The future of hotel communication: How WhatsApp is changing the game

Miodrag Magyar
Published January 2, 2023
Last updated July 20, 2023
The future of hotel communication: How WhatsApp is changing the game

WhatsApp is quickly becoming a vital tool in the world of hotel communication. The most popular messaging app has more than two billion users in over 180 countries worldwide. For businesses aiming to reach the biggest audience in the world, WhatsApp Business Platform offers a range of features that make it a valuable tool for marketing, sales, and customer relationship management.

Benefits of using WhatsApp in the hotel industry

WhatsApp has a lot to offer hotels looking to enhance their guest experience and streamline operations. Here are a few reasons why you should integrate WhatsApp into your marketing strategy if you run a hotel:

Convenience

One of the most significant advantages of using WhatsApp for hotel communication is its convenience. Guests can easily reach out to hotel staff anytime, ask a question, make a request, or simply say hello. This level of accessibility can go a long way in improving the guest experience.

Personalization

Another benefit of using WhatsApp is its ability to personalize communication. Hotels can run WhatsApp campaigns and tailor their communication to guests’ specific needs and preferences. This can help you build stronger relationships with your guests and encourage loyalty.

Unfortunately, the WhatsApp Business app does not allow you to personalize your messages for each customer in your broadcast list. However, if you’re looking to implement personalized campaigns, you can explore the WhatsApp Business Platform/API, but more on that further below.

Ideal for internal communications

In addition to its use for guest communication, WhatsApp can also be a valuable tool for hotel staff. Hotel employees can use the app to communicate with each other and coordinate tasks more efficiently.

As more and more hotels embrace WhatsApp as a crucial part of their communication strategy, it’s clear that WhatsApp is changing how hotels interact with guests and manage their operations. Whether it’s for booking reservations, answering questions, or simply staying connected, WhatsApp is becoming an increasingly important tool for the hotel industry.

Before we discuss how WhatsApp is revolutionizing hotel communication, let’s take a look at a few essential things about WhatsApp Business:

About WhatsApp Business app

WhatsApp Business app is a free-to-download messaging app designed specifically for businesses. It’s available for Android and iOS devices, and you can use it to communicate with your guests through chat, automated messages, and phone calls. Some of the features of WhatsApp Business app include:

  • Business profile: A public profile that provides information about your hotel. It includes your business name, a description, and contact information, such as an email address, street address, and phone number. Guests can access your WhatsApp Business profile by tapping your name in the chat list or scanning a QR code.
  • Product Catalog: You can create a catalog of your hotel rooms, venues, and services, which guests can browse and book directly through WhatsApp.
  • Broadcast: A feature that allows you to simultaneously send a message to up to 256 contacts. It’s similar to a group chat, but the broadcast recipients won’t see who else received or responded to the message.
  • Quick replies: You can set up pre-written responses to common questions to quickly respond to guests without repeatedly typing out the same message.
  • Labels: You can organize your chats and messages by labeling them with custom tags, making it easier to find and respond to specific conversations.

As I mentioned earlier, the WhatsApp Business app can help micro-businesses manage customer relationships and enhance their marketing strategy. However, for small businesses and enterprises, the app does come with some significant drawbacks and limitations:

  • Only five devices can be connected to the WhatsApp Business account, and only one of them at a time can be a mobile phone.
  • If you use the WhatsApp Business app to send a broadcast message, only guests who have saved your business number in their phone’s address book will receive it.
  • Broadcast lists are limited to only 256 contacts.
  • No detailed analytics and reports, only insights on sent, received, and read messages.
  • No integrations.
  • Only basic automation.

The good news? All these limitations and drawbacks can be avoided when you upgrade to the WhatsApp Business Platform/API.

About WhatsApp Business Platform/API

The WhatsApp Business Platform/API can be a valuable tool for hotels to communicate with guests and offer customer service at a whole new level. There’s an arsenal of advanced tools and features that you can leverage to grow your business and scale your communications:

Shared WhatsApp Inbox

The WhatsApp Business Platform/API does not have a user interface, so to use it, you’d need to connect it to a Shared WhatsApp Inbox such as Rasayel.

rasayel inbox.png

Rasayel makes it easier for you to operate and grow on the WhatsApp Business Platform. Our customers close 90% of their deals on Rasayel, cut support time in half, and build better relationships with their customers and communities.

So, how does Rasayel make that possible?

  • WhatsApp team inbox for sales, support, and customer engagement
  • Workflow automation
  • No-code WhatsApp chatbot builder
  • Personalized WhatsApp broadcasts to unlimited contacts
  • Crazy powerful APIs (See developers.rasayel.io)
  • Native HubSpot CRM integration for sales teams
  • Native Shopify integration for eCommerce teams
  • Native Medusa.js integration for lovers of the open-source eCom platform
  • Supports 5000+ apps with Zapier integrations
  • Multi-team support
  • Roles & permissions for large and enterprise teams
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android

Advanced broadcasts and message templates

The WhatsApp Business Platform/API allows you to send large-scale campaigns to an unlimited number of contacts rather than being limited to a maximum of 256 contacts per broadcast list. You can send a customizable and personalized message to a large number of recipients using message templates that include variables and placeholders.

