ORLANDO—-Hotels are realizing the importance of messaging to build loyalty, increase engagement and enhance guest’s overall experience. According to Skift, an expected additional 1.1 billion new users are set to adopt messaging by the end of 2018, for a total of 3.6 billion users, making “messaging” the new social media. To help hoteliers stay competitive and communicate with their guests more efficiently, Intelity has designed a new Unified Messaging Portal to enable guests to place requests with hotel staff via the messaging channel of their choice, whether it be SMS text or social media.
“Mercury: Messaging” is Intelity’s new tool, being offered at ZERO cost for the SMS-only version to qualifying hospitality organizations or upgrade to the full version to include Facebook messaging.
“If you have a mobile device, then you likely have a messaging app on it,” said Gregg Hopkins, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Intelity. “Messaging apps have completely changed the way that people communicate, and they’ve become ubiquitous in today's world, especially in the travel industry. For hoteliers, a messaging platform will enable guests to access information and basic service offerings quickly and seamlessly. With more and more hotels looking for ways to create personalized experiences for guests, messaging apps are a desired channel for driving two-way communications.
“Whether the guest is at home, in route to the hotel, or lounging poolside, they will have the messaging tools they need to make requests instantly and efficiently,” he said. “Better yet, any company wanting to offer this two-way SMS messaging service to their customers can do so by white-labeling the Mercury technology from Intelity.”
Consider these statistics:
● Messaging apps are now 20% bigger than social networks. (Business Insider Intelligence)
● Studies have found that 36% of consumers using messaging apps are using two or more of them on their phones. The majority (64%) of consumers use at least one messaging app. (Media Kix)
● Texting is the most widely used and frequently used app on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans using it at least once a day. (Pew Internet)
● Over 80% of adults text, making it the most common cell phone activity. (Pew Internet)
● Text messages have a 98% open rate; email has only a 20% open rate. (Mobile Marketing Watch)
● Text messaging has a 45% response rate, while email only has a 6% response rate. (Velocify)
● Texting takes up 14.1% of cell phone users’ time. (Nielsen)
● 90% of all text messages are read in under 3 minutes. (Connect Mogul)
● 80% of people are currently using texting for business. (eWeek)
● One in five consumers is just as likely to prefer a text message from a business to a phone call. (ICMI)
“Messaging is becoming a big game changer for the hotels,” Hopkins said. “Most of the major chains have already begun implementing messaging into their branded apps. While apps are proving to be personalized, adaptive, and responsive, they are also expensive to develop and implement. Intelity created Mercury to collect data from guests (namely buying behaviors and preferences), so hotels could drive target marketing and leverage upsell opportunities.”
Today, Intelity is offering a single-channel SMS texting service version of Mercury FREE to any qualified hospitality organization. To receive it, hotels simply text their name, company name, and email address to Intelity at (407) 499-4030 to request an invitation to use Mercury. Once approved, Intelity will provide hoteliers with instructions on how to download Mercury. In doing so, hotel guests will have immediate access to a convenient portal to make requests, while hoteliers can use it to push through customer requests in a centralized interface resulting in more efficient hotel operations.
UPGRADE TO FULL MERCURY
Intelity has also developed a multi-channel version of Mercury that will extend the two-way SMS messaging service to the hotel’s social channels. This will enable travelers to communicate directly with the hotel via the hotel’s Facebook page, and will soon include Twitter and other means of communication. Mercury will route the message to the hotel and the appropriate staff member will provide a prompt reply.
“Mercury: Messaging is the perfect complement to any hotel’s mobile or digital strategy,” Hopkins said. “For those hotels that don’t already have the Intelity Guest Service platform, Mercury messaging will extend your hotel’s ability to remain in communication with guests beyond their initial stay. For those supplementing ICE: Control Panel with Mercury: Messaging or white labeling it as their stand-alone messaging app, this tool will keep your hotel top-of-mind for guests and engage with them along every step of their journey.”