How SMS Hospitality Services Improve Check-In and Check-Out Experiences

Hotel guest with luggage and checking phone.

A smooth hotel check-in process is a must-have for most travellers. According to a Cornell University study, a five-minute wait to check in lowers guest satisfaction. This may be why 60% of consumers are more likely to choose a hotel that allows guests to check in and open doors with a smartphone. Because only 40% of hotels offer mobile check-in capabilities, they can become an enticing differentiator—which is why so many businesses are starting to provide SMS hospitality services

Offering fast and personalized guest service, hotel text messaging continues to grow in popularity for both businesses and travellers, especially as convenience becomes more and more important for today’s hotel guests. 

Read on to learn how your business can use SMS hospitality services to provide an efficient check-in and check-out experience. 

SMS Hospitality Services Empower Teams to Quickly Send Reminders

Mistaken check-in times and missed check-out times can throw hotel schedules off their tracks, leading, in the worst cases, to disgruntled travellers camped out in your lobby. While many hotels do send check-in and check-out reminders through email, often these reminders are not read quickly enough to be useful.

Nearly all (97%) Americans text at least once a day, which means they’re likely to be carrying their phones with them as they travel. An SMS hospitality reminder is far more likely to reach guests than an email, increasing the chances that they will arrive—and leave—on time. These reminders can also be highly personalized. For example, if a hotel employee notices that a family of four is due to check out, he or she can ask whether the family will need a late checkout, since families often need the extra time. 

Hello, {{first name}}, this is {{agent name}} from Carmel’s Hotel. We would be happy to provide a late checkout (2:00 PM) tomorrow to your family. Please let me know if you’re interested in that. Reply with STOP to unsubscribe from future messages.

Of course, before you send any reminders, ensure that your guest has opted into your texting services and received an opt-in confirmation, which might look like this: 

Hello, {{first name}}, this is {{agent name}} from Carmel’s Drive In. Thank you for opting in to receive our texts. Reply with STOP to unsubscribe from future messages.

Pro tip: More and more, guests want a boutique hotel experience that features a personal touch. Advanced SMS hospitality platforms allow hotel staff to add contacts to lists, then schedule out a templated message that automatically personalizes check-in reminders with key information based on custom fields

SMS Hospitality Services Allow Staff to Easily Update Guests on Room Status

Even when your hotel staff does everything right, sometimes guests arrive early or rooms might not be ready. While this situation is understandably stressful for weary travellers, there are ways for hotel staff to alleviate their annoyance, ranging from a complimentary upgrade to a pair of drinks on the house. Two women checking phone.

With the help of SMS hospitality services, you can improve the wait. By telling waiting guests that you’ll send a text when you have a room update, you can allow your guests to begin their travels with comfort, leaving their suitcases at the bell desk to quickly see a local site or grab a snack at a nearby cafe. When their room is ready, you can send a quick text and ensure that they see it on time. 

Pro tip: Hotel staff should add their signatures to the bottoms of their texts. This way, guests will know that they’re texting with a human as opposed to a bot—adding that sought-after personal touch.

SMS Hospitality Services Enable Mobile-Centric Check-Ins 

Over 76% of travellers consider their phones their most important travel companions. In fact, a survey conducted by BookingSuite revealed that modern hotel guests wish they could do more with their phone, like request information about local activities (80%) and request extra items for their rooms (76%). 

To help tech-savvy travellers centralize their hotel experience on their favorite devices, your business can allow customers to conduct the entire check-in process via either traditional routes, such as at the front desk, or hotel text messaging. Hotel staff can either directly ask for guest information and confirmation numbers via SMS, or send a link to a website form that enables check-in. For room access, guests can either quickly pick up keys after showing ID or, to complete the mobile-centric experience, use a high-tech mobile key. In addition to this, guests should be able to text the concierge for any hotel spa or restaurant reservations, further centralizing their experience with your hotel. 

Pro tip: Boost the hotel experience further by engaging with guests via SMS; this lets them know that your hotel is SMS-friendly. For example, text a hotel guest who just checked in with a celebratory greeting and inform them that a free drink is available at the bar. 

SMS Hospitality Services Offer a Convenient Channel for Questions

Without fail, your guests will have questions. Whether these are pre-stay queries (Do you have any availability during the week of Labor Day?) or requests while they’re staying (Can you bring up a toothbrush?), they are often too timely for email. While phone calls are timely, most people feel uncomfortable making calls when they are trying to relax.

By providing a Q&A channel as part of your SMS hospitality services, your hotel will be able to answer questions immediately, improving the guest experience—and boosting overall guest loyalty. Ensure hotel staff members use guest history to provide tailored responses, further emphasizing the personalized service your hotel provides. 

Pro tip: Most SMS hospitality platforms provide shared inboxes, which receive and send guest messages from SMS and third-party apps, like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. In these shared inboxes, hotel staff can view all incoming messages and assign questions to relevant employees.

SMS Hospitality Services Provide an Easy Way to Ask for Check-In Reviews

Positive reviews of your sleek check-in experience are one of the best ways to attract guests to your hotel—and get them to try your modern check-in process. Ninety-one percent of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, while 84% of people trust them as much as they do recommendations from people they know. However, it can be difficult to get guests to take the time to leave a review.

Business text messaging has a response rate of up to 80%, according to Heymarket research, while email has a low response rate of 6%. Additionally, about 1 in 5 people will click a link in a text compared to just 4.2% for email. In other words, if you send a review request via hotel text messaging, it is likely that your guests will click on your link and add a review. Travellers can even complete reviews on smartphones as they travel via bus or train. 

Review requests can come in many forms, depending on your business. Request templates often follow the following format:

Hello, {{first name}}, this is Magnolia Pizza. Your order #{{recent order number}} has arrived. Text us if you have questions, or provide feedback on Google Reviews if you’re happy with your pie! {{review link}} 

Pro tip: When sending your review request, be sure to link to your platform of choice and mention that you’d specifically like feedback on the check-in experience. Top review platforms for hotels include Google Reviews, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.


Ready to offer a personalized check-in and check-out process with SMS hospitality services? Try our platform for free today

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