Expedia launches direct communication tool for hoteliers

Expedia PartnerCentral Conversations

The Expedia group has begun its rollout of Expedia PartnerCentral Conversations.  This new feature, which lives in Expedia PartnerCentral, encourages direct dialogue and engagement between hoteliers and booked guests, providing a more personalized experience for guests and enabling them to reach out directly to hotels to inquire about additional amenities and services.
Expedia PartnerCentral Conversations is designed to be an easy to use platform that opens the lines of communication between booked guests and hoteliers via a message center. Guests can start a conversation by asking a question or submitting a special request at time of booking. Alternatively, the hotelier can reach out directly to the guest. The tool allows hoteliers to:

Create first impressions and set guest expectations with a custom welcome message.
Build meaningful relations and enhance the guest experience by sharing check-in. details or alerting guests when their rooms are ready.
Acknowledge, confirm and manage special requests.
Provide information about the property’s services (spa, concierge, restaurant, etc.).

“Hoteliers have requested the ability to communicate directly with guests having made a booking across Expedia Group websites. EPC Conversations was developed to answer this need, allowing both the guest and the hotelier to interact with each other, to engage from the moment the reservation is made and create memorable stay experiences,” said Benoit Jolin, VP global product. ““According to a recent study by Gallup, on average, guests spend $457 per stay at their most frequently visited hotel over the course of 12 months, while engaged guests spend $588 per stay. Alternatively, actively disengaged guests spend $403 per stay. Gallup's analysis correlates a strong relationship between guests’ engagement with the hotel, and the amount of money they spend. EPC Conversations was designed to maximize guest engagement, creating opportunities for Expedia Hotel Partners to increase top line revenues.”
The initial rollout of Expedia PartnerCentral Conversations started in January to a select number of hotels.
“This past week I had a guest message us with a simple request,” said Emily Bertran, Customer Experience and Social Coordinator for Chicago Westin North. “She noted that it was for a special occasion. We were able to quickly respond, accommodate the request, and go above and beyond to make her stay really special. After she returned home, she used EPC Conversations to send a note praising the service and letting us know she would be returning. That’s exactly the type of guest engagement we want and EPC Conversations provides a straightforward platform to do it from.”