. However, there are ways in which mobile messaging can be monetized to some degree by hoteliers and leveraged promotionally.

In the role of service tool, mobile messaging is highly effective for all necessary guest notifications including reservation confirmations, check-in welcome, and checkout thank you messages. Guests may make requests and communicate with the hotel regarding any ancillary or concierge services or even for ordering room service. Any of these guest interactions would, without mobile messaging, require direct interaction of hotel staff. With messaging, staff can be much more proactive in the approach to guest relations, while doing so with greater efficiency.

Providing exceptional customer service with mobile messaging should be a means which ends in guest satisfaction levels and reviews rising as a result of its implementation. Taking the further step of asking for feedback (and even criticism) will make guests feel valued by the brand, far and away exceeding the guest’s expectations. However, hoteliers may incorporate a number of methods in which mobile messaging can directly impact hotel revenue. Additional services, such as spas, may be promoted under the pretense of keeping the hotel’s guests informed of all that is available to them on the property. During diminished occupancy periods, guests can be offered upgrade promotional messages as well.

Hoteliers should see mobile messaging as one more channel for customer service communication available for their hotel. While it will never drive other relevant channels into obsolescence, mobile messaging is the platform consumers seem most comfortable interacting with brands. Those hotels, which have not implemented mobile messaging, should do so in order to remain fully in touch with the needs of their guests.

Visit us at aboveproperty.com

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mobile Messaging For Hoteliers - Part 1

It was inevitable that the wildly explosive phenomenon that is mobile messaging would eventually impact the hospitality industry. What began as a social communication tool has evolved into another channel on which consumers can interact with the brands they patronize. Hotels are increasingly getting onboard, as they should, since this is where their customers can be found. However, it is vitally important for hoteliers to ensure they leverage the channel property with regards to their brand.

Available Platforms

Nearly everybody who has a mobile phone sends and receives text messages regardless of their demographics. This offers hoteliers another readily available communication platform with their customers. Hotel guests can simply send a text regarding any issues they may be experiencing on the property. Customers who may not be compelled or possibly feel uncomfortable with calling or complaining face-to-face, will be more likely to text. This can prevent small issues from becoming larger problems down the line. Also, the highly personal nature of texting means responses on both ends are most often extremely timely. Mobile messaging by hotels can only improve guest satisfaction and lead to brand loyalty.

Hotels can choose from a variety of messaging platforms on which they can interact with their customers through messaging. The simplest and most universally available platform is SMS (Short Message Service) text messaging. Another text messaging option for hoteliers to consider is the dedicated messaging app. Examples includes, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage, and WeChat amongst a host of others.  With Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp being the most widely used, they would be a great starting point for hotels to begin connecting with their guests.

One more platform, which may already be in place, is the native hotel app. For hotels that have a native app currently in use by their customers, this is a great choice. And one which is most likely already returning dividends to the hotel. Massaging capability can easily be added to native apps lacking the functionality as well. Hotels without a native hotel app should weigh the cost against return for their individual property or chain.

In part 2 of this series we will examine ways in which hotels can best leverage mobile messaging for their brand.  

Visit us at www.aboveproperty.com

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hospitality News For The Week Of 3/24/17

Online hotel booking scams cost Americans $1.3 billion annually

The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) has issued a statement applauding the federal government’s ongoing efforts to combat the problem of online hotel booking scams. These scams number approximately 15 million per year and cost Americans $1.3 billion in bad bookings each year. These scammers either mirror the look and feel of legitimate websites, or find a way to piggyback on them. The end result is the consumer paying for a booking they have not actually made. Full Story Here:

TripAdvisor Recognizes Most Popular Destinations

The travel planning and booking website, TripAdvisor, released the results of their 2017 Travelers’ Choice awards. The list of the top destinations around the world includes the number one global winner Bali, Indonesia. New York City finished as the top destination in the U.S. for the seventh consecutive year. The awards list comprises 418 destinations from 24 lists around the world. Full Story Here:

Hunter Day One: Don’t expect up cycle to end soon

Expectations are for the hospitality industry to continue its up cycle at the Hunter Hotel Investment Conference held this week in Atlanta, Georgia. Polls conducted for the conference, along with opening day speakers, state they expect hotel performance to remain the same or even get better in 2017. The hospitality industry as a whole appears to be confident going forward, particularly in the light of Donald Trump’s Presidency having a positive impact on corporate confidence. Full Story Here:

STR: US hotel results for week ending 18 March

According to industry-wide results published by STR, the U.S. posted mixed performance figures for the week of 12-18 March 2017. Compared to the same period last year, hotel occupancy was down by 0.6 percent, to end the week at 70.0 percent. Average daily rate rose by 1.3 percent to reach $129.93 for the week. Revenue per available room was up by 0.7 percent to finish at $90.99 by week’s end. Full Story Here:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Exceptional Customer Service in the Hospitality Industry

In the hospitality business, simply providing "great" customer service is insufficient nowadays. With a specific goal of attaining loyal and returning guests, you should give EXCEPTIONAL customer service, going well beyond what is expected. Here are a few ways of doing just that.

1.   Exceed your customer’s expectations - Make a special effort to go well beyond what your customers were expecting when staying at your property. Do whatever it takes to make their stay enjoyable and memorable.

2.   Solve customer problems fast - Solve problems when they arise promptly and use it as an opportunity to learn what problem areas might exist in your business. Be clear that you appreciate their concerns and that they are your number one priority. Train your staff to put the needs and problems of the customer first.  Remember, the customer is always right from a customer service perspective.

3.   Know your customer’s expectations - Know what your customers want and anticipate their individual needs.  Provide a more personalized service that lets them know you value them and their loyalty.

4.   Be honest with customers -  Never deceive a customer or make a guarantee to them that you can't keep. Continuously be straightforward with them about what you can or can’t do. If you do make a promise, deliver on it.

5.   Always be polite - First impressions mean a lot. Train your staff to always be warm, courteous, and polite to customers from the moment they arrive at your property to the moment they leave.

6.   Be knowledgeable about the local area - Have everyone on your staff, especially at the front desk, be able to make recommendations about local tourist attractions, restaurants, where to shop, and other key areas of interest.
Repeat customers are vital to your business and loyal customers promote your business by word of mouth. So, remember that excellent customer service provides future business for your property.