/ / / /

We Need to Talk About The Fact That Hotels Want Us to Text Them

January 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM | by | ()

Has anyone else noticed that all the latest customer service movements have revolved around decreased interaction with the staff? From self-service check in to the growing trend of text message services, one would assume that hotel goers would rather not interact directly with anyone from the hotel.

Marriott and Hilton, for example, have for sometime allowed guests to request their car from the valet via text. And now a few hotels are experimenting with mobile concierge programs that enable guests to text for housekeeping (extra pillows, towels, etc.) or even dinner reservations.

The main reason for the rise in text technology within hotels is that it further addicts people to their smartphones saves a lot of time when compared to making a phone call, fosters relationship building between hotel staff and the guest.... hmm... well, maybe we had it right the first time.

Pretty interesting, don't you think? This is a completely different direction from what we've seen in the past, when good customer service centered around more interaction with the guest, not less. To say the least, we're a bit skeptical about whether this is truly something hotels should be spending their time and money on. Ford Blakely, the CEO of the company who created the text-based platform, told Travel Weekly that "written requests have less of a chance of being misunderstood."

This contributor couldn't disagree with that any more. E-mail and text messages have always had that "lost in translation" aspect to them, as many people formerly in relationships can probably confirm. And any claim that texts are faster than a phone call, especially in the case of restaurant reservations, are shaky at best.

What are your thoughts on this? Given all the other things hotels could be spending their money on, is text message technology something you see adding to the value of your stay? Or maybe hotels are just looking at this as a way to cut staff down the road? Hit us with your thoughts in the comments below.

[Photo: Mosio]

Archived Comments:

Hotels should become more efficient

Since hotels would typically have multinational staff, this is a very good way of helping with language barrier. I have been in situations where I had to explain and even spell out what I wanted from housekeeping and this text service would have helped me a lot.

This would also be effective during peak seasons when they would be receiving a lot of requests from in-house guests. This way guests would not be frustrated on waiting for someone to pick up the phone when they request for service.

What do the guests want

It is all about the guest experience, different generations have different expectations. While the "Greatest Generation", and "Baby Boomers" might not use this service, there are many "Gen X" and "Gen Y" that will. Some of the younger generations have a whole different view of what service looks and feels like. I believe that we should try not to fit everyone neatly in a "box" but give options for our guests would like to communicate.