The Reservation Recession

CHAPTER 6

6 Steps to Streamlining and Scaling Guest Communication

Optimize guest communication so you can scale your business

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When you’re bogged down by a constant stream of guest inquiries and requests, you’re left with little time to focus on growing your business. This can be especially frustrating when your front desk or management staff are constantly getting asked the same questions about directions, Wi-Fi, parking, and amenities. 

 

But by streamlining guest communication, you can free up hours of the week for you and your staff. Plus, you’ll have happier guests who get answers to their questions before they even have to ask them (and rapid response times when they occasionally do). 

 

Discover how you can grow your short-term rental or hotel business while giving your guests an optimal experience in six simple, actionable steps. 

Make guest communication a strong point of your operations. 

Discover how Operto Guest can help you streamline guest communication and give you back hours each week.

Scale your business without sacrificing the guest experience  

 

Not only does streamlining guest communication delight your guests, but it also frees up time so that you can work on your business rather than in your business. Take a look at some of the benefits of creating an optimal guest engagement strategy

 

Reduce mistakes

When you optimize your communications processes, it helps you to cut back on mistakes. Rather than becoming overwhelmed by notifications, you’ll be able to stay on top of guests’ messages and inquiries so you never miss a response. 

 

Missing an early check-in request message could mean the room isn’t clean when the guest arrives. Or responding too late to an extended stay inquiry could mean a missed opportunity for an upsell. 

 

Having efficient and organized communications will help you cut back on mistakes, ultimately improving the guest experience and increasing revenue. 

 

Get staff focused on creating better guest stays

When your staff isn’t bogged down by guest inquiries and messages, they can focus on the other key elements of providing an exceptional guest experience. 

 

For example, when your front desk employees don’t have to spend the majority of their day answering guest questions, they can be more attentive and proactive in their service, get to actually know guests, make personalized recommendations, and do a far better job of ensuring their stay exceeds expectations.

 

Plus, streamlining guest communication can even help you cut down on your staffing needs. Less real-time guest requests mean less staff needed to address them, so you can reduce your staffing expenses and reinvest that money into your business. 

 

Start thinking about your business at a higher level

Clearing up time that you used to spend communicating with guests allows you to move out of survival mode and into a growth mindset. When you streamline guest communication, you can focus on scaling your business rather than merely running it. 

 

This is especially true when you streamline your internal communication methods as well. When it’s easy for your staff members to communicate with each other, it helps everyone get their job done in the most efficient way possible. That way, you can focus on the bigger picture rather than be constantly following up to make sure a task has been completed. 

Operto Guest messaging dashboard
With Operto Guest, you can view all your guest conversations in one platform, helping you to keep in touch with your team and stay on top of operations.

With Operto Guest, see all your guest messaging in one place, alongside the key booking information you need at any given time.

How to streamline guest communications in 6 steps

With the following six tips, you’ll be able to streamline guest communication so you can focus on providing an exceptional guest experience and scaling your business. 

 

Step 1: Map out their touchpoints 

To effectively communicate with your guests, you need to know where they’re at during every step of their journey. This includes the pre-stay, in-stay, and post-stay phases of their experience. 

 

During each phase, pay attention to the opportunities you should prioritize. For example, during the pre-stay phase, this could mean proactively addressing questions about your property, check-in process, and arrival. During the post-stay phase, this would mean focusing on getting reviews and promoting guest loyalty. 

 

Engaging with guests at every step of the journey will help them feel better connected to you. When you engage with your guests pre-stay, you reduce the probability of cancellations. By meeting them at every step of the in-stay and post-stay journey, you promote brand loyalty and increase the probability of repeat and direct bookings. 

 

One of the best ways to ensure you’re engaging with guests at every step of their experience is by mapping out the guest journey touchpoints. Take a look at a few examples of touchpoints in the customer journey where you can be proactive about having clear and streamlined communication: 

 

Pre-Stay

  1. Digital guidebook
  2. Automated access codes
  3. Contactless check-in

 

In-stay

  1. White-label web app
  2. Mid-stay check in
  3. Custom upsells

 

Post-stay

  1. Review request
  2. Referral incentives
  3. Special direct booking offers

With Operto Guest, send digital guidebooks, automated access codes, and more, all within a branded, customizable web app. 

Want to learn more?

Step 2: Answer questions proactively with digital guidebooks

Digital guidebooks are one of the key pre- and in-stay touchpoints. When you send a branded digital guidebook to your guest moments after making their reservation, you begin to build trust and reduce the probability of cancellation—they’ll already be invested in their stay from the minute they book.

 

But perhaps more importantly, digital guidebooks help to significantly reduce guest enquiries. By answering their questions before they even have a chance to ask them, you minimize the number of guest messages flooding your inbox every day. 