You can also create interactive messages that allow recipients to choose an answer from several options or take action by tapping on their desired option. Remember that WhatsApp must approve all message templates before they can be sent to guests, which typically takes about 24 hours.

Creating an interactive WhatsApp template in Rasayel.

You can use placeholders in your template to customize the message for each customer. A placeholder is a variable replaced with a specific value before sending the message. Double curly braces around a number indicate placeholders. Using placeholders allows you to personalize your message and make it more effective.

Integrations

The WhatsApp Business Platform/API can be connected to your own app, your CRM, your customer communication platform, or any other tool you use to automate your work and support your guests.

Rasayel just introduced a game-changing feature in our HubSpot integration! You can now access WhatsApp message data within the activity logs of each contact, allowing you to generate insightful reports on WhatsApp message activities and analyze them by agents.

An example of a workflow in Rasayel Hubspot integration

Rasayel provides seamless integration with Zapier, empowering you to effortlessly connect WhatsApp with a vast array of over 5000 online apps and platforms. This integration opens up a world of possibilities, allowing you to streamline your workflows and automate tasks across various systems, all while leveraging the power of WhatsApp.

Complex automation

The API provides you with complete access to WhatsApp’s Business features. The programmable nature of the channel gives you unlimited options to tailor your communication tools. From setting up welcoming messages to building high-level chatbots to handle the most common customer queries.

bots5.png

To learn more about WhatsApp chatbots, read our post: “Everything you need to know about WhatsApp chatbots.”

Analytics and reports

With WhatsApp Business Platform/API, you can get metrics about your messages and conversations. Analytics are essential for tracking critical KPIs that help you determine how your marketing strategy is doing.

Tips for using WhatsApp in the hotel industry

WhatsApp can be integrated with a hotel’s system to automate guest communication. This can improve customer satisfaction by providing updates and messages from the hotel’s system through WhatsApp.

There are several ways that you can use WhatsApp to communicate with your guests, such as sending pre-arrival messages with booking and travel details, sending messages during the arrival process to expedite check-in, sending messages during the mid-stay period to address any issues or problems that may arise, and sending post-stay messages with greeting and feedback survey links.

Pre-arrival stage:

Sending messages to guests before their arrival at the hotel can improve customer satisfaction and demonstrate the hotel’s concern for their guests. These messages should include booking and travel details and can help retain customers and provide other benefits.

Here’s a template you can use for your pre-arrival message:

Thank you for choosing to stay with us, {{1}}. Your reservation has been confirmed, and we are excited to host you on {{2}}.😊

If you have any questions or need any special services, please don't hesitate to contact us. If you need more information about your booking, please visit {{3}}.

We hope you will have a great stay, and we look forward to welcoming you.❤️

prearrival.jpg

Message at arrival

During the arrival stage of a guest’s visit, you can communicate the registration and room assignment process to the guest. This can help prepare the guest for the check-in process and make it more efficient.

You can send this message template when the guest arrives at your hotel:

It's a pleasure having you here, {{1}}! Welcome to Scarlet Arc Hotel.🏨

Your Wi-Fi password is {{2}}.
Your room is now ready. We have a handy concierge right on {{3}} to access the latest updates and information related to the amenities, special services, add-ons, food menu, on-site restaurant, weather details, things to do, etc.

We wish you a pleasant stay.💖

at arrival.jpg

Mid-stay message

In the mid-stay period, if a guest experiences any issues, such as Wi-Fi or elevator problems, they can contact the hotel through WhatsApp to resolve them. This provides a timely solution to the guest and reassurance that their concerns are being addressed.

You can use this message template during the mid-stay period:

It's a pleasure having you here, {{1}}. 💖

We are following up to ensure everything you need meets your expectations. Please do not hesitate to let us know if anything is missing or if you have concerns.

midstay.jpg

Post-stay message

You can send a post-stay message at the check-out stage to ask the guest about their experience. This can include a greeting message and a link to a short survey to provide feedback on the services received. You can use this feedback to identify areas for improvement and, if the feedback is positive, as a marketing opportunity.

Here’s an example of a post-stay message:

How are you doing, {{1}}?

Thank you for trusting us with your visit. We would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to share your experience with us by filling out the following survey on {{2}}.

We hope you had a fulfilling stay, and with this, we also hope to see you soon!

post stay.jpg

Promotional messages

With WhatsApp, you can cater to your customer’s unique preferences and ensure their every need is met with efficiency and care. Whether it’s promoting hotel services or organizing exciting excursions, WhatsApp enables you to deliver exceptional concierge services that go above and beyond expectations.

WhatsApp promotional message for hotels.

Conclusion

WhatsApp is increasingly used as a communication tool in the hotel industry due to its convenience, ability to personalize communication, and practicality for internal communications. Its features, such as a business profile, product catalog, broadcast, quick replies, and labels, make it a valuable tool for marketing, sales, and customer relationship management. As more hotels adopt WhatsApp in their communication strategies, it is becoming an essential tool for the industry in terms of interacting with guests and managing operations.

If you’d like to learn more about how WhatsApp can help you grow your business, please reach out to us on WhatsApp at +13024070488.

We also offer a free consultation session where we review your use case, answer any questions about WhatsApp, and help you build a strategy to make the best out of the platform. Book a call with us here. We’d love to speak with you:

For Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

For North and South America.