These days, delivering a great guest experience goes beyond offering certain services and amenities. Every single detail, including the comfort, convenience, and enjoyment you offer to guests, could turn a satisfactory experience into one they’ll remember as extraordinary.
One detail that may seem insignificant, even though it can help you enhance the overall guest experience, is the channel(s) you use to communicate with past, current, and prospective guests. While there are different methods of communication available today, ranging from phone calls to emails, text messaging is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools a vacation rental management company can use to engage travelers of all ages. As surprising as it may seem, Millennials and Zoomers aren’t the only consumers who love texting. Increasing numbers of Boomers and Gen Xers are also claiming text messaging as their preferred method of communication.
Why do so many people prefer texting over other means of communication? In a nutshell, texting delivers a convenient and quick way to communicate, while also providing easy access to information later on. In addition, text messaging enables businesses, including the ones that operate within the vacation rental market, to take the communication with their customers to a whole new level.
Top Reasons to Include Text Messaging in Your Guest Communication Strategy
The fact that text messaging can be a great time saver for a lodging management company is no longer surprising. Another important benefit of instant messaging is that it allows you to share information with current and potential guests as well as staff and third-party service providers in real-time, without any delays like those associated with email communication. However, very few vacation rental management businesses realize that text messaging can bring along a few other advantages that are even more important than the aforementioned ones. These are:
Enhancing guest satisfaction by keeping guests up to date –
One of the greatest things about using text messaging is that you can offer your guests exactly what they expect. More specifically, you can keep them up-to-date on every detail of their reservation as well as other aspects they might be interested in. For instance, with the help of an advanced vacation rental management system, like JANIIS, that makes available a complete suite of instant messaging features, you could send your guests:
- automatic booking confirmations as soon as they reserve your properties;
- pre-check-in messages with a link to your digital guidebook they can access even before their arrival;
- pre-arrival messages with lockbox codes, gate codes, alarm codes, Wi-Fi passwords, and the best way to contact you and/or your staff;
- welcome messages, after they check in, that you can also use to upsell or cross-sell different services and products;
- check-out messages with links to where they can submit their feedback and online reviews of your company.
You can also send guests a message on their travel day to inform them of traffic difficulties, adverse weather conditions, or any events they should be aware of. In addition, a short message sent at the right time can mean the difference between a pending reservation and a confirmed booking. As we live in a busy world where people can be easily distracted, a quick follow-up text may be all that’s required to persuade a traveler to complete a reservation. You can also use text messaging to inform previous guests about any special deals available to returning visitors.
Offering your guests the experience they expect by communicating via their preferred channels –
Anyone who uses the internet these days knows how annoying it is to have to install a different app just to access certain services. So, instead of requiring your guests to install one more app in order to communicate with you, a much better idea would be to choose a vacation rental software solution that lets you keep all of your communication channels, including SMS, WhatsApp, GBP messaging, Airbnb’s messaging platform, etc, streamlined on a single dashboard. This way, you can easily communicate with your guests over their preferred channels.
Improving service quality by handling guest requests and complaints in a timely manner –
Besides helping you and your staff with a series of time-consuming tasks, such as confirming reservations and providing automatic replies to common queries, instant messaging also allows your guests to reach you whenever they experience problems that may require your immediate attention. Providing an emergency contact and reminding guests to alert you immediately if there is a problem can help you mitigate risks to guests and properties, while also avoiding chargebacks and negative reviews. What’s more, by handling requests and solving problems in a timely manner and to the guest’s satisfaction, you may be able to turn unhappy guests into repeat ones.
While we have highlighted a few ways you can use text messaging in order to meet guest expectations, build trust, and receive feedback, a comprehensive vacation rental software solution equipped with text messaging functionality can be used to achieve many other objectives. If you’re interested in learning more about our lodging management solution and the text messaging features it provides, feel free to contact us!