Maximize WhatsApp Business for hotels
Whether we’re taking a long vacation or just a mini-break, going to hotels is all about having a relaxing time away from home and work. With an emphasis on relaxing. Because having a great experience is what it’s all about.
New generations even started what is called an ‘experience economy'. Where, as Eventbrite found out surveying British 18-34-year-olds, new generations are: “more fulfilled by live experiences than purchasing an item of the same value.”
Of course, it’s not just younger generations expecting a great experience once on holiday. As hotelier or part of the hotel's customer service team you know it’s all about the experience. You know that when you offer great service customers will leave feeling satisfied. And the more personal service the better the experience.
63% of hotel customers note that they value service beyond upscale suites or impressive interiors.
But how do you offer great service? Better service than your competitors and experiences that will make customers come back?
WhatsApp Business is the differentiator. That’s why in this blog we want to show you how to maximize WhatsApp Business for hotels.
Why WhatsApp Business is great for the hotel industry
There are numerous hotels in your city, in your area, and perhaps even on your street. That’s why it’s pivotal to stand out. But how?
Of course, there is Booking.com to help you reach more potential guests. It can be a good solution as with a value of$8.9B. Booking is named the most valuable travel and tourism brand in the world.
But although Booking.com will help you reach many people, it won’t help you reach customers ánd provide great service at the same time.
WhatsApp Business can. Because those potential guests on Booking.com are also on WhatsApp. The most popular platform worldwide sports 2.2. billion users.
The platform is a leading means of communication that will help you meet customer expectations and even exceed them. WhatsApp Business for hotels will support you in reaching potential guests, offering them great service during their stay, and making sure they come back.
Use WhatsApp in all stages of guests’ stay
For every stage of customer contact, WhatsApp Business can help you offer guests the best possible experience. Let’s talk you through how exactly.
Before they come to stay at the hotel..
Notifications so customers notice your offers
WhatsApp as mentioned has 2.2 billion users. It’s immensely popular because people use it for private and business reasons alike. This is reflected in the average open rate. WhatsApp has an open rate of 98%, whereas email for instance shows an average of 21.33%. With the industry average for travel and transportation-related emails being even lower at 20.44%.
So send potential guests a message via WhatsApp! With higher conversation rates than email, you can be sure that customers will see your offer. You can send out monthly WhatsApp newsletters, combining updates in one overview. Or with the WhatsApp Broadcast feature, you can send big list of contacts a message in one go. And each and every potential guest will see the message as a personal one.
Want to communicate a discount for the suites? Or want to upsell the menu in your restaurant? Reach out to a big audience and let everyone know via WhatsApp!
Updates for a smooth arrival
Before guests even arrive you want to make sure everything is in place for a great experience. First impressions are only made once. So update your guests with check-in times, parking info, and details about other facilities. Or update customers on whether they can eat at the hotel (upsell) or perhaps share the menu in advance for the neighboring restaurant that you’ve made a deal with.
A WhatsApp message will feel personal and makes guests think you’ve carefully thought out their stay in advance.
Tip: you are also intercepting possible annoyances, such as not knowing where to park, and questions. Relieving your staff and guaranteeing a smooth stay from the get-go.
During the guests’ stay
Personalized messages for a warm welcome
51% of consumers admit that they choose a hotel based on the unique experience and personalized service it can provide. That’s why we really can’t stress the importance of investing in personalizing your service enough.
WhatsApp is perfect for this. Shoot your guests a welcome message in advance, letting them know of all facilities. And maybe even include a sneak peek into their booked suite.
Luckily, this doesn’t need to mean more work for your staff! You can automate conversations using the WhatsApp flowbot. The flowbot although automated can interact on a personal note with guests and send an automated welcome message and pictures.
Chatbot for 24/7 service
During a guest’ stay there are always questions that can arise. At any time. And although the staff is present during all hours of the day, they can be preoccupied with other tasks.
When you add a chatbot to your website for instance or a QR code to the room. Guests can, via your website or by scanning the code, make use of a WhatsApp chatbot and ask their questions. Most questions really can be answered by your chatbot! Relieving your staff enormously by not having to repeatedly answer the same questions. If the chatbot is not able to answer, you can direct it to a staff member as last resort.
Your guests will feel heard 24/7. Allowing for excellent service & support.
Prevent complaints with service notifications
As mentioned questions can arise at any time. So can complaints. A quick response is needed to diffuse situations and prevent negative aftertastes.
Noise complaints accompany the biggest negative sentiment, according to 92% of twitter survey respondents. So is there a wedding or other big event occurring at the hotel? Send a notification mentioning the event and the end time to all guests to prevent immediate noise complaints.
Or perhaps there is some construction work happening? Let all guests know via WhatsApp Broadcast. You’ll avoid a lot of negative sentiments when everyone is up to date about what is happening in and around the hotel.
After they’ve been to the hotel
Automated follow-up for great reviews
Reviews are crucial for hotels. 81% of travelers always or often read reviews before booking their accommodations.
And 72% of customers will even prefer a high guest review score over a brand name or even a price reduction. A study by Expedia shows that guests will pay 35% more for a hotel with a higher score.
If you’ve offered guests a great experience, let everyone hear about it. Ask guests to share their experiences so you can attract new guests. Automate a conversation flow that will look after a great follow-up. So in the weeks after their stay customers will be sent a message directing them to your review tool.
Discount program for greater loyalty
Young generations invest a lot in the experience economy but are less likely to be part of hotel loyalty programs, according to a 2019 PWC study. However, these younger generations are on WhatsApp. So send them a great incentive and they are very likely to interact with your message.
Older generations are already more likely to interact with your loyalty program! So it makes sense to send these guests a message after their stay, not only asking for ratings but also mentioning a discount for their next stay. Or perhaps a chance to win an upgrade.
Use WhatsApp Business for hotels and it can be that extra reminder and nudge to guests returning to your hotel and not wanting to further.
Want to use WhatsApp Business for hotels? Here’s what to do
WhatsApp Business can cover every step of your guest’s stay. Guaranteeing great experiences and great reviews. Because great experiences will be sure to make guests come back to your hotel, while new potential customers will be attracted by the great reviews.
Want to use WhatsApp business for smooth arrivals, warm welcomes, 24/7 service, and complaint prevention?
Ask a Business Solution Provider to set up a connection with the WhatsApp business API.
Via the API connection to your existing systems, you can start servicing your guests before, while, and after they’ve interacted with your hotel. Unlocking great experiences and five stars with WhatsApp Business for hotels.