3 reasons why messaging is the new Email
How messaging is reinventing Hotel Communications
Newer, easier, and more thrilling ways of communicating are being developed every single day. We have reached a point where we can carry a message to any distance, and through a variety of channels, with nothing more than our own voices! For the hospitality sector, messaging brings a new world of possibilities, from enabling staff to communicate with one another faster to offering more remarkable and novel experiences to guests. The modern traveller no longer settle for the first accommodation or service that comes their way. Nowadays, the demand dictates the supply. This is where diversity in the field of communication comes into play! While some guests prefer face-to-face interactions, others might prefer something easier or immediate, and hoteliers need to make sure that they can provide it with all. Let your guests know that whatever they prefer, you are aware of it and you make it available to them!
E-mail is good but not enough
Communication by e-mail is the method most guests use to reach out to the hotel, however, that is bound to change. According to Ubisend’s Mobile Messaging report, consumers under the age of 24 use email with 3 times less frequency than messaging applications. For 25–44-year olds, it’s nearly 2 times less. When people were asked what they thought about this medium, not a single person replied: “emails are good”. Lack of personalisation, interaction and relevancy are among the biggest issues. Over 50% of the respondents said that it is extremely important for a business to be available, contactable and responding promptly 24/7. This constant expectation for instantaneity and availability results from the increasing popularity of messaging apps. E-mail could never be this fast and businesses are starting to abandon it as the primary form of digital communication. In fact, one can state that email has become a black hole. People don’t respond, or they take forever to respond, which nowadays is sort of the same thing.
The trick is to be where your guests want you to
Travellers become guests as soon as their booking is complete. At this point, a line of communication is opened between the traveller and their accommodation provider. Clear communication between a hotel and its guests has a key influence on guest satisfaction and loyalty. Nowadays, people are turning to new methods of communication. We moved from expensive and short SMS to free, rich media instant messages. In fact, your guests talk with their friends and family, rapidly and frequently using messaging apps. Why would it be different with your hotel?
A consumer research concluded that 73% of guests communicate through online channels, that is email, social media and text messaging. Additionally, two-thirds said that they prefer to communicate through written electronic means rather than by phone. Furthermore, guests who communicate through text messaging services and social media report statistically significantly higher satisfaction levels over those who do not. With expected additional 1.1 billion new users set to adopt messaging by the end of 2018, it’s clear that messaging really is the new social media. Therefore, your premise should be allowing guests to communicate with your hotel on their device on their own terms.
Messaging is key for your Hotel
The growing smartphone functionality with greater internet coverage means there are now 2.1 billion messaging application users. Skift proclaimed messaging as the new language of the globe and asked Are travel brands listening? It seems like hotels, once and for all, are. Why? Because they’re finally realizing the importance of messaging to build loyalty, increasing guest engagement, and enhancing the overall guest experience. And what better way to increase direct bookings? Messaging, especially when done right at scale, it is a big game changer for hotels! Facebook Messenger, in particular, is a channel with a lot of potential, thanks to its 1.5 billion users worldwide.
A Phocuswright’s research showed the significant growth in travellers’ use of text and mobile messaging over the course of these last years in all aspects of the customer journey (research, booking, experiencing, and sharing). According to the company’s Vice-President, this trend will only grow! All the indications are clear, customers expect to reach or be reached out to by brands via messaging apps and the popularity of this trend is on the rise since 2016, ever since Facebook announced that it was opening a gateway to bots on Messenger. This accelerated growth of messenger combined with the launch of chatbots has contributed to making messaging the fastest growing channel for branded conversations worldwide. According to David Marcus, head of Messenger, brands are not only taking notice of Messenger’s new capabilities, they are increasingly active. About 100,000 chatbots are available within this app and out of the 70 million businesses pages that are active on Facebook, approximately 20 million are responding to messages actively on a monthly basis.
Whether using human agents, automated bots, or a combination of the two, messaging apps can undoubtedly help hotels drive deeper relationships with their guests. In this sense, I want to present to you HiJiffy’s chatbot solution for Hotels: we offer hotels a tool where guests are able to access the hotel’s Facebook Messenger and get an answer to their queries or check prices and availability. After this, consumers are able to complete the booking process within Messenger.
NB: This is a viewpoint by Mariana Marques from HiJiffy. HiJiffy brings chat to the hospitality and travel industry, enabling customers to effectively connect with you through instant messaging apps.