WhatsApp has revolutionized how businesses communicate with their customers, and the hospitality industry, including hotels, is no exception.
With over two billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is a powerful tool for hoteliers to connect with guests, streamline operations, and enhance customer service.
But how can hotel businesses maximize WhatsApp for the hospitality industry?
This article will explore how hotels can leverage WhatsApp for communication, marketing, customer service, and feedback.
WhatsApp for Hotel
WhatsApp is a popular messaging app that allows users to send text, voice, video, and image messages to their contacts.
It also offers end-to-end encryption, group chats, voice and video calls, and other features that make it a convenient and secure communication tool.
But did you know that WhatsApp can also be used for hotel communication?
WhatsApp can help hotels connect with their guests, potential customers, and staff quickly and personally.
It can also help hotels improve their marketing and promotion strategies and their customer service and feedback processes.
This is also further strengthened by statistics that show:
- According to a survey by Phocuswright, 75% of travelers would use WhatsApp to communicate with a travel business.
- Another study by Quicktext found that hotels that use WhatsApp for communication can increase their direct bookings by 20%, their guest satisfaction by 15%, and their online reputation by 10%.
- 67% of travelers prefer using messaging apps to communicate with hotels for services like room service requests and inquiries.
These statistics show that WhatsApp is a valuable and effective channel for hotel communication.
How to Use WhatsApp for Hotel Marketing and Promotion
Here are some ways you can use WhatsApp for hotel marketing and promotion:
1. Send offers and deals
You can use WhatsApp to send personalized offers and deals to your guests and potential customers using WhatsApp Bulk Sender.
For example, you can send discounts, coupons, loyalty rewards, referral bonuses, etc. You can also use WhatsApp to send seasonal and holiday offers or announce new products or services.
Ensure you have the recipients’ consent before sending promotional messages on WhatsApp.
2. Manage guest arrival
You can use WhatsApp to communicate with your guests before they arrive at your hotel.
For example, you can send them a welcome message, confirm their reservation details, provide directions to your hotel, offer airport transfers or car rentals, etc.
You can also use WhatsApp to send check-in instructions or QR codes that guests can scan at the reception.
3. Send product recommendations
You can use WhatsApp to send product recommendations to your guests based on their preferences and needs.
For example, you can suggest activities or attractions near your hotel, recommend restaurants or bars, offer spa treatments or wellness services, etc.
You can also use WhatsApp to upsell or cross-sell your products or services by highlighting their benefits and value.
4. Collect feedback and reviews
You can use WhatsApp Blast to collect feedback and reviews from your guests after their stay at your hotel.
For example, you can ask them about their overall satisfaction, experience with your staff, opinion on your facilities and amenities, etc.
You can also use WhatsApp to encourage them to leave online reviews on TripAdvisor or Google My Business.
How to Use WhatsApp for Hotel Customer Service and Feedback
Not only for promotional purposes; WhatsApp can also be used for hotel customer service and feedback.
Here are some ways that you can do to enhance your customer service:
1. Provide instant support
You can use WhatsApp chatbot to provide instant support to your guests during their stay at your hotel.
For example, you can answer their queries, resolve their issues, handle their requests, etc.
You can also use WhatsApp to provide emergency assistance or crisis management for unforeseen events or situations.
2. Send notifications and reminders
You can use WhatsApp to send notifications and reminders to your guests during their stay at your hotel.
For example, you can send them confirmation messages, invoice receipts, check-out reminders, etc.
You can also use WhatsApp to send notifications about any changes or updates in your hotel policies or operations.
3. Build rapport and loyalty
You can use WhatsApp to build rapport and loyalty with your guests during and after their stay at your hotel.
For example, you can send them personalized messages, thank them for choosing your hotel, wish them a safe journey, etc.
You can also use WhatsApp to send follow-up messages, offer coupons or discounts for their next stay, invite them to join your loyalty program, etc.
How to Set Up a WhatsApp Business Account for Your Hotel
Before setting up an account, you must decide whether to use the WhatsApp Business app or the WhatsApp Business API.
The WhatsApp Business app is a free application that you can download on your smartphone. On the other hand, WhatsApp Business API is a paid service that allows you to integrate WhatsApp with other tools and give you advanced features.
