How Hotels Can Use WhatsApp As An Effective Communication Channel For Their Guests

Let’s Get Started With a Bit of Background: Why WhatsApp?

There is no denying the fact that WhatsApp has mostly been reigning supreme over our world of communication and has revolutionized the whole of the interaction game. Business communication has not at all remained untouched by the incantations of WhatsApp which has successfully secured itself a predominant position in the digital landscape when it comes to communicating with the clients.

Nowadays, hotels can use WhatsApp to accord a smooth online experience to their guests throughout the entire customer journey. In other words, WhatsApp has become an indispensable tool for boosting communication and overall business.

Before diving deep into how hoteliers should be incorporating and maximizing the use of WhatsApp for their hotel business, it’s important to touch upon certain aspects of WhatsApp statistics to know its significance even better. Currently, “there are more than 2 billion WhatsApp users around the globe and rising (WhatsApp, 2020).” Again, of all the mobile messaging apps, “WhatsApp is currently the most popular and is leading by quite a stretch, too.”

Not only this, but today more than an astounding 65 billion messages are being sent daily via this app which surely speaks volumes about the importance of its integration to facilitate smooth communication with hotel guests, or customers of any other business, to that matter of fact. Again, with a staunch geographic position, it is used as a top messaging app in over 128 countries across the globe.

Taking a step ahead, back in January 2018, WhatsApp launched its B2B initiative, WhatsApp Business which was instrumental in clocking up about more than 5 million business users in just one year. As if the popularity and whooping statistics of WhatsApp are not enough, there is yet another concrete reason for the hoteliers to start including the use of WhatsApp in their overall communication strategy. 

Yes, hotels can use WhatsApp as an important communication tool. People are accustomed to using phones and for a mode of communication that can help you or your customers reach out by using the phone alone will surely work wonders.

Benefits of Using WhatsApp For Hotels

Here are the reasons for which hoteliers can deploy WhatsApp to reap its maximum benefits:

• Wider, global reach: No matter where guests are traveling from you can communicate with ease. Not to mention, it goes beyond the time-consuming phone calls and widens the communication channel.

• No boundaries: SMS has limitations and may carry charges. But with WhatsApp, guests simply need data/WiFi, which means it’s easy for both the domestic and international guests.

• Familiarity & Convenience: By having WhatsApp, hotels can differentiate themselves from their competitors and provide a convenient communication channel for guests. Moreover, this is the platform guests are already familiar with, therefore hotels can increase guests’ comfort and make the service even more differentiated, personalized, and convenient.

• Facilitates instant communication: It allows the guests to communicate with ease and make requests very conveniently. This also paves for the way in which hotels can use WhatsApp to not only build stronger connections with guests and drive guest loyalty but also generate revenue by promoting on-site options.

For instance,

If a guest is relaxing by the pool and wants a beverage, they can simply WhatsApp the hotel staff. Or if someone wants to dine at the in-house restaurant, they can simply drop in a WhatsApp message to book a table for them.

Convenient communication helps increase guest satisfaction and convenient commerce can increase revenue.

Best Practices For WhatsApp Guest Messaging For Hotels

○ Use it wisely and strategically: Surely, the hotel industry is pioneering in how to leverage WhatsApp for business. There are numerous ways to utilize messaging- pre-arrival, check-in, during the stay, feedback, cross-promotion, and much more. However, smart hoteliers will want to identify the high-value touchpoints and limit messaging strategy to only messages that truly add value for your guests. You can map-out the guest journey and identify the right touchpoints that you would like to focus on for your guests. The idea is to enhance guests’ experience and provide true value.

○ Respect guests’ privacy: this simply means sending a message to guests who have opted-in and giving guests a chance to opt-out, if they choose not to receive messages. This is how hotels can use WhatsApp carefully and efficiently. It is also about respecting guests’ wishes and being proactive to give your guests their preferences.

○ Set up a dedicated number: Hoteliers should separate their personal number from business WhatsApp number. GuestTouch Messaging handles this on your behalf by making sure that you have a convenient and dedicated WhatsApp business number and it is perfectly streamlined to suit your daily hotel operations. Hence wait no more to empower your hotel with WhatsApp for seamless business.

○ Streamline your communication channels: Make sure all your vital modes of communication- SMS, WhatsApp, or WebChat are streamlined on a single dashboard for easy monitoring, making sure that not even a single message from the guests or potential customers goes unnoticed.

This will help automate communication and be at the top of your communication and guest experience game. Guess what? You can also boost your hotel's occupancy with WhatsApp and can also use WhatsApp to engage with your guests at every touchpoint.

○ Finally, inform guests that you are on WhatsApp: It is essential to make guests aware that you are available on this platform. If you don’t promote it, nobody is going to know that you are available over WhatsApp.

Specify it on your website or use your pre-arrival email as a means of communicating clearly to the guests that they can reach out to you on WhatsApp for quick and effective communication. In fact, this is one of the most remarkable ways in which hotels can use WhatsApp for smooth business.

