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03/24/2017

San Diego Resort Increases Revenue with Text Messaging

With a 98 percent open rate and an average response time of 90 seconds, text messaging is not only a mainstream mode of communication today, but is the mode that consumers most prefer. Hotels and other businesses are beginning to adopt text messaging as a tool for customer relationship management (CRM), among other tactics such as marketing and promotions.  
 
In 2016, Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego’s 129-year-old legendary oceanfront beach resort began looking for ways to implement new technology enhancements for guests. In particular, it wanted to find a solution to allow guests to text message the property for real-time requests. Laura Brunner, Reservations Services Manager for Hotel Del Coronado ("The Del"), set out to find a messaging solution that would integrate with the hotel’s current guest management software, HotSOS by Amadeus, and also serve as a convenient tool for guests to message the hotel about anything and everything during their stay. The hotel selected Zingle, a two-way, business-and-customer communication software platform, to engage with guests in a real-time and personalized way through text messaging.
 
Messaging is key to communicating with guests and staff members in real-time
As an international destination, the 757-room property offers a variety of amenities including a full-service spa, several oceanfront restaurants and bars, pools, daily recreational activities and more. The hotel needed a solution that would allow guests to communicate conveniently, and in their preferred method, without having to send another email or pick up the phone on vacation. With the vast amenities that the property offers, a messaging solution would help The Del communicate the activities guests can experience, and also serve as a tool to promote and secure last-minute reservations. Ultimately, the hotel was looking for a way to offer a new perk for guests and simultaneously increase sales.
 
The key benefit of having the messaging platform in place today is that guests can make arrangements and schedule activities from the convenience of their beach towel or while seated for breakfast, and The Del can send reminders and schedules of what’s happening on the property straight to guests’ mobile devices.  
 
“Calls and emails are constantly coming into our services and front desk departments. Now, with Zingle, call volumes have decreased because our associates can reply instantly to text requests and inquiries,” Brunner said.
 
In just five months of using Zingle, The Del has decreased its call volumes and service response times as the text messaging service continues to grow and become known among guests. In September 2016, the property received an average of 60 text messages per day. By December, the services team was receiving an average of 133 messages per day that would have otherwise been phone conversations.
 
“Zingle has simplified communication for our guests,” Brunner said. “They now have the convenience of texting us anytime they want and we are able to quickly respond.  For common requests we’ve really sped up response time through our use of pre-defined templated responses that the whole staff leverages. Guests really love it and we get a lot of positive feedback.”
 
With a set of automated notifications defined in the system, The Del sends out messages  every day of the week to inform guests on activities and promotions on-property. Messages include:
  • A welcome note once guests check-in to the The Del or Beach Village at The Del
  • Three daily marketing messages: Morning messages include events taking place on property each day; Mid-morning messages inform guests of different promotions available; Late afternoon/evening messages inform guests of restaurants open for dinner reservations
  • A ‘thank you’ message upon check-out that asks guests if they need assistance with luggage or transportation
 

The Spa at The Del is particularly successful using Zingle for promotions. During slow periods, spa associates send messages to guests with offers using the automated notifications feature or in real-time. In one month, the spa generated $20,502 in services that would not have otherwise been booked. To achieve this impressive revenue increase, associates sent promotional messages to guests through Zingle, which resulted in 155 redemptions and numerous walk-ins.
 
“The spa has experienced tremendous success using Zingle. We previously didn’t have a real-time way to promote the spa offerings, and having this new tool allows us to generate new spa traffic and cultivate relationships with our clients,” said Holly Edgin, Director of Spa.
 
In addition to guest communications, Zingle is a helpful tool to deliver internal communications to Hotel Del’s nearly 1200 employees. With the translation feature on the Zingle platform, employees can choose if they want to receive messages in English or Spanish. The Del management team is now able to send quick reminders to all employees at once. These messages include HR and emergency updates, security issues, meeting reminders and more. Guests can also text in their native language as the platform translates in over 90 languages.
 
“Setting up Zingle was a very smooth experience. Our Zingle Account Manager, stayed on the property for two days to assist us with training and set up. She helped us set up automations, labels, templates and taught us about the administrative settings,” Brunner said. “She helped us set up the system to work best for our hotel property, and the system is very user friendly.”
 
A training video was also shared with the customer service and front desk representatives who would be using the system. Brunner estimates that training each staff member took just one hour. 
 
Reliable messaging solution results in increased efficiency
With Zingle, The Del is now able to communicate with guests in their preferred mode of communication, while increasing operational efficiency and revenue. In just a few short months, the hotel has been able to generate thousands of dollars in additional revenue, reduce service times and streamline internal and external communications.