According to a study by J.D. Power and Associates, when a hotel guests’ problems are resolved during their stay, it results in overall guest satisfaction averaging 80.7, compared to only 74.9 if there were no problems to begin with. Providing the perfect guest experience is challenging given the number of variables in any given stay from the moment they check in to the moment they check out. The good news is that guest issues, concerns and requests are strategic opportunities to engage guests and provide an ideal opportunity to foster the relationship and improve guest satisfaction.
More good news — the more satisfied a guest is the more likely they will spend during their stay. The same J.D. Power’s study found that guests who rate their overall satisfaction as a perfect ten on a ten-point scale, on average spend 40 percent more on additional services—like room service, hotel restaurants, gift shop, business services, to name a few—than guests who provided a rating of six or seven.
How can hoteliers develop these loyal relationships with their guests and ensure that every moment of their guests’ stay is perfect according to their brand standard? The answer lies in the hands of every guest. Smartphones are nearly ubiquitous today in the hospitality industry as well as the general public. According to the CTIA wireless industry trade association, there are 7 trillion text messages sent every year. The average text user sends or receives 126 messages per day. Usage is even higher with Millennials and Gen Xers who text at a rate of 260 per day. Simply put, people prefer texting to talking. These statistics are further supported by a recent HarrisPoll survey where they found that two out of every three guests would rather communicate with their hotels via text than voice.
Knowing that guests prefer to text over talk, what actions should hotels take? A guest text engagement solution enables hoteliers to better connect with their guests using a channel that is risk free. It adds value to the guests’ stay by engaging in meaningful two-way conversations that are convenient and comfortable for the guest. It empowers hoteliers to intercept and engage guests in the moment – when problems arise, and when requests, suggestions and compliments need to be communicated by the guest. In these ways, texting not only enhances the experiences of happy guests, but also turns dissatisfied guests into contented ones—resulting in reduced comps, more spend, increased loyalty, and most importantly, more positive reviews on TripAdvisor.