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How Your Hotel Can Use Rich SMS Marketing to Go Beyond Great Customer Experience

30th August 2018

Customer experience is without a doubt one of the most important elements to a successful hotel or guest house business. A positive memorable experience at your hotel is a major deciding factor for your guests to stay with you in the future (and/or recommend you to a friend).

As we know, customer expectations have been increasing over the years and will continue to do so, leaving your business with no room to slack in providing the best customer experience.

So, how can your hotel business provide the best customer experience?

Communicating with guests in a genuine, personal way throughout their whole experience with your brand is one of the effective ways to provide great customer experience… and this can be simply done with Rich SMS marketing.

Before we start: What is Rich SMS?

In short, Rich SMS is an SMS with rich multimedia content (elements that encourage viewers to interact and engage with your content).

It is an enhanced and modern take on SMS that has all the benefits that comes with SMS marketing, but with some added advantages of its own.

The reason it is more powerful than SMS marketing alone is that it provides visual content accessible from the SMS inbox through a shortened unique URL in the SMS.

Instead of simply redirecting customers to your site through an SMS, the unique URL web-app allows you to create content for your mobile users that is completely personalised for each of your guests.

Content that can be incorporated in Rich SMS includes:

  • Discounts
  • Coupons
  • Surveys
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Games
  • CTAs (calls-to-action)

By being able to create this type of content for your mobile users, the experience will be overall more enjoyable, efficient and memorable, which in turn will make your mobile campaigns more successful.

From your point of view as the one sending the Rich SMS, you will have a great number of statistics available to analyse the behaviour of your mobile users, therefore getting insight in regards to what needs to be improved in your offers and your next campaigns.

To read more about what Rich SMS is, read our article: What Rich SMS Marketing Is and Why You Need To Use It

Remarket, Rebook & Retain Your Previous Customers 

Acquiring new customers is one of the biggest objectives of any businesses marketing strategy, not just hotels. After all, the more customers you acquire, the more successful your business will be with more profit and a bigger and better reputation for your brand.

However, once you have customers, it’s vital to learn how to retain them. Back in the day, once a customer got a taste of great customer experience, they would remember it and would want to experience it again, therefore going back to your hotel time after time. Nowadays, with the huge amount of choice, discounts, special offers available, your customers might not instinctively return to your hotel even if they had a great experience there. All they need is a little reminder, and with Rich SMS you can “remind” your customers of their great experience with you, with ease.

An example of using the barcode feature to offer customers a discount on the hotel food

For example, you can create a Rich SMS web-app with a personalised discount (or “refer a friend” scheme) for your guest’s next stay as a thank you gesture. The discount content can include a video, image, barcode, game, CTA such as a button to direct customers straight to your booking site etc. This will make your guests feel valued, and thus more likely to rebook with your hotel.

As for any industry, it costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain one: using Rich SMS as your method for remarketing and rebooking customers will be more cost-effective than trying to acquire new customers through OTAs (online travel agencies) such as Booking.com.

Moreover, the customers will build a connection with your hotel, your brand, which will lead to increased customer loyalty.

Create an Impact with Promotions Thanks to Visuals 

What really sets Rich SMS apart from SMS is how you can use visuals to communicate with your customers.

Rich SMS gives you the chance to really stand out when promoting your latest offers and packages, and even make it personal to your customers.

Customer segmentation is an important step when making your offers personal to your guests – separating your guests in their interests (leisure facilities, meetings/conferences, weddings and so on) so that you can offer them something meaningful.

Once you have the segmentation sorted, it’s the visuals that will create a lasting impact.

Being able to see offers visually (rather than just plain text) is far more impactful for your mobile campaigns. This is because visuals tend to stick in a person’s head and is easier to digest than text.

This can be done in many ways using Rich SMS. For example, you can create a mini E-store where you have a selection of offers or packages to choose from that suits your guests.

Promote Your Events, and Book more Rooms

Whether you have events held at your hotel or popular events in your area, you can use Rich SMS to not only fill up your event space but also encourage bookings at your hotel.

Promoting your events through mobile rather than email is way more effective as the open rate is much higher:

90% of all text messages are read in less than three minutes, and moreover, they receive a 45% response rate (MarTech).

Using Rich SMS you can create a web-app with your chosen event to send out to previous and current guests to encourage them to attend. You can add features on the web-app such as a countdown to create a sense of urgency for that extra push.

Excel in Customer Service

Another brilliant factor of using Rich SMS is the ability to excel in customer service. And to be able to provide a great customer experience, you need to give great customer service.

For guests currently staying at your hotel, you can offer last-minute discounts, offers or upgrades and even reminders of reservations via Rich SMS. This shows that your hotel is thinking about guests personally and that you want them to get the most out of their stay with you.

And the customer service doesn’t have to stop there. Even after your guests have gone home, you can continue to give exceptional customer service. For example, you can send surveys to your guests after their holiday asking for feedback and ensuring that they got everything they were looking for during their stay.

Rich SMS is an effective way to communicate with guests to provide outstanding customer service as it isn’t intrusive, nor does it get forgotten about like it may do in an email. Moreover, as Rich SMS provides engaging and interactive content that regular SMS can’t, the user experience will be more enjoyable. So, both you and your guests can experience the benefits.

Enhance Your Hotels Mobile Marketing Strategy

Rich SMS can enable you to communicate with your guests in the most effective, entertaining and convenient way.

We hope this article has given you insight into how your hotel can use Rich SMS marketing to go beyond great customer experience.

If you are interested in working with a team of digital marketing experts to help you enhance your mobile marketing strategy, contact us via phone or email.

 

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