The hospitality industry is at such a stage where technology is no more an associate, it’s the leading aspect.
With constant innovations, the industry is adopting every technology that can enhance business and offer great experiences to guests.
The hotel industry has lately turned to WhatsApp to streamline communications — both with the guests and among the staff. And to a great extent, the messaging platform has done a tremendous job in delivering just that.
Want to know how? Read on as we explore WhatsApp for Business and its impact on the hospitality industry.
WhatsApp’s Emergence in the Hotel Industry
If you’re like me, you probably can’t remember when was the last time you went without using WhatsApp, do you?
Every one of us uses WhatsApp on a daily basis. And just like me, you probably have sneaked a peek at least once in the last hour.
(I just kept my phone aside to write this blog.)
This isn’t popularity anymore! WhatsApp has become a necessity for both individuals and businesses worldwide.
And that fact itself speaks about its emergence in various industries including hospitality.
But let me tell you more…
The hotel industry is a lot about communication. What do I mean by that?
If a hotel wants to succeed, it must offer a great experience along with clear and concise communication with guests.
Being one of the most proactive businesses, hotels were quick to identify the changing preference of travelers and witness that guests these days are on WhatsApp — for everything. Be it solo travelers, couples, families, or busy business professionals, everyone wants to be reached out on WhatsApp.
And this change in the needs and wants of travelers plays a significant role in bringing WhatsApp and its business solutions to the hotel industry.
Impact of WhatsApp on the Hospitality Industry
The impact of WhatsApp Business across the hotel industry is massive. This communication tool plays a crucial role in multiple aspects of the hotel business – driving profitability and great guest experience.
Following are some of the aspects where WhatsApp is making a great impact:
1. Smooth communications
Guest communication is the very first aspect of a hotel business where WhatsApp plays a pivotal role. The messaging tool has simplified communication both – among the hotel staff and with guests.
9 out of 10 guests prefer WhatsApp to communicate with the hotel. It can also be seen that WhatsApp messages have an astounding open rate compared to traditional emails.
Meaning, guests nowadays are inclined towards picking up their phones and sending a WhatsApp text for even the tiniest of the query. And if your hotel has WhatsApp integrated, you’re more likely to stand up to your guests’ expectations.
For example, if your guests want to book a cab for airport transfer, they don’t have to call your concierge to check for availability. They can simply drop a text or pick the service from the catalog and voila!
2. Instant notifications
“Instant notification” might not sound intriguing at first but in reality, it holds a higher position in the list of positive impacts.
Today, hotels can offer great experiences right from the moment guests make a reservation.
With WhatsApp, hotels are now updating guests in real-time with an instant booking notification. Your guests don’t have to go back to their email inbox to find the itinerary; it's available right at their fingertips.
Speaking of instant notification, it’s not limited to booking. Integrated WhatsApp allows you to notify guests of their stay details upon check-in and also ask for their feedback when they check out.
3. Quick responses and support
Gone are those days when you would send an email regarding a query and wait forever to get a response from the hotel.
WhatsApp has changed the scenario significantly. Resolutions and responses to guest queries have become quicker, even if no staff is available to attend to them.
With auto-response and chatbots, hotels are now offering continuous and instant support to guests. What was once an area of constant attention, is now on autopilot, enhancing the guest experience by a great level.
4. Hotel business catalog
Back in the past, guests always had to pick up the intercom and call the front office whenever they needed something.
That’s not the case anymore.
WhatsApp for business offers a catalog that allows guests to avail of any service — be it booking a cab, ordering food to the room, or anything else.
With WhatsApp business catalog, hoteliers can now showcase and share their services with guests in the simplest manner possible. Meaning, guests can browse through a hotel’s services and avail of whatever they want.
For example, if I am a guest staying at your property, I can simply check out your WhatsApp catalog, book a spa session and make the payment right there and then. I don’t have to go through a lot of hotch-potch.
Additionally, this one simple catalog has opened multiple doors for business. You can even share the catalog link on social media and other platforms, and drive sales easily.
