Text Messaging, the New Channel for Hotels and Travel Providers
Did you know that over 15 million texts are sent every minute of every day worldwide? Just in the US alone over 6 billion text messages are sent and received per day and these stats do not include in-app messaging (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.).
The smartphone, well the iPhone anyways, is over 10 years old now and messaging use, both in-app and SMS have been steadily on the rise for commercial purposes over the past few years. The automated password reset has long abandoned email. Twitter, FB and a million other companies want direct access to your most personal of personal information… your phone number.
But, many industries have been slow to adopt. Why? Now that text messaging is making its way to retail and dining it’s no wonder text messaging is now a hot topic for hotels and the travel industry. In fact, it’s one of the features commonly inquired about when we talk with a new customer. And, it’s not just hotels who are interested in text messaging. More and more travel agents are starting to add text messaging to the mix as well.
According to research, while texting makes up for 33% of a Millennials mobile usage, it’s quickly becoming the go-to method of communication for adults 35-54 as well.
It’s no wonder that text messaging for customer service and sales is on the rise considering the following statistics:
Texts have a 99% open rate - Because text messaging has become a primary form of communication, it’s almost impossible to avoid a text message like you can with email. (There’s also no spam folder!)
Text messages are read in under 5 seconds, on average - It creates a sense of urgency. Because your phone is your main vehicle of communication. Text messages, being typically short, have come to inherit this aspect of immediacy
Average response time to a text is 90 seconds - Text messaging has an immediacy that email does not. Unlike email, it creates a sense of urgency and like it or not, people find interrupting a task or engagement to respond to a text is acceptable behavior.
Bringing text messaging into your hotel’s communication mix allows to you to communicate with your guests in their preferred channel and on their time. The value of this convenience is almost priceless because the only constant in their lives at the moment is their phone.
If you are a hotel and your are text messaging with your guests make sure you follow these simple rules regarding your communication:
Make it timely - send it at times that make sense: prior to arrival, after check-in, etc.
Make it personal - offer perks, recommendations based on their stay/taste and make them feel at home
Make it convenient - let them know that they can text you whenever they need anything, room service, etc.
Make it count - ask for feedback during their stay, not just when they leave. Make it open ended. Have them tell you something that you did exceptionally well and something that you can improve on.
It’s important to remember that aside from the convenience factor of text messaging, that first and foremost it’s a very personal form of communication. You are directly connecting with your guest. So, make it count and add a personal touch!
Schedule a demo to find out more about Hoperator's text messaging capabilities