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23 feb 2023

The Exhibitor Edit: Dirk Taselaar of Lacoly

The Exhibitor Edit: Dirk Taselaar of Lacoly

The Independent Hotel Show met with Dirk Taselaar, the creator of Lacoly which utilises WhatsApp to enhance guest experience for the hotel guest before, during and after their stay. 


How did Lacoly launch and what was the gap in the market that you saw?

We launched Lacoly in Spring 2022, due to seeing the lack of engagement with email communications for hoteliers we felt we could offer a platform to help combat this issue whilst making the guest communication as seamless as possible. We found a big opportunity to partner with WhatsApp which has often been proved to be more effective than emails as majority of people use it, and it can be used to more personalised. Lacoly can automate WhatsApp messages into the WhatsApp flow, add buttons into the messaging; therefore, making it extremely easy for a guest to click on a button to get more information. Or hotels can focus on sending a smaller number of informative messages with a variety of information and hotel guests can click on what is relevant to them. We can also easily collect additional details from the guests if required. Upselling is another function so we can facilitate upselling of products in the room, breakfasts, renting bikes, room upgrades etc. The platform can easily be tailored to meet the needs of the hotel.

How does Lacoly benefit hoteliers?

It increases revenue which for all hotels is of course a priority. We see a lot of revenue coming from the WhatsApp flows we offer. It is simple for guests to use to book extra items and from a time management prospective it allows guests and the hotel staff to avoid any unnecessary additional processes by offering automation, for example to check in and collect information from the guests prior to their arrival. Of course, it is very user-friendly and forms an extension of the guest experience. Questions from guests will pop up in the PMS or dashboard so it allows the hotel staff to assist immediately as well!

How does Lacoly benefit the hotel guests?

As I mentioned, it’s very user-friendly and in areas where WhatsApp isn’t as popular, we offer Facebook messaging and Instagram direct messaging to cover all guests. This makes it easy for guests to prepare of their trip; they’ll already know about the check-in times, parking issues etc. In addition, since hotels can find out their guests’ preferences prior to their arrival, hotels can offer more personalised experiences accordingly. Lastly, I think there is a growing group of guests that prefer to chat with a hotel instead of calling a staff member of the hotel. Using WhatsApp means they don’t have to go through the barrier of having to speak with someone.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

We are the only business in the market that offers the whole WhatsApp flow. The competitors are mostly sending emails or offer web-based information. As I mentioned before, everyone knows how to use WhatsApp, so it reaches a large audience. We can also make the messaging very personal, include names, arrival dates and times which allows hotels to oversee and take control of the guest experience in-house.

This service also allows the hotels to follow up with the guests after the stay – it is a much quicker and easier way to get feedback from the guests whilst their stay is still fresh in their mind. We have 5 options for the guests to select to rate their stay, 5 is very good stay, 1 is a bad experience by which you can ask ‘what’s happened’, ‘can we do anything to solve the issue’ and more. It is a much easier way rather than going back and worth over email or on the website. Lacoly is really a game changer to streamline the whole guest experience.

What can our hoteliers expect to see at your stand at IHA23?

I’m always talking about the WhatsApp experience and WhatsApp flows but when you actually get to see it, you realise how easy it really is to use and how each of the contrasting functions such as accepting payments, sharing forms etc. can be easily used for your guest communications. We can also share with visitors some case studies and statistics from our recent projects. For example, 85% of users clicked on to the buttons used in recent campaigns which proves how highly affective the Lacoly WhatsApp flows can be. Especially when compared to open rates of emails which is normally less than 20%. At one of the hotels we work with, we saw a ROI of 34 times from their hotel breakfast services through WhatsApp so we’re definitely seeing a lot of examples of how successful Lacoly can be for hotels and we look forward to showcasing the product at the show in March.

What do you enjoy most about exhibiting at trade shows and why did you choose Independent Hotel Show?

I really like to do business with Independent Hotels and the show allows me to have direct communication with the General Managers and Owners of hotels and be able to highlight how Lacoly works in real life. I have also visited the show before and always enjoyed the event, it is also great to reconnect with existing clients attending the show as well!

You can visit Dirk at Stand J52 to see Lacoly in action at #IHA23! 

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