Everything hoteliers need to know about this messaging app!
WhatsApp was created 10 years ago and it revolutionized the way people communicate with each other and, more recently, the way people interact with businesses. This app became an integral part of the digital landscape. Hence, understanding WhatsApp and its role in the online experience is vital for hotels. Let me explain to you why with statistics!
According to Statista, in the first quarter of 2019, WhatsApp had more than half a billion daily active users worldwide. Thus, making it the most popular messaging app in the world — with 1.5 billion users in 180 countries! An impressive 65 billion messages are sent per day with an average of 29 million messages per minute! Similarly, two billion minutes per day are spent making voice and video calls.
WhatsApp knows messaging helps boost your business!
That is why in 2018, WhatsApp Business was launched, counting already with more than 3 million businesses! This platform was designed with the aim of facilitating client-customer communication. Thus, providing businesses with tools to automate, sort and quickly respond to messages. The app works similarly to WhatsApp Messenger and includes features such as a business profile to list important information (like e-mail or the website address) or statistics such as how many messages were successfully sent, delivered and read. As with standard WhatsApp, messages from businesses will be encrypted.
But wait, there is more!
The messaging app took the next step with the launch of an API that allows other solutions to be developed over WhatsApp. What does this mean? Businesses can provide customer support, use NLP to understand the context of user inputs and help them discover relevant products, make transactions, online payments, invoicing and receive updates or reminders.
Why should hotels embrace WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is extremely popular, being the top messaging app in 128 countries. People are accustomed to using it all day, every day and the statistics prove that! However, there are other reasons why hotels should start including messaging apps, in particular, WhatsApp on their communication strategy. For starters, it is no longer a secret that when guests want to communicate with hotel staff they often use messaging apps. This is due to the fact that the majority of requests and concerns are likely to occur during the stay and messaging allows guests to express their doubts on the spot! Thus, increasing their overall experience and satisfaction. Likewise, WhatsApp lets hotels to quickly respond to any inquiry and even set up automated messages!
In addition, if hotels use this platform they are offering guests a medium they are already familiar with, therefore increasing their comfort and making it more personal. Furthermore, almost no staff training is required since its something they probably use every day and if not, it’s very simple to teach how to use. Moreover, by having a WhatsApp account, hotels can be differentiated from competitors! Since small details are the ones that, at the end of the day, make the difference between an “average” hotel and an “excellent” one with “outstanding” customer care service.
In order to gain awareness for this channel, hotels should use pre-arrival emails as a means to share their WhatsApp number. The hotel’s website should also promote the medium and provide a link to WhatsApp to start the conversation. Furthermore, hotels should also add their WhatsApp information on social media profiles, for broader reach.
HiJiffy welcomes WhatsApp to the family!
We are always on alert to new trends, that’s why WhatsApp was added to the console! The chatbot is the same available in the widget and Facebook Messenger. So, in this way, you are able to manage all conversations from WhatsApp within the Console. Additionally, you can enable the bot to handle guest queries in WhatsApp and handing-off to a human agent whenever it thinks it is necessary.