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The Importance of Real-Time Messaging at Hotels

July 17, 2020 

by Paige Schoffler

Real-time messaging isn’t just a buzz word or something that only applies to Gen Z travelers, but instead, it’s quickly become a critical piece of any hotel’s guest engagement strategy. In the minds of guests, the ability to digitally communicate with hotel staff without a delay has quickly gone from a nice-to-have to an absolutely-must-have. For years, the news, media and conversations have been available to be consumed instantly, right in the palm of your hand. Why should interacting with hotels be any different than interacting with the rest of the world? After all, if something about your stay isn’t to your liking, a TripAdvisor review is only a few clicks away. Shouldn’t we be able to fix hotel problems just as quickly and easily as we can post about them? 

Multi-tasking and digital communication are the new normal in 2020. Some may call it lazy or impersonal, but the majority call it convenient. Furthermore, the fact that guest expectations are higher than ever, along with concerns about social distancing and safety practices. The solution? Real-time messaging. Here are a few scenarios of how you can come out as the hero thanks to real-time messaging:

Scenario 1: The Impatient Guest

You can never get anyone on the line anymore! I’ve been on hold FOREVER!”

If this sounds like a familiar complaint, you’re not alone – every hotel on the planet grapples with managing hold times and keeping up with call volume. While talking on the phone can sometimes be convenient, it’s not always the best solution, especially during times of high demand. With real-time messaging through a smartconcierge like Ivy, you can automate up to 50% of all guest inquiries, leaving your staff more time to have fruitful conversations on the phone. At one Vegas property, Ivy saved over 10k hours of labor, performing the equivalent hours of 7 full-time employees.

Scenario 2: The Guest Who Likes to Stay in Bed

“I am SO hungry…what’s good to eat around here? Don’t really feel like getting out of this bed!” 

In many parts of the country, hotels are beginning to book guests well before they can reopen their dining rooms. That doesn’t mean you need to suspend F&B service. Instead, with real-time communication, you talk directly with their guests to coordinate room service orders and other deliveries. This creates a safer experience for both guests and staff, while still delivering tasty meals right to your guests’ bellies.

Scenario 3: The Guest Who’s Upset at Closures

I can’t believe I just walked all the way to the pool and it’s closed?!”

Reopening won’t occur all at once, as some hotel amenities will be allowed to open their doors before others. Using smart responses, Ivy can provide instant answers to guest’s questions, informing them in real-time about which services are currently available. This helps save time and frustration for both guests and staff.

Scenario 4: The Guest Who Needs Recommendations

Yay! Husband is cool with staying another night. I wonder the best way we can spend this time.”

While some nearby restaurants and attractions may open their doors in the coming weeks, others will take several months before they’re back in operation. Guests will need to rely heavily on recommendations from hotel staff as they plan their days and visit nearby businesses, and they’re not going to want to wait around to get their questions answered. Be sure to use a smartconcierge, webchat or other real-time messaging solution to quickly and convenient convey this info to guests.

Scenario 5: The Guest Who’s Having a Bad Experience

“I am going to need to remember to let the staff know the TV doesn’t work and the closet light was broken when we head out.“

One of our smartconcierge’s most popular features is the mid-stay message, which simply asks guests how their stay has been on a scale of 1 to 5. This series of messages not only allows your team to understand why a guest is or isn’t happy, but it gives them that information while the guest is still on property. This is one of the major advantages of real-time messaging — you discover any potential issues while there is still plenty of time to resolve them, helping to create better, more memorable guest experiences. 

Scenario 6: The Guest Who Needs Express Checkout

These kids are killing me! We gotta get home asap! I wonder if I can just leave the key in my room and not go down to the front desk.”

Many hotels have begun to offer express check-out in recent years, typically by allowing guests to complete the check-out process via their TV, a smartconcierge or a mobile app. No matter what solution you choose, real-time communication is key. Your guests will have questions that need prompt answers, and your team will need to know exactly when the room has been vacated. With real-time messaging, it’s easy to find these kinds of answers.

 

From check-in to check-out, there are dozens of cases where real-time messaging is not only helpful, but actually critical to a hotel’s operations. If you’re interested in learning more about real-time messaging and smartconcierges, be sure to reach out to us at info@gomoment.com.