Set up your messaging flow
How to re-configure your guest communication flow.
This article provides guidance on how to integrate the Autohost-related messages into your current workflow. The purpose of these messages is to help automate the Guest screening process, thus minimizing the need for manual, back-and-forth communication with the Guest.
For an overview of the entire process and to better understand where messaging fits into the guest journey, check out The Autohost Process Flow
Modifying the Existing Message Flow
This implementation will involve transitioning some current messages (aka "Old Flow") to a new set of messages (aka "New Flow").
Current "Old" Flow of messages:
- At booking confirmation: "Thank you for booking. We'll send you the check-in instructions soon."
- A few days before check-in: "Here are the check-in instructions.."
Revised "New" Flow of messages:
- _At booking confirmation: "_Thank you for booking, please follow this LINK to confirm your reservation" (i.e complete the Guest Portal)
- Approaching check-in: "Reminders to complete the Guest Portal" (if applicable*)
- A few days before check-in: "Here are your check-in instructions" (if Verified*)
* NOTE: You will notice some of the messages rely on certain conditions to be met. To account for these requirements, depending on your PMS, you will either utilize conditional rules through your PMS's message setup capabilities, or utilize Autohost Stