Online travel and review sites are great for travellers. In fact, 81% of travellers find user reviews important when searching for destinations according to statisticbrain.com. They are good for hotels too, but they offer a double edged sword. User reviews are unfiltered – that is the travellers can say whatever they like both good and bad. And managing a bad review can be difficult (let’s not get into the hotel who tried to charge visitors who left bad reviews!). Once those words are out on the Internet, they’re out there forever.
And it’s hard to know how your guests feel. Not all unhappy people will complain during their stay. They wait until they leave, then rage about the decor, the service, the food, or the rates. What can hotels do to head off those bad reviews? Try and get to the travellers before they can get to the review site. A great way to do that is to use a customer survey via SMS messaging. And do it before there’s time for the bad review to spread.
Most guests probably provide you with a mobile number when booking. You could also ask for it when they check in. Once you have the number, you’re able to use it to communicate with them about their stay. Just be careful. Make sure you use the number just for messages related to their stay. You can’t later use it for marketing unless you get their permission first.
For example, a guest checks out at 11 am. You can send them a text message a few hours later asking them to rate their stay. If the answers you receive are anything less than great, you can follow up with appropriate measures to make things right.
Depending on their experience, a personal phone call from management might help smooth things over. At the very least, you’ll gain a better understanding of the issues the guest had during their stay. That’s information you’ll need if you’re going to strive for great reviews.
Is it hard to incorporate SMS messaging into your hotel’s procedures? No, it’s actually quite an easy thing to do. It’s also extremely cost effective, especially when you compare it to potential lost business from bad reviews. While you could do a full integration with your management software, it isn’t necessary to do so. A cloud-based SMS messaging service like fastsms lets you enter mobile numbers one at a time, or upload thousands at once. Which approach works for your hotel depends on what you want to achieve.
Manual entry is a quick way to start, and a full integration that will streamline the process can be done over time. It’s all up to you. If you’re not sure how to get started, we’re available via live chat, email, or phone to answer your questions. Alternatively read our free “Hotels Guide to SMS Messaging“.