How Great Wolf Resorts Is Using RCS Messaging to Ease Vacation Planning

By: 3C The Messenger – February 5, 2019

Digital transformation is a journey many brands are embarking on today and nowhere is this more apparent than the hotel industry, with guest interactions being re-imagined daily in order to keep pace with the ever-increasing digital and mobile demands of consumers.  The challenge is real, as consumers now spending three hours per day on their smartphone according to eMarketer.

Great Wolf Resorts, the largest chain of indoor water park resort hotels, has taken this challenge head-on and has begun their journey to digital and mobile transformation to stay ahead of the needs of their consumers. Having already developed a mature mobile strategy that includes SMS for on-property notifications and a mobile app for most concierge services, the Great Wolf team turned to RCS messaging (Rich Communication Service) to take their mobile strategy to the next level and into the future of mobile messaging.

Launched earlier this year in partnership with 3C, the Great Wolf RCS chatbot takes full advantage of the rich features enabled by RCS. Guests are presented images using rich cards and carousels. Responses are simplified through suggested replies and actions.  This app-like experience, available directly through the native messaging client, helps travelers find locations, explore activities and attractions, and book their room – anytime, anywhere.

We caught up with Michelle Bossemeyer, Digital Experience Product Manager at Great Wolf, to talk about why they were eager to jump into RCS, how it fits into their overall digital strategy, and how they are measuring success with the new channel.

3C: What initially sparked your interest in RCS?

MB: RCS is at an intersection of new channels like conversational commerce and traditional channels like SMS messaging and websites.  We get the convenience of texting, but the richness of images and content to inspire our audience.

In addition to the rich features it brings, we’re looking at RCS as a great opportunity for us to learn how guests want to interact on this new channel and build a strategy to best fit their needs while it reaches scale similar to traditional SMS. It allows us to test and learn in a risk-free environment.

3C: How does RCS fit into how you think about your mobile/digital strategy overall?

MB:  As we continue to evolve our digital guest experience, we are always looking for new ways to engage our guests in rich, interactive experiences they have come to expect.  We see RCS messaging as another touch-point in our guest journey to engage guests and future guests in exploring, considering, booking, and enjoying a stay at Great Wolf Lodge.

3C: In what ways are you looking to RCS to enhance the guest experience and how will you measure success?

MB: Our current functionality of RCS messaging hits the research phase of our guest journey.  The content allows guests to become familiar with the Great Wolf offers and links out to more information or booking on the website.

We are measuring entries to the website and conversion from this channel as a key performance indicator. Just as important, we’re leveraging this opportunity for consumer feedback and learnings to enhance our RCS and mobile strategy, as well as future applications of conversational interface.

You can learn more about RCS here.


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