NEW YORK -- Guests at all Four Seasons hotels will soon be
able to communicate any questions or requests, from room service to drinks by
the pool to directions to the hotel, using an instant messaging service.
Already available in more than 70 hotels during its pilot
phase, Four Seasons Chat enables guests to send and receive messages with
on-property staff before, during and after their stay. It will be rolled out to
every Four Seasons in 2018.
The chat is available on the Four Seasons App, Facebook
Messenger, WeChat and SMS. Christian Clerc, Four Seasons' president of
worldwide operations, says the multi-platform option makes it the leading hotel
guest chat service, along with the ability to handle and translate chats into
more than 100 languages in real time, and with an average response time of two
In a pre-launch pilot program at 30 hotels, more than half
of guests introduced to Four Seasons Chat used the service,
Four Seasons said, sending an average of more than six messages during their
stay, engaging with the hotel much more than the typical guest.
Clerc said the chat is so successful because the chats are
treated like phone calls and handled by real people.
"It is immediately acknowledged, submitted to the
proper department, and traced so the operator can tell if the department has
followed up on it," he explained.
Guests who were lost "chatted their way back" to
the hotel, Clerc said.
Guests can use the chat to ask for anything they would
request from the front desk or over the phone, such as dinner reservations,
extra pillows, a wake-up call, or "running shoes because you forgot yours."
When guests are off-site, they can ask for directions or get advice on where to
go and where to eat.
The language translation means that a Chinese traveler in the
U.S., for example, can type a question in Chinese and it will translate to the
operator in English. When the response is sent, it is translated into Chinese.
The chat is already live at hotels in Paris, Lisbon, Dubai,
Istanbul, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Florida, Hawaii, Mexico City, Beijing
and Bora Bora.