According to a travel survey, 80 percent of hotel guests expressed they would download a hotel app that would enable them to check-in, check out, and get all information about the hotel. Further, 30 percent said they would prefer to check in and out through a webpage.
For several years, contactless channels have emerged as a powerful way to connect with guests while improving efficiency. Enabling real-time communication has grown past a guest preference and into an operational necessity.
Whether you’re offering email, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or a dedicated app, having a multitude of on-brand, customer-preferred contactless channels, is the new norm – especially for hotels with multiple key touchpoints.
Which is why in this blog, we’re highlighting contactless channels and the key moments in the hotel journey to engage guests. Because, regardless of what contactless channels you opt for, there are many ways to use them to your advantage.
Rethinking Your Hotel Journey With Contactless Channels
Using Contactless Channels For Pre-Stay
Where check-in used to require long wait times, and interaction 1:1 with reception, today, check-in paints a very different picture. With contactless channels, you can offer your guests seamless check-in, at home or on the go, right from their mobile device.
Send a link, have them enter their details, and confirm. Avoid long lineups at arrival, and simplify submitting details, it’s that simple.
Your guests have checked in but it’s still a few days until their arrival. What can you do now?
Use contactless channels to get them excited about their stay. Send a welcoming pre-arrival message that engages; Get personal, thank them for selecting your hotel and show off your top services along with nearby attractions you think they’ll love.
Make sure the timing of the reminder makes sense and isn’t too early. Include your contactless channels, and offer an option to personalize their stay before they arrive.
Using Contactless Channels For In-Stay
For most guests with requests, calling and being put on hold or running down to reception can be irritating and time-consuming. At a time when they want to relax or escape, it can be more effort than they want.
Contactless channels are a great way for hotels to encourage guest conversation without having to be physically present. By offering an app with a simple on-demand menu, a WhatsApp number or even a text service, making requests becomes simplified and encourages conversation down the line. Let’s say a guest steps out for dinner and wants water in their room when they return, using contactless channels it’s as easy as typing and submitting for a seamless stay.
Pro Tip: If you’re worried about guests not knowing you offer contactless services, make sure you advertise on key signage like on bedroom tent cards, at reception, or your website.
Excursion & Dining Surveys
What excursions are doing well with guests? Is your restaurant experience as luxurious as you want it to be? What menu items should you feature throughout the week?
With contactless communication, you can send excursion and dining surveys in real-time to gather information about their experience and your performance. Maybe every time a guest orders a specific meal, they rate the experience highly. This could transition into making it a featured dish.
As you begin to incorporate contactless channels, consider how you can encourage conversations to receive insight. Think of a QR code on a tent card at your restaurant’s table or the bottom of the guest’s receipt. For your excursion, consider a banner at the entrance, a QR code on employee cards, or sending an email immediately after. However, you choose to go about it, surveying during excursions or dining can help you improve the overall experience.
Using Contactless Channels For Post-Stay
Improve the guest experience time and time again. By sending feedback surveys, you show guests the value of their stay and encourage repeat visits. Detailed information about your hotel is delivered to you right from the source. Maybe a guest didn’t complain about not getting room service. Sending a feedback survey is the perfect time to find out and address it before they tell other people.
Using contactless channels, you make understanding customer sentiment easy and eliminate the barrier of responding too late. Further, if you’re using a customer experience solution, your can plan and automate sends to recognize patterns in behaviour over time. It’s a fortified way to consistently measure sentiment and understand your performance.
If your guests have opted in for marketing emails, contactless channels are a great way to continue the conversation after they’ve left. If they enjoyed their stay, why not send them discounts on reservations, notices of events coming up at your hotel, or let them know about your loyalty program. Continuing a line of communication through marketing emails ensures you’re always top of mind.
Communicating Using Contactless Channels
Contactless channels hold immense benefits, especially when you select the channels in line with customer preferences. However, for the hotel communicating without automation, managing the range of channels, and gathering key data can be complicated.
Let’s take a look at guest requests as an example. For the guest writing in with a request using contactless channels, communicating is clearly simplified. However, for the backend team, without an automated solution, hotels can feel overwhelmed with the influx of messages on various tabs.
Using a customer experience solution like the Loop Experience Platform, receiving requests is simplified. Firstly, all requests are captured in a unified inbox. Then, when the customer writes in, based on language, the platform assigns the conversation a sentiment (good, neutral, bad) and then assigns the department it’s associated with. This means the correct and most helpful person sees the message and can address the request in a more tailored way. Everybody is kept in the loop and requests are resolved in real-time.
Further with a sophisticated customer experience solution, you can monitor data and analytics on customer sentiment over time. Understand trending topics, moments where more customers are visiting, employee performance, most requested department, and more. Lastly, you can export the data for team meetings or share them with investors to support your business case.
Utilizing a customer experience solution that offers a unified inbox and data analysis, is the key to developing a successful contactless communication strategy. Encouraging positive sentiment, empowering conversations, and providing a fresh outlook on back-end operations, contactless communication paired with an automated solution can take your hotel communication, and guest satisfaction, to new heights.