In this entire shebang of hoteliering and WhatsApp business, this feature certainly steals the show.
5. Gain your guests’ trust
WhatsApp for hotels today plays a vital role in garnering attention and allowing hotels to become a brand that people love and trust.
You might say that it’s possible even without the messaging platform, but what about the following advantages?
When hotels leverage WhatsApp for communication, there’s a strong factor of authenticity. What I mean by that every message is routed through a verified identity (a green tick) with a brand name and logo. Additionally, as the company says, every message is end-to-end message encrypted, keeping all the information safe.
This is a sign of trustworthiness. With such features on offer, hotels can easily gain their guests’ trust.
6. Connect better through personalization
Even though the open rate of WhatsApp messages is higher than traditional emails, one thing remains the same — personalization.
A majority of people don’t like emails that are meant for the masses. And to cater to such people, personalization is the key.
Integrating WhatsApp with your hotel’s PMS makes both the system communicate and function in sync. Meaning, whenever you receive a reservation, you don’t have to individually add the contact details of the guest.
You can create a list of contacts based on preferences, booking patterns, and other factors. And this makes it easy for you to create personalized messages for your guest and offer exactly what they prefer.
7. Make upselling easier and better
Upselling is undoubtedly one of the great business opportunities to increase the average revenue of a hotel.
But calling up your guests to pay more for a similar but higher quality product or convincing them to avail of some additional services might not work well. You could try sending an email but then it might never get opened.
But WhatsApp has transformed this as well. Hoteliers now consider WhatsApp as their go-to communication channel for upselling. And why not? After all, messages do get the opens, especially the ones on WhatsApp.
For example, hotels send WhatsApp messages that read something like this — 30% off on Premium Spa tonight for all the in-house guests. And this significantly increases their chances of upselling and boosts their overall revenue.
Upselling, which seemed daunting, considering all the negative responses, is now an easy task to pull off. Thanks to WhatsApp.
8. Generate greater ROI
Whenever a hotel opts for a tech or a service, ROI is never overlooked. After all, at the end of the day, revenue is all that matters.
WhatsApp and hospitality, have proved to be a match made in heaven. The messaging app has managed to deliver significant results for numerous hotels around the world.
Now when we say revenue, the best and obvious ways for hotels to generate it are by acquiring more bookings and delivering great experiences.
Be it in terms of marketing, operations, or guest experience, the efficiency levels of hotels have spiked. And that’s exactly what hotels need to drive more bookings and make better revenue.
With WhatsApp Business for hotels, accommodation providers today are improving their overall bottom. They are not just able to make the entire experience of guests better but also acquire repeat bookings.
WhatsApp integration for hotels is usually done from the PMS provider’s side. If you want to integrate WhatsApp into your hotel’s operational infrastructure, it is advised to contact your PMS provider.
A hotel, irrespective of its shape and size, can integrate WhatsApp into its operational infrastructure. However, there are certain prerequisites such as the hotel management system that supports API. If you’re already using such type of robust hotel PMS, WhatsApp integration shouldn’t be a daunting task.
Yes, there is usually a charge associated with the messages you send through WhatsApp. However, it depends on the recipient’s country. Click here to learn more about WhatsApp integration and the charges involved.
Only one number is allowed to be added to your WhatsApp business account. Further, it is also a good practice to use only one number as multiple points of contact might create communication discrepancies.
Integrated WhatsApp business allows you to send various types of notifications such as reservation notifications, stay details, offers, etc.
There has been a lot of talk about the WhatsApp business for hotels. While some were excited, some didn’t think the messaging app would make an impact.
But to everyone’s surprise, WhatsApp and its business solutions are becoming crucial for hotels and the way they communicate with their staff and guests.
WhatsApp is the next big wave in hospitality. Even if it is a tall statement, it is very much true.
Looking at the scenario, it is evident that this messaging tool is here to stay in the industry, and in the coming years, the impact is going to get better.