 

Take a look at some useful information to include in your guidebooks. This content will enhance the guest experience while helping you optimize your hotel operations: 

 

  • Directions and parking information
  • WiFi password 
  • House/room manual
  • Appliance troubleshooting
  • Local area guides
An image showing amenities and house manual sections of Operto Guest digital guidebooks

Create comprehensive digital guidebooks with Operto Guest to cut back on guest inquiries, saving you time and delighting your guests.

Step 3: Use automated processes to minimize error, save time, and improve response times

Where you can, automate your processes to save time and minimize errors. There are a number of benefits to automating your guest communication processes, including faster response time, less pressure on your front desk or management staff, and more time to focus on bigger picture tasks. 

 

You can automate pre-stay information, like access codes and digital guidebooks, as well as in-stay and post-stay messages to check up on your guests and request a review after they check out.

 

Automating these processes also means you never forget to send an access code before a guest’s stay, and you won’t forget to share the parking instructions before they arrive—you guests will have already seen them in your digital guidebook. 

 

Step 4: Centralize your ops and comms

Another way you can make your job easier and free up time to focus on growing your business is by centralizing your operations and communications. When you can find everything you need to manage your short-term rental business or hotel in one place, it’s easier to stay organized and on top of all your tasks. 

 

That’s why you should choose a guest engagement platform with a manager’s dashboard that gives you a clear overview of guest communication, internal communication, and other information that’s pertinent to your operations, such as room status and occupancy. 

 

When you streamline operations in your short-term rental or hotel business, you also cut back on errors, in turn improving the guest experience by being quicker and more precise. Plus, optimizing these aspects of your business gives you the organization necessary to scale it. 

With Operto Guest, send auto-generated unique door codes to your guests before their stay, meaning fewer last-minute questions before check-in.

Step 5: Make it easy for guests to contact you

Your ultimate goal should be to limit the messages guests need to send to you. But when they do reach out, it should be a smooth experience on both ends. That’s why you need to find the right guest communication platform. 

 

Text messaging and email can be cumbersome, and you want a solution that displays all your messages, in one place. That’s why a branded web app, which allows for seamless two-way messaging between you and your guests, is the ideal solution. 

 

With a web app, guests aren’t obligated to download yet another native mobile app on their smart device, but they still get the convenience of constant contact with you and your team.

Image showing the direct messaging feature of the Operto Guest web app
Your guests can speak directly with you through Operto’s branded web app.

Step 6: Evaluate and improve

Finally, the key to streamlining guest communication, along with optimizing your operations, is evaluating your performance. By doing so, you’ll know exactly which parts of your business you need to work on to improve productivity and guest satisfaction. 

 

Track KPIs like response time through OTAs and booking engines so you know whether you’re getting back to guests quickly enough. You should also monitor which touchpoints generate the most questions.  

 

Do guests always message you a few days before their stay requesting their access codes? Set up an automated message that sends the codes a week before check-in. Are people always asking how to use the coffee maker? Add that information to a guidebook. By looking at exactly where in their journey guests get stuck and reach out for help, you can modify your guidebooks and automated messages to preemptively provide answers. 

 

Optimized communication for satisfied guests and smooth operations

When you streamline guest communication, you don’t only provide guests with an exceptional experience: You also free up time for you and your staff to address more pressing matters and focus on growing your business. 

 

With the right tools, like a branded, customizable app that includes direct messaging and digital guidebooks, you can optimize guest communication with ease and spend your time doing what’s important to you—improving and scaling your business. 

Harness the power of digital guidebooks, a white-label guest app, and contactless check-in, all with Operto Guest.

Want to see how Operto can help streamline guest communication and operations?

Frequently asked questions about streamlining guest communication

What are the steps to have good guest communication?

The steps to having good guest communication include mapping out the touchpoints of the guest journey, answering questions proactively, automating messages where possible, centralizing your communications and operations, making it easy for guests to contact you, and evaluating your processes so you can improve them. 

 

How can we improve communication in the hotel industry?

There are a number of ways to improve communication in the hotel industry and increase guest satisfaction. The first step is to employ proactive communication techniques through tools like digital guidebooks. Another way is to automate communication where possible to speed up response time.

 

How do you exceed guest expectations in a hotel?

As a hotel operator, the guest experience should exceed their expectations. One way to do this is by creating a streamlined communications process that allows you to answer your guests’ questions before they have to ask them, as well as address guest inquiries in a timely manner when they do arise. 

 

What is the number one complaint about the guest experience?

One of the top complaints about the guest experience in the hospitality industry, whether you’re running an Airbnb or a five-star hotel, is poor communication. When communication falls short, guests often gripe about having to wait around for answers to their questions. You can eliminate this complaint by streamlining guest communication in your hotel or short-term rental business.