Will the instant messaging app be the answer to the optimization of booking processes for tourist accommodation?
Long and complex processes, endless questions and poor post-reservation care. Surely many of us have suffered some of these circumstances when we have made the reservation of a room in a hotel or tourist apartment. And this could also be extrapolated to the attention received by the establishment once we are already staying in it: need to go to the reception desk to consult questions or find solutions to possible problems that arise during the stay, long waiting lines until finally we receive attention, etcetera.
Undoubtedly, the design of a correct booking process for a potential client is key to the conversion with this one being effective, as well as to differentiate in an increasingly competitive market. A possible solution? Integrate the messaging services offered by some platforms such as Facebook or Google.
According to Google’s study on travel in 2014 , 83% of travelers who use the Internet to plan their trips go to social networks, videos and photo websites. In the case of airlines, this fact is also visible. A study carried out by Edreams Odigeo affirms that the use of the mobile device by travelers when planning the trip is increasing considerably. In Spain there has been an increase of 16% of tourists who use these means when making their reservations online.
The CEO of Hotel Manager, Raimundo Vidales, in the last Conference on Innovation in Hotel Services held at FITUR affirmed the growing demand on the part of hotel chains for two-way instant messaging services that allow communication at any time between hotel and client. During the presentation, Raimundo said bluntly that this tool is a key advantage for hotels:
For the hotelier, it offers the advantage that allows users to be segmented, knowing whether or not the client has booked at the hotel and on what date they made the reservation, or if they are already staying. In this way, the hotelier can send personalized messages, or a specific segment of their customer base, with the appropriate message.
Instant messaging, properly managed, can be configured as a vital tool for hotel establishments that want to offer a more specialized service, quality and above all, effective for the guest.
The solution through instant messaging
In 2015, in the F8 Facebook Conference for developers , it was already betting on the use of its messaging service as an instrument to improve the client-hotel relationship before and after the reservation process.
Two years later, Facebook developed a new product called ” City Guides ” , which has been integrated into the Facebook Messenger App, although it is not yet available to all users or in all countries. The functionality of this new product is to allow users to book through it, hotels and restaurants, offering at the same time the possibility of conversing in real time with the company in question.
This new application also benefits from the large amount of information available to Facebook about its users, which makes the social network par excellence have a very powerful recommendation system, offering its customers those activities that most resemble their needs and tastes.
The integration of this app in the hotel reservation process can be a huge benefit in both directions:
- For the establishment: because it allows you to offer a more specialized service adapted to each specific segment of the client, by having complete information about the user with whom you interact and to be able to converse with him in real time.
- For the client: since he can communicate at all times with the hotel and have a full and personalized assistance service.
Some companies are already making use of instant messaging: the case of Marriott Hotels
Marriot International has made available to the members of its loyalty program, Marriot Rewards , the possibility of accessing a privileged section of the chain’s app that allows the customer to converse with the establishment in real time before, during and after lodging. in their hotels.
Thanks to this functionality, according to Michael Dail, president of the company, the customer is offered a more specialized service with a great added value. It is the first bet of this kind currently carried out by the large international hotel chains.
According to the statistical data elaborated by the company, more than 75% of the travelers travel with a mobile device and even several of these; even larger figure in the case of the well-known millennial generation. For this reason, Marriott considers instant messaging an excellent opportunity, as it adapts to a tourism that is increasingly digital and more demanding.