While the concept of guest messaging will be nothing new to hotel staff, there are certain considerations to keep in mind during implementation as a business tool. The approach may vary across establishments according to the type of business, size, service levels, and objectives.
For any type of property, defining a clear action plan is critical to a smooth and successful implementation process.
Stage 1: The basics of guest messaging
• Decide the messaging strategy appropriate for your business: group, individual or hybrid. For example, a hotel group will need to decide if corporate office will receive messages and forward them to the appropriate property or the properties will handle messaging independently.
• Select the messaging services most suitable to your guest demographics. For example, if you have lots of Chinese guests you should choose WeChat as a messaging option. Configure your messaging services.
Stage 2: Define internal processes
• Select which team members will be responsible for receiving and responding to guest messages.
• Confirm the workflow and process of handling messaging.
• Build a relevant knowledge base of quick answers. Resources for this information may include your hotel directory, website and company FAQ.
Stage 3: Decide how requests and issues will be dealt with
• Select which team members will be responsible for completing tasks generated via guest messages.
• Create departmental workgroups to ensure information is routed to the right departments and staff members.
• Create guidelines and processes for the assignment of tasks, resolution time limits and escalation parameters.
Stage 4: Raise awareness of guest messaging
• Teach staff best practices in receiving and responding to guest messages.
• Teach the process for acting on tasks and closing cases.
• Advertise messaging service on property and digitally to inform guests they can message your hotel.