Nov 17, 2021 | Hotel Marketing | Reading Time: 6 minutes
WhatsApp is one of the main digital communication channels in the world. In the hotel industry, this channel is very important not only to provide assistance to travelers but also to convert direct bookings. So, it is a logical step to explore WhatsApp’s potential for hotels.
However, many hoteliers still do not see the platform as a sales and customer service channel. Even those who understand its potential for revenue and customer experience still hesitate to adopt this solution. They considered Whatsapp hard to manage since it requires organization, availability, and the ability to respond quickly.
If you’re still unsure about whether or not to adopt it in your communication and sales strategy, we’ve listed in this article 8 reasons for your hotel to be available on WhatsApp for your potential guests.
Enjoy the reading!
WhatsApp Marketing for Hotel: 8 Reasons to Adopt It in Your Strategy
1. WhatsApp is free and global
Around 2 billion people are using WhatsApp in more than 180 countries. Unlike the telephone, it’s a free app, and it’s the world’s leading messaging tool.
Its commercial version, WhatsApp Business, is an application designed to meet the needs of small businesses. Some specific functions in WhatsApp Business include:
- Create a catalog to showcase your products and services
- Interact with your customers using features that quickly automate, classify and respond to messages
Offer service and send important notifications to customers
👉 If you want to know even more about how to use this amazing tool, download our ebook, Complete WhatsApp Business Guide to Generate Direct Bookings now!
2. You connect with customers where they already are
According to data from the TechCrunch website, at the end of 2020 WhatsApp was exchanging about 100 billion messages a day. In other words, the app not only has billions of users but is also used extensively by them — some data show that WhatsApp is the most open app for most smartphone users.
As they are already on the platform to communicate with friends and family, taking the next step to also communicate with companies seems very natural. So take advantage of this sense of familiarity with the app and make your business available to them.
The graphic below testifies how important WhatsApp is as a communication channel for hotels. This is the representation of chat volume by channel of one of the 1,300+ clients Asksuite has over the world. The app is the second most important channel travelers use to contact the hotel.
3. Easy communication and direct contact with travelers
WhatsApp is an easy-to-use app. It puts communication between you and your potential guest at the easiest level possible, making it simple for you to keep in touch with travelers.
Through Whatsapp chats, you get to know your customers better and learn about their expectations. Consequently, they will arrive at your hotel with the experience they envisioned.
Another benefit is the possible integration with a chatbot and an intelligent service platform, for example. It increases your chances of impressing guests even before they arrive in the lobby and enables you to deliver a unified service for each customer.
The use of virtual assistants equipped with Artificial Intelligence on WhatsApp coupled with the platform allows all chatbot interactions to be shown on a single panel of chats, together with interactions made on the hotel website, Facebook, and Instagram.
It also organizes service by categories (tags), so you, hotelier, do not get lost when responding to clients, having access to each conversation history. The customer service gains agility, enabling you to deliver a superior experience to your customer.
Moreover, with different messaging channels integrated, customers don’t need to repeat everything every time they talk to a different agent or change channels.
👉 Since August, hoteliers have been able to manage all Instagram messaging requests on the Asksuite platform. To boost direct bookings through this widely popular tool, fill out the form with your information and our team will contact you soon. [Official Instagram Integration]
4. Service channel for greater direct booking conversions
WhatsApp is a very useful application not only for communication but also for hotel sales. It is a very agile direct communication channel.
If you are quick to respond and know how to create a sense of urgency in your potential customers, you will have great chances of closing reservations through this channel.
Time response is a critical factor for conversions of direct bookings. Surprisingly enough, many hotels overlook the impact of providing quick answers.
Travelers demand quick answers any time of the day. Look at Asksuite’s dashboard. The data from 400 million messages exchanged between our clients and travelers show that more than half of the total chats happen outside business hours.
Escalating customer service can be a challenge. Automation can be a great solution.
For example, many potential guests come to your website to look for answers to the questions they had when they accessed your hotel in an OTA. If you integrate your WhatsApp account into your website, you will be able to provide service at the right time of the decision-making.
Use this platform to connect directly with them and conduct a direct booking.
Here are some tactics you can use to encourage this conversion:
- Use WhatsApp as a channel for quote presentation
- Use WhatsApp as a channel to answer questions
- Automate certain responses based on your prospective guests’ FAQs
5. You can generate leads automatically without a form
You can also capture leads’ information on Whatsapp. You can do it manually, but if you want to scale your service, a chatbot can be a great option.
The interaction in the application opens the door to capture information from new customers or potential guests (leads). You can collect data from travelers who have shown interest in your business and then approach them in a personalized way that encourages them to book a room with you.
The so-called “lead capture” is very important, especially in times of the low season. With this information in hand, you can use WhatsApp marketing for hotels, creating an email campaign, for example, especially for those people who have already shown interest in your business but didn’t close the deal.
6. The possibility of follow up
WhatsApp is a great tool to follow up with your potential guest, accompanying them throughout the booking process until after-sales. It may seem intrusive, but if your guest is too busy and communication through other channels doesn’t flow smoothly, instant messaging might be the best course of action.
To avoid annoyance or invasion of customers or lead privacy, ask them if they agree to be contacted via WhatsApp.
7. Client base to make channel/broadcast lists
WhatsApp has two features that allow you to send messages to more than one person simultaneously:
- Broadcast lists
While groups are like chat rooms where people can see each other’s information, the broadcast list sends the same message individually to each added user.
If any company sends you a message via a broadcast list, you will receive an individual message the same way you receive messages from a friend. The other recipients on the broadcast list are not able to interact or check each other’s details.
Therefore, when choosing one of the two models to communicate with your customers, opt for the broadcast list.
Broadcast lists are especially effective for you to segment your contact base, developing different messages and strategies according to the different guest profiles you want to communicate with.
8. Helps to save time through message templates and automate answers
Finally, let’s dig deeper into WhatsApp automation. If you have access to WhatsApp Business API, you can add a chatbot to your business account to automatically answer common questions.
This saves time and energy for your team and it also means that you will be available 24/7 to answer your potential guests.
However, the chatbot doesn’t need to do all the work. The best tactic is to mix human and automatic service according to your preference and the needs of your operations.
Travelers like to have both service options, and the transition from one to the other (automatic ⇔ human) should happen quickly and without “faltering”.
If you don’t have this kind of automation, you can still set up automatic away messages and greetings with the WhatsApp Business app — we highly recommend doing this to save time and keep your customer satisfaction high.
Update: Introducing Asksuite’s WhatsApp Bulk Message Campaigns
We hope that you have better understood the reasons for adopting WhatsApp for hotels, and if you’re already making great figures with this feature, we’re glad to announce now hoteliers get to send bulk messages through Asksuite’s fully integrated Omnichannel platform.
Would you like to know all the benefits for hoteliers? One of our latest articles,