How to Set Up WhatsApp Business Account for Hotel Business
- Download the app from your smartphone’s App Store or Play Store.
- Open the app and agree to the terms and conditions.
- Choose a mobile phone number for your hotel. You can use your existing number or get a new one. Make sure you have access to the number to verify it.
- Enter the verification code that you receive via SMS or phone call.
- Set up your business profile by entering your hotel name, logo, description, address, website, email, and hours of operation. You can also choose a category for your hotel from the list of options.
- Tap Done to finish setting up your WhatsApp Business account.
How to Set Up WhatsApp API Account for Hotel Business
If you choose the WhatsApp Business API, you need to register through an official partner or business solution provider (BSP) such as Mekari Qontak.
Qontak is a platform that helps businesses communicate with their customers on WhatsApp and other channels. Qontak can help you with:
- Getting a verified badge for your WhatsApp Business account
- Sending unlimited broadcast messages with WA API
- Customizing automated messages on their chatbot software for WhatsApp
- Integrating communication channels with other platforms
- Analyzing your WhatsApp performance
To register for the WhatsApp Business API through Qontak, you need to:
- Visit Qontak’s website and request a demo or a free trial.
- Fill in your contact details and business information.
- Choose a landline or toll-free phone number for your hotel. You can use your existing number or get a new one.
- Verify your phone number and business identity through Facebook Business Manager.
- Set up your business profile and messaging settings.
- Start using the WhatsApp Business API for your hotel communication.
Read More: What is WhatsApp Business API?
WhatsApp Travel and Hospitality Examples
How HolidayPirates Used WhatsApp for Hotels to Boost Engagement and Traffic
HolidayPirates, an international travel company, faced several challenges in their marketing efforts. They needed a faster and more scalable communication channel to deliver time-sensitive travel offers to their subscribers.
Additionally, they wanted to identify subscriber preferences and target them with relevant offers in real time. This task was difficult through email and other channels.
HolidayPirates’ adoption of the WhatsApp Business Platform led to remarkable results:
- A 53% increase in WhatsApp subscribers in just three months.
- A staggering 97% message open rate within WhatsApp.
- Impressive click-through rates of up to 40% on WhatsApp.
- There was a tenfold increase in subscriber engagement through WhatsApp compared to email.
- Enhanced traffic to their vendor partners, boosting their business.
The success of HolidayPirates’ WhatsApp strategy highlights the potential for hotels and travel companies to transform their marketing efforts.
Leveraging WhatsApp allows for real-time, personalized engagement with subscribers, leading to higher engagement rates and increased traffic.
This case study demonstrates the effectiveness of WhatsApp as a powerful tool for the hotel and travel industry, enabling them to stay connected with their audience and providing exciting opportunities in a rapidly changing market.
Revolutionizing Tourism Engagement: How Visit Valencia Foundation Leveraged WhatsApp for Hotels
Visit Valencia Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Valencia, Spain, faced several challenges during the famous Las Fallas festival.
They needed a way to inform tourists and residents about the numerous festival events, manage crowds more effectively, and encourage tourists to stay beyond the festival period.
Additionally, they wanted to address the bottlenecking of visitors in the city center and promote smaller businesses and local attractions.
By implementing a WhatsApp Business Platform chatbot called FallasBot, Visit Valencia Foundation achieved remarkable results:
- 99% cost savings per interaction on WhatsApp compared to in-person assistance.
- An impressive 82% re-engagement rate with visitors returning to FallasBot.
- A staggering 41x increase in customer engagement.
- Support for three times as many languages, making information accessible to a broader audience.
- Over 2 million visitors gained easy access to on-demand information about festival events.
Visit Valencia Foundation’s success story illustrates how leveraging WhatsApp can revolutionize tourism engagement for hotels and destinations.
They reduced costs and enhanced the visitor experience by providing information in multiple languages, reducing congestion, and promoting a more even distribution of tourists.
The foundation’s use of WhatsApp paved the way for future innovations, such as using QR codes to navigate and explore the city year-round, demonstrating the potential for hotels and tourism organizations to improve customer support and brand visibility.