Improve hotel guest communication with WhatsApp.
Your guests have massively adopted WhatsApp as their main communication app. Thereby, leveraging WhatsApp for hotel guest communication & service makes perfect sense. Quicktext has been able to send and receive WhatsApp messages since early 2019 and here is what we have learned from the hotels that have gone live with WhatsApp so far.
WhatsApp is mainly dedicated to guest service and conversations are always initiated by the customer
WhatsApp is first and foremost, an opportunity to improve the guest experience. If you want to offer a better and more personalized service, then WhatsApp is the way to go. For upsell purposes, it is better to use SMS that has the same open rate as WhatsApp and has an easier opt-in process.
In fact, businesses are not able to push WhatsApp messages out of the blue. Each customer needs to opt-in or send the first message. This way you are 100% sure that only the guests that want to speak with you will use WhatsApp. Offering this app for communication is a choice given to your guests and using it is totally up to them.
WhatsApp is mainly used by guests right before arrival or in-stay
From our observations, customers most enjoy using WhatsApp right before checking-in and during their stay. Before arrival, the conversations will usually be related to logistics and late arrivals.
The following example is quite illustrative. The customer books for the same day and asks questions related to logistics.
In stay, most communications are related to issues with the room. WhatsApp is a unique opportunity to spot potential problems and solve them while the guest is still in-house. Most guests won’t call reception but they will easily use WhatsApp. By solving an issue immediately, you avoid a nasty review on TripAdvisor.
WhatsApp conversations are easily managed by hotel teams
Compared to other channels, WhatsApp remains easily manageable. Up to this point in 2019, WhatsApp represents 6% of the messages sent and received through Quicktext. Most hotels have an average of 2 WhatsApp conversations a day. Not a lot, but always very valuable conversations that enable your team to react quickly and fulfill guest expectations. So YES, WhatsApp is easily manageable and your team won’t drown in messages. Au contraire, only important messages will arrive through WhatsApp.
Apartment rentals tend to have much more traffic especially if there is no reception. My advice would be to start implementing communication over WhatsApp ASAP, while the volume is manageable. The number of WhatsApp conversations is gradually going up and greatly depends on the hotel and what they do to make their WhatsApp number known to guests.
Let your guests know that WhatsApp is available; make it easy to contact your hotel
If you don’t promote your WhatsApp number, nobody is going to know that you have one. Here are some of the best practices I have seen so far:
— Use the WhatsApp link on every possible digital platform at your disposal.
The WhatsApp link greatly facilitates the first contact. A specific URL enables customers to click on it, immediately redirects them to WhatsApp to automatically start a conversation with your hotel. There is no need for the customer to insert your number.
The WhatsApp link looks like this: https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=33647515459.
The number at the end is simply your WhatsApp number without the “00”or “+” so it’s quite easy to do.
Once you have it, make sure it shows on your website, wifi landing page, pre-stay email, email signature and so on.
Hotel Ambassador Zurich uses a Quicktext programmed SMS feature to push its WhatsApp link via SMS to all customers 2 hours before arrival.
— Use the WhatsApp link as a QR code when your guests are not online. QR codes have quietly become mainstream and most phones are now equipped with a QR code reader in the camera. You can click here to view a quick tutorial on how to create beautiful, customized QR codes in a few minutes.
— Giving a card at check-in is also a good idea. Guests may or may not use it, but in any case, it is a way to tell them that you care and are here for them, which will definitely make an impression. 4 and five-star hotels should absolutely do that.
*Source Experience CRM
- keep your guests updated on their order status;
- Inform customers about special deals and offers via WhatsApp;
- Communicate quickly with guests;
- Automate your WhatsApp messaging for real-time responses;
- Manage reservations on WhatsApp;
- Include WhatsApp into an omnichannel approach.