In the travel arena, effectively communicating with guests is one of the biggest challenges. From having stretched internal resources to guests threatening a brand’s reputation on social media, the hospitality arena is fraught with many communications pitfalls.
In addition, a new study found that 87 percent of U.S. travelers have never messaged with a hotel brand. In today’s text-messaging world, this seems like a confounding statistic. However, this comes down to the reality that not all travelers are part of the connected generation, and would view a message from a hotel as being intrusive.
This is especially true if the messages are completely unsolicited offers that have no connection to the guest’s interests. Of course brands can look into developing the right strategies that leverage guest data to provide more customized offerings. For example, you can offer a fitness enthusiast information about your exercise facility, or nearby yoga classes.
However, as highlighted in the recent study, the playing field for messaging with guests is still very nascent. As such, hotel brands should consider developing guest communications strategies that are iterative and grow over time. The connected generation will continue to increase, as more and more people view a text from a company or brand as not being intrusive.
It won’t be too long until receiving a text message from a hotel will be as normal as the messages that we all receive from Airbnb when we book a stay. Of course, with Airbnb, the guest is being connected directly with the property owner in advance of the visit – a vital tool for discussing and accessing the property and other “house rules.”
This all comes down to offering the guest real/actionable information that can help enhance their trip – not just providing an offer. People no longer want to “be sold to,” but sales can increase when the messages are customized and provide a path for smooth traveling.