Blog/Beyond Texting

How to Use Texting for In-Room Dining and Hotel Service Requests

Learn how to revolutionize your hotel's customer service experience by offering guests the option to text in their room service requests.

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Picture this— you’re fresh off an 18-hour travel day, in desperate need of a shower, and running off of the sustenance from one granola bar. By the time you get to your hotel, you’re wondering what, if any, of these needs you have the energy to take care of.

Now, picture how relieved you would feel if a single text message could get you one step closer to taking care of all of your needs at once.

We would wager you’d feel so relieved that you might go out of your way to book a stay at a hotel with those kind of amenities, time and time again.

As a hospitality leader, you want your hotel to be a haven for the weary traveler. Achieving that status is all about curating the ideal guest experience. Ensuring your hotel is the perfect combination of comfortable, affordable, and unique isn’t easy. But one way to stand out against the rest is to tap into an up and coming service: text-to-request.

How Can Hotels Use a Text Messaging Service?

So, you’re curious about working text messaging into your hotel’s marketing strategy. You’re not alone. Hotel mobile marketing has continued to grow year after year, and for good reason. According to Google, 70% of travelers have done travel research on their cell. Over half of the traveler’s journey now starts on a mobile phone!

It’s a natural transition then to continue the mobile customer journey from booking, all the way to their stay.

There are plenty of ways hotels can utilize text messaging….

  • Take reservations
  • Upsell amenities
  • Send offers or promotions
  • Send booking reminders
  • Request reviews on popular travel sites

…but what we want to shine a light on is a hotel’s ability to text enable in-room dining and hotel service requests.

Using Texting For In-Room Dining and Hotel Service Requests

89% of consumers say it is important to have a variety of options for contacting customer service, including text messaging! But text-to-request room service is still a relatively fresh concept to the industry, which means it’s an opportunity to surprise and delight guests!

The concept is simple. Instead of using the ancient in-room phones to dial room service or the concierge, hotel guests text a number or short code with their request and receive a response directly from a staff member.

There are a few reason’s why a simple change like this could make a huge difference to both guests and staff.

  1. Studies show that more than 90% of respondents from the US and UK said that responding to hotel companies via text message would either be “very” or “somewhat” useful.
  2. Having a hotel as a contact you can text means your information is stored on your mobile phone. This makes hotels more personal and accessible than ever.
  3. Text messaging has the ability to build loyalty, improve review scores, and enhance the overall guest experience.
  4. 3.6 billion travel and hospitality brands are already utilizing SMS within their marketing. In order to remain competitive, you must continue to meet the new industry standards.

So, how do you make the switch? Up front there’s an undeniable investment of time and money. But if our hospitality clients have taught us anything, it’s that the ROI is fiercely attainable.

Getting Started With Room Service Texts in Four Steps

The first, and most obvious step, is to get your hotel set up with a text marketing provider (like us for instance 😉). Managing business texting from the back end is a little different from texting on a personal device.

You’ll have access to a host of features you don’t get on a smartphone, and of course you’ll be provided with the bandwidth to handle hundreds, even thousands of texts each month.

From there, you’ll be tasked with educating and advertising your text program to guests.

To boil it down to some actionable steps, here’s what it takes to get a program like this off the ground:

  1. Secure a unique short code, local toll free number, or text enable your existing 10-digit line with the help of a company like SimpleTexting.
  2. Create in-room and online marketing material for all guests advertising this number and instructing them how to text in their requst
  3. Train and instruct your staff on the new system. Familiarize concierge staff with your new dashboard and encourage them to monitor it just as they had stood by phones previously.
  4. Consider integrating your text marketing with other SaaS programs or an SMS API.

Examples of Room Service & Dining Text Requests

Today 10:15 PM
Could I get some more pillows in room 202? Thanks!
Our pleasure Ross. Does 2 extra pillows work?
That’s great.
Alright, someone should be up with those in 5 minutes!
Today 6:45 PM
Could I get a burger to room 2013?
Of course. How would you like that cooked?
Med. rare plz
Coming right up. Should be ready in 30 minutes or less! We’ll use the card on file at the front desk 😄.
Today 10:28 AM
Hello, there’s a leak in our bathroom sink.
I’m so sorry to hear about that. May we ask what room you’re staying in?
Room 1600
We’ll have someone up there ASAP. Could we offer you a new room Susan?

SMS Messaging in Hotels – The Future of Guest Communication

Finding new and innovative ways to communicate with your guests is exciting! Texting and other forms of hotel mobile marketing provide an affordable and easy way to set your services apart while remaining accessible across demographics. From millennials to baby boomers, everyone is texting.

The most important thing to remember is visibility. As great as your text messages may be, it won’t work if people don’t know about it. Our best tip is to be loud and proud about your newly text enabled services. Encourage guests to opt in to receive messages and make it as easy as possible for them to send you a message.

Before you know it, you’ll be among the same communication ranks as your guests close friends and family!

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