22nd - May - 2018

Five Ways SMS is Helping the Hospitality Industry Open Doors & Maximize Opportunity

The Hospitality industry is an aggressive one – so many players vying for the customer’s attention. Any edge gained over the competition can help make a real difference when it comes to persuading customers where to spend their hard-earned cash. Harnessing the power of SMS, arguably one of the most used forms of communication today, and reaching out to customers with ways to make their life easier, can not only improve brand awareness and opinion, but it can also smooth the workflow for busy hoteliers and restaurateurs.

In this post, we take a look at 5 ways that SMS / Cloud Communications is changing the face of the Hospitality industry:

  • Booking Confirmations

Having empty rooms overnight is a hotelier’s nightmare, the dream is of course a full house every night, but that’s not always possible. So, what can be done to help fill those empty rooms with guests? Guests that will not only pay for their room, but are also likely to spend in the restaurant, at the bar or maybe even at the spa on treatments to make their stay even more fabulous. The answer is simple, and takes just seconds to put into action. Send a quick SMS to everyone expected to arrive each day, checking if all the rooms booked are still needed. And if they’re not? No need to ring everyone on the waiting list, just send another SMS out to advise on last-minute availability, and wait for those empty rooms to fill up.
Messaging is predicted to be in use by 3.6 billion people by the end of 2018

  • Fast Check In / Out

Manage those busy morning check-out sessions with ease, by enabling payments via SMS. Simply pull a list of check-outs due together, and send them all a quick text message containing a link for them to view their bill online, provide the option to query, make amends, and then confirm everything is OK. Once you get the go ahead, charge the credit card on file, follow up on SMS with payment confirmation and a digital receipt once the transaction has been completed. Not only are guests happy that they can pack up and leave knowing that the bill is paid, but reception staff are more relaxed and can pay attention to the multitude of other daily tasks that need managing. Check-in can be streamlined in the same way, by texting expected guests with a barcode so that they can use a kiosk to check-in instead of queuing at busy times. Take the opportunity to improve the guests experience further by following up after check-in with an SMS detailing hotel information like restaurant menus, gym opening times or things to do in the local area.
Large hotel chains like Marriott & Hilton are turning more towards mobile apps

  • Proximity to Next Level of Reward

Brand loyalty cards / clubs are big business these days and the Hospitality industry is no exception. Keeping guests up to date with their points balance or rewards by SMS can really help sales along. Encourage customers to upgrade their room or extend their stay to not only up their rewards points and get closer to the next level of rewards, but to also increase revenue for you. Think along the lines of sending an SMS out on the lead up to Valentine’s Day, encouraging customers to book a romantic escape, or around Mother’s Day to treat Mum to lunch out, paired with a message that if they book something, they’ll be closer to a discount on their next stay with the next reward level.
57% of consumers would be happy to sign up to an SMS loyalty program

  • Bill Payments

When a restaurant’s really busy, catching the attention of waiting staff can be a challenge for customers, and is often a real source of frustration. The good news is that SMS can help make the process a whole lot easier. Allowing bills to be viewed and paid using an app, or online via a mobile phone is a very smart thing to do. Simply advise guests when seating them that they can pay their bill online, or via the restaurant app when they’re ready to settle up. No fuss at all, no need to try and catch their servers eye or wait for them to notice that plates are empty, and then wait even longer for the bill to arrive…
57% of 30 – 39 year olds use their smartphone to pay bills

  • Reservation Reminders

How often do you experience no shows at your restaurant? A couple of times a week, maybe more? How frustrating is it to see that empty table that could be surrounded by people enjoying themselves and spending money in your restaurant? Very. Well, did you know that most reservations or appointments are missed due to pure forgetfulness on the part of the person that made the booking? When just a quick nudge could make all the difference, it’s time to bring in SMS. Send one message to confirm bookings, and send another to those on the waiting list if anyone cancels – then it’s first come first served (literally) as to who gets that last-minute booking.
British restaurants are losing out on £16billion a year due to no-shows

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