Optimally managing reservations in a hotel organization is essential for the quality of the customer's stay as well as to avoid economic losses in the company. Practically all hotels have a management software that helps the correct organization of all processes related to reservations and customer service. This type of software integrates communication channels with customers such as: SMS, Email and more recently WhatsApp. WhatsApp Business for hotels has become a very useful tool for reservations and customer service communications.
It is a channel dedicated to transactional use, i.e. sending information of an informative nature after a customer request.
How to use this app
First of all, to access the WhatsApp Business service it is necessary to request access to its API. To do this, you must verify your business in Meta (Facebook) Business Suite. Please note that your business must adhere to WhatsApp's business policies.
WhatsApp Business for hotels is a transactional app, i.e. it consists of information sent after an specific request from the user. It is not allowed to use the app for advertising or promotional purposes, otherwise WhatsApp will close your account. Likewise, it is not allowed to send bulk messaging. So you may be wondering: What can I do with WhatsApp Business?
WhatsApp Business API only allows sending predefined templates validated by WhatsApp's own system. If it is the hotel that initiates the conversation with the customer, it will be the latter who will have to give prior consent to receive messages (opt-in). On the other hand, when it is the customer who is the first to contact the hotel, it is not necessary to activate permission.
These messages consist of notifications addressed to support or customer service and may include:
- Appointment reminders.
- Order or delivery status information.
- Issue resolutions.
- Payment notifications.
That said, WhatsApp Business allows you to do the following:
- Have a company profile with contact details.
- Create a system of messages and quick responses.
- Implement a ticketing system for contacts.
- Register bookings and send confirmations.
- Send notifications of interest to the customer.
- Send invoices, multimedia content (images, audios, videos, etc.).
What are the uses of WhatsApp Business for hotels?
The most popular app allows you to perform the following tasks:
- Send booking confirmations with user data, details of the stay, date and time. This information includes the possibility to modify or change the reservation. It also provides contact information with the hotel, either through a phone number or contact form.
- Send multimedia content and files. This is another WhatsApp Business feature. It allows sending images, videos and other files in different formats (pdf, txt). For example, an invoice or images of the destination or residence.
- Auto-reply with programmed answers for customer service. This is a way to give quick and programmed answers to customer questions in an automated way.
Benefits of WhatsApp Business for hotels
- It is no secret that WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging app today. Exchanging transactional communication through the most widely used app globally will create more trust in users.
- It is a fast and secure communication channel. Sending and receiving messages on WhatsApp has become a natural habit. Communication is very fluid and also reliable. WhatsApp encrypts user conversations making it a secure and private channel.
- It integrates seamlessly with management software. Managing booking communications in a hotel is a challenge. This tool will help in the organization and perfect adjustment of the hotel's agenda. It helps to avoid losses due to cancellations and to reorganize bookings.
- Coverage is another great advantage. With WhatsApp Business you can send messages to any country in the world using a dedicated number. It means that you can contact your customers regardless of the country they come from.
Other channels to complement WhatsApp Business
WhatsApp Business for hotels is a really efficient app. In the same way, there are other digital channels that can complement each other in communication with customers. Making use of several channels will help us to expand coverage and effectiveness. Some of these channels are:
SMS: Text messages are really necessary when it comes to sending booking confirmations. There are still people who do not have smartphones or are not even WhatsApp users, that is why we should not overlook this channel. Sending a confirmation by SMS and WhatsApp simultaneously guarantees us that the client receives the specific message.
Email: This is a channel that cannot be missed in transactional communications for hotels. In this industry, it is really useful to send invoices to the customer's email, as well as post-stay quality surveys. This will help us to obtain positive feedback from customers and thus to know the opinions and ratings of our customers. Another interesting use is to send promotions with offers to a premium customer.
Automated voice calls: This is a channel that makes it possible to send a message played in the form of an automatic call, both to landlines and cell phones. This channel can complement communications for customer service management.
We help you to integrate an efficient app for hotel management
Having the WhatsApp Business in hotel management and communication will help you to improve the agenda and engagement with customers. In addition, complementing communication with other channels will strengthen the capabilities of the organization.
At Afilnet we work hand in hand with hotels helping them to improve B2C communications. If you are interested in implementing the WhatsApp Business channel for hotels, visit our website and contact us.