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.
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.
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