Texting and immediate response are critical to growing any business, especially so in the short term rental and hospitality space.
Studies show that in 2022, 90% of consumers would ideally message with the brands they interact with, and 90% of consumers consider an immediate response - 90 seconds or less - to be very important to customer satisfaction and loyal
As such, deploying an effective and scalable messaging strategy has been the number one priority for brands in all sectors - hospitality, travel, medicine, e-commerce, retail, and more.
Messaging also has the added benefit of being the perfect channel to build long-term loyalty, drive more upsells, and maximize occupancy.
This is the beginning of a multi-part series where we’re going to talk about the following. Each of these chapters will have its own post, and at the end of it, we will be releasing an e-book that covers all of it with additional analytics and insights into each of these channels.
Table of Contents
- Understanding the importance of direct messaging. (Coming Soon)
- Specific ways in which a direct messaging strategy helps you grow your hospitality brand. (Coming Soon)
- Developing a direct messaging strategy and infrastructure. (Coming Soon)
- How to use direct messaging in hotel and rental operations. (Coming Soon)
- How to use direct messaging to drive better experiences and service. (Coming Soon)
- How to use direct messaging to continue building loyalty after guests leave. (Coming Soon)
- SMS best practices and deployment. (Coming Soon)
- WhatsApp best practices and deployment. (Coming Soon)
- Onsite and in-app chat Best practices and deployment. (Coming Soon)
- Facebook and Instagram DMs (Coming Soon)
- Apple Business chat & iMessage. (Coming Soon)
- Tying it all together with email. (Coming Soon)
- Adding artificial intelligence to your messaging channels. (Coming Soon)
- Using conversational and voice-of-customer data to drive key metrics in the right direction. (Coming Soon)
- A birds eye view of your ideal omni-channel guest messaging strategy. (Coming Soon)
Why is messaging becoming so popular
As we touched upon before, 90% of consumers desperately want to direct message with the brands and companies they buy from and transact with. And by message, we mean engage on platforms like iMessage, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and more. In many parts of the world you have other messaging apps like Telegram and Viber which dominate their respective markets.
There are a number of important reasons why messaging is becoming the most popular method of communication between brands and customers, and why email is quickly on the way out.
The first and most obvious reason is that customers, or more specifically in our case travelers, already spend many hours a day on their phones. Almost 4 hours to be exact. And of those four hours, two are spent in messaging apps.
And because so much time is spent in these apps, messaging provides a great way for a) consumers to instantly reach their favorite brands and b) a way for brands to have a direct line to their customers, in the exact same inbox that they share with their friends and family.
The second reason why messaging is becoming such a desired channel for consumers is that much of the formality associated with brand-consumer relationships is dead and gone. Mailers, emails, offers are a thing of the past while conversations and personalization are becoming absolutely imperative.
Why is messaging so important for hotels, short term rentals, and vacation rentals?
A comprehensive messaging stack is no longer a “nice to have”, and it has been proved that brand-consumer messaging was not a short term fad for early adopters. With the vast majority of consumers wanting to DM (direct message) with brands, hospitality companies can ill afford to be left behind in adopting these new methods and technologies.
It is important for this industry not only because of the enormous visitor and customer demand for it, but because direct messaging and hospitality are uniquely well suited for one another.
Hospitality is an industry built on delivering a great guest experience every single time. Brands live and die by this, and the results of great experiences are some of the biggest indicators of revenue and future growth.
One need look no further than Virgin Atlantic, which has deployed passenger communications and tracking across multiple channels, allowing their passengers to get customer support, flight updates, and brand experiences wherever they want, be it iMessage, Instagram, or In-App.
An overview of how direct messaging is crucial to growth
Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing articles almost daily to go into all of these topics in more detail, so this is a brief overview of some of the ways direct messaging can help you grow and deal with the most relevant problems facing hospitality today.
Mitigating staff shortage: With 97% of hotels and rental operators reporting a critical staffing shortage, chat AI deployed across multiple messaging channels is a great way to reduce staff workload and ensure that you don’t need to compromise by hiring a larger number of less qualified and experienced staff.
Improving experiences: By offering guests the ability to engage on whatever channel they want to use, and by personalizing the experience across all of these channels you have the ability to tailor both their real life experiences based on their past preferences and behaviors.
Loyalty & Retention: Continue relationships with guests after they leave through personalized offers and messages.
Collecting Data: Voice of the Customer (VoC) is the best way to collect the information needed to give your guests the experiences they are expecting and looking for. Hospitality has always been in a difficult position because a) the average establishment gets feedback 8-10% of their guests and only a fraction of this feedback is actionable, complete, and relevant.
Data collection and analytics has always been a huge problem in hospitality. Industries that primarily live in the digital space can track trillions of clicks, mouse-overs, web events, and behaviors to understand how their customers use their products and what works and what doesn’t. In hospitality we don’t have this luxury so we need to rely on better data collection through conversations, conversational surveys, and expanded VoC.