Mobile Messaging 202
Equip your staff to communicate with guests over mobile apps.
Messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are important tools for engaging today’s owners and guests. (For more information, read “Message Matters.”) But how can resorts best integrate these apps into operations and interactions with guests? Adrienne Callandrello, director of social media at RCI, gives us the rundown.
Plan for all hours.
“With more and more owners and guests having access to smartphones and social media, they turn to [messaging apps] to get fast responses to customer-care issues,” Callandrello says. She recommends responding within one or two hours during the business day and having a plan for nights, weekends and even holidays. If you choose for your resort to not be active on mobile on nights and weekends, set up an automatic reply with details on the best alternative for reaching your resort during its off hours, such as the phone number.
Create a consistent, human voice.
Draft guidelines for appropriate tone and sample salutations to be used in written communication and share them with your staff. “With so many companies turning to bots to do their customer care, it’s important to ensure that resorts’ responses are empathetic, genuine and authentic,” Callandrello says. Let guests know that a person is responding to their messages by having staff sign off with their first name or initials.
Develop a standard operating procedure.
When an emergency arises, such as a power outage, natural disaster or extreme weather, have a plan in place so that you and your staff can update guests via app or phone as quickly as possible. “It’s important to know who needs to be contacted by resort staff in order to gather as much information as possible to share with the guest, or who the guest can contact directly,” Callandrello says.
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