You can also flash it on your WiFi landing page, email signature, and so on.W

Adopting a new system can be a bit overwhelming, we understand that, and so we will simplify this to help you get started. Here are the various ways hotels can use WhatsApp for guest communication by using solutions like Guest Messaging to enhance guest experience across channels like SMS and WhatsApp.

Below are the few actual use cases of value-driven WhatsApp messages showing how hotels can use WhatsApp to connect with their guests at vital touchpoints in the customer experience journey:

i. Pre-Arrival Message

(Actual use cases with Template WhatsApp Messages)

“Hi, *Jennifer.* “Thank you for choosing us. We would like to confirm your reservation at *hotel name* between *arrival date* and *departure date* For more details on your booking and hotel, please visit *the URL.* We hope you will enjoy your stay and we look forward to welcoming you!”

ii. On-Arrival Message

(Actual use cases with Template WhatsApp Messages to show how hotels can use WhatsApp)

👋 “Hi, *Jennifer.* Welcome to *hotel name.* Your WiFi is *HappyGuest.* Here is a personalized welcome page that has all the relevant details about your stay, right from the shuttle to nearby recommendations Please visit *the URL* Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 9:30 AM. We also have Happy Hours for our guests every day from 5pm-10pm. Feel free to text us here if you have any questions. Enjoy your stay"

For hostels, it can be something like this:

👋“Hi, *Jennifer.* Welcome to *hostel name.* Your WiFi is *HappyGuest.* Here is a personalized welcome page that has all the relevant details about your stay, right from the daily events to pub crawls to our recommendations and house rules. Please visit *the URL* Feel free to text us here if you have any questions. Enjoy your stay"

iii. Mid-Stay Message

(Actual use cases with Template WhatsApp Messages)

👋 "Hi, *Jennifer.* We hope that you are doing well. How is your stay so far? Please let us know if we can assist with anything during your stay. Take care"

iv. Post-Stay Message to Get Feedback or Review

(Actual use cases with Template WhatsApp Messages)

👋 “Hi, *Jennifer.* Thank you for choosing to stay with us. We hope you had a wonderful stay. We’d really appreciate if you just take a moment to share your experience with us:* the link.* We look forward to the pleasure of hosting you again. Safe travels - {Name}, General Manager”

Other creative ways in which the hotels can deploy WhatsApp messaging:

a. Surprising guests with a special treat

Surprise almost always acts as a kind of a positive psychological trigger. A gift or treat is always appreciated by the guests, no matter how small. It can be in the form of a complimentary drink, free mints or just anything to delight your guests along the way:

👋 “Hi Jennifer. Thank you for choosing *hotel name.* To show our appreciation, we invite you to join us for wine and cheese hour in the lobby from 4pm-6pm🍷. Have a gala time.”


“Thank you for checking-in at *hotel name.* Before you actually get started with your stay at our property, we request you to head to the lobby area for a complimentary plate of Hors d'oeuvres as a token of our appreciation🧆 We hope you will enjoy it”😊

b. Giving out a special discount- How Hotels Can Make Use of WhatsApp

👋 “Hi *Jennifer* Thank you for making a reservation of the Superior Suite for *date*. If you wish to dine at the hotel restaurant, reserve a table today and receive a 15% discount on your bill🍜🍸. Your booking reference ID is *XXXX.* See you!”

c. Offering a special service or upsell for experiences

👋 “Hi, *Jennifer.* to make your stay extra special, we are giving out 10 percent off on our spa service🧖‍♀️ If you wish to reserve the service, please click on *the URL* or connect back here and we’ll block the slot for you"💯

d. Sharing valuable tips along the way

👋 “Hello *Jennifer!* We hope you are enjoying San Francisco. Because of the Parade today, the Market st, and surrounding area will not be accessible by car, we’d recommend walking to the parade📍📍 This map link below is a useful guide to get the most out of the parade {URL}, Alternatively, you can book guided tours with local experience staff here; {URL}"

e. Making guests’ special occasion...extra special 🎁

Again, hotels can use WhatsApp to reach out to their guests by providing them a special, personalized experience. There is no denying the fact that WhatsApp could revolutionize your guest communication.  For instance, if you have a newly-wed or honeymoon couple staying with you, you can send them offers regarding an experience- couple spa, romantic dinner, etc. to help make their stay memorable.

👋 “Hi, *name* We hope that your stay is going well so far. Knowing that your anniversary is right at the door💍, we want to be a part of your special occasion by providing you with a romantic dinner🍾 with your spouse tonight under the stars. This is on the house and we hope that you will enjoy this gift of ours to the fullest🎁. Best wishes. For more details, you can revert to us here.”

Looking to take your guest messaging to the next level?

With GuestTouch, you can easily communicate with guests and potential customers at all stages of their journey through robust and simple-to-use communication platforms like Hotel Guest Messaging, and WebChat enabling personalized guest experiences, operational excellence, and increased revenue. Make your hotel more relevant, engaging, and personable when you integrate guest messaging into your daily operations to conduct smoothly what we all know as WhatsApp business for hotels.

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Posted on
May 7, 2020

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