The rise of messaging platforms is proof that one of the best ways to communicate with customers is through messaging apps. According to Facebook, 54% of U.S. social media users prefer using messaging channels over emails, phone, and online chat. With this shift in communication, it is important for you as a property owner to understand how to best communicate with your customers and what apps to use!
Messaging apps continue to grow and shift, with changes happening quickly. These apps are no longer just used for messages amongst friends. They are now also used for connecting with hotels, viewing and interacting with content, and browsing special offers. These changes are guiding consumers into more personal interactions with businesses via messaging apps.
What messaging apps are best for my property?
Ok, so we’ve convinced you that interacting with your customers through a messaging app is the way to go, but where do you start in determining what app to use? With so many out there, the choice can be overwhelming, so we’ve highlighted a few that could be beneficial to your business.
The global connection of WhatsApp is probably the app’s biggest appeal. With its recently reported 1.5 billion users, WhatsApp can be a powerful way in which to reach your customers. With their latest addition earlier this year, the app now has the ability to set up business-specific profiles. Keeping small and medium-sized businesses in mind, a lodging operation will be able to add information like hours, contact information, website, etc., creating another great way to connect with your customers in a more personal manner.
Another useful benefit of WhatsApp (and other messaging apps) is the ability to collect feedback from guests while on-site. It’s no longer just enough to request feedback post-stay. Rather, as an innkeeper, you should encourage feedback while your guests are staying with you. This way you can potentially interrupt an issue before it turns into an overall negative experience.
Most likely you already have a Facebook business page created for your property, so why not take advantage of Facebook’s messenger app? With over 8 billion messages exchanged between businesses and people, you can’t afford not to be on it! Some of Facebook’s recent updates with its app are centered around business-friendly enhancements. One of these enhancements is the Customer Chat Plugin. This plugin will allow you to integrate your Messenger app directly to your website.
If your property deals with foreign markets, then the NLP (natural language processing) update is one you will be happy with. Able to translate several languages (besides just English and Spanish), NLP can be used to pull out meaningful information used in a message. This is particularly helpful when a foreign guest sends a request for booking from overseas, making the potential for completing the transaction that much greater.
For other messaging apps visit here for the 10 Best Mobile Messaging Apps.
Whatever messaging app you decide to move forward with, be sure to communicate your messaging services to your guests. This can be done through many different outlets such as print and digital media and of course the web.
Social media and messaging apps have become widely integrated within the daily business of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and boutique hotels. Not just an excellent communication tool, messaging apps can be a useful platform to market your property. So, take the time and look at integrating a few of these messaging apps into your overall marketing and communication strategy.
For more information on guest satisfaction through better communication, be sure to download our Definitive Guide to Communication Tips for Guest Satisfaction.