Responding to guests’ requests and needs is at the heart of hospitality. However, a reactive approach doesn’t cut it anymore. Many hoteliers are now embracing a more proactive approach to their guest engagement strategies. Here below, we outline different ways proactive communication can elevate your service.
Pre-stay Guest Communication Sets the Right Expectations
Imagine, you’re a guest and you just booked an upgrade to your room hoping to enjoy access to an exclusive lounge that comes with nice extras. You arrive at the front desk of the hotel to check in… and they inform you that the exclusive lounge (along with the nice extras) is temporarily closed due to renovations. You’re already disappointed and your stay hasn’t even begun yet.
What the hotel could have done here was to proactively reach out to their future guests before arrival to set the right expectations. Let future guests know that the exclusive lounge is temporarily closed via an informative pre-stay email, WhatsApp, or SMS. Many properties see themselves as obligated to limit some of their resources and guests can be very understanding… if they know beforehand and can adjust their expectations.
Allow the Guest to Drive Their Journey
As a guest arriving at a hotel, all you want to do is receive your key and get started with your stay: whether it’s to do business, start exploring the city, or lie by the pool all day. However, often when you arrive at the hotel, you’re greeted by a queue to check in.
As occupancy is soaring again, staff have their hands full to try to deliver great and personalized experiences to each guest. However, some of the transactional interactions can be taken off their plate, so staff can deal with more meaningful tasks. Automate proactive communication to inform guests via a message or email of how they can drive their journey via digital check-in and check-out, how to order their food online, or share any tailored offers to help them personalize their stay.
Check In Using Automated Guest Communication While Guests Are Still on Site
Let’s continue with the previous example: you just got disappointed and when you go to your room, you notice your room doesn’t have the beautiful sea view many raved about but looks out on the street. Yet another disappointment!
In this case, many guests wouldn’t go to reception and complain about it but complain about it afterward in a review or in their survey. Automate the process to send out a message checking in on your guest’s stay and ensure a case is created once an issue or complaint is flagged. Know about your problems while the guest is still on the property, so you have time to fix them before they check out.
Once the Guest Leaves, the Journey Isn’t Over
Once more, place yourself in the shoes of the guest who didn’t receive access to their exclusive lounge. You leave the hotel slightly disappointed about not having enjoyed the nice extras that were promised to you.
Instead of waiting for them to share their disappointment online with everyone else, you can proactively ask them to share their feedback by sending out a post-survey and acting on that feedback. Respond to your disappointed guests and show them you will take their comments into account and avoid them communicating their complaints on more public forums. A good and honest management response can turn around negative experiences and increase loyalty.
Automating your proactive communication allows you to streamline your strategy across the hotel organization. A proactive approach allows you to maximize your opportunity as a brand to create great guest experiences at every stage of the guest journey.
Do you want to know more about how to automate proactive communication?