By: Jessica Terashima
Texting for hospitality businesses makes a lot of sense -- after all, there are countless times you need to communicate with guests, but you don’t have unlimited resources. In addition, texting is the preferred communication channel for increasing numbers of guest.
Using a service like EZ Texting means you can automate your texts online just like you do with email. You don’t need any extra equipment or technical know-how, and you also don’t have to send messages from one of your employees phones!
This article will explain how SMS texting can help you in the days and months leading up to the summer vacation season. You’ll also see how will it help your business – and improve guest satisfaction.
1. Lay the Foundation - Ask Guests to Opt-In When Booking
Text messaging is a permission based communication channel. That means your guests need to give you explicit permission to text them. You can easily ask for their permission and include a checkbox on your registration form. It’s not enough that you have their phone number. They need to actively say they want your texts.
Another great way to add guests to your list is include a Keyword and short code on their booking confirmation. It would look something like this: Text EZSTAY to 313131 to receive information about your booking with us. Building your list like this is super simple, because anybody who opts-in through your Keyword automatically gets saved as a contact to your account. For more guidance on best practices for texting opt-ins check out this CTIA publication.
2. Minimize No Shows – Send a Text Reminder in the Weeks Before Arrival
Nobody has a perfect memory, so don’t rely on your guests to be perfect. Sending a text reminder in the the weeks before your guest is scheduled to arrive serves multiple purposes. It helps insure that they will actually show up or at least cancel/reschedule in time to rebook the room.
This early text reminder can also plant the seed for special services or amenities guest can book in advance. These bookings can help your business profits, and also improve the overall experience of your guests. It’s a win for everyone!
3. Insure a Smooth Check In - Text Message on Day of Arrival
What do guests hate? When their room isn’t ready when they arrive. What do hotels hate? When their guests don’t show up on time. Text messaging can help solve both of these problems.
Early on your guests' arrival day, you can send a text about when they're scheduled to check-in. Then later on, you can send a message when the room is actually ready. Encourage guests to text or call back if they will be late. Texting services like EZ Texting allow for text replies to be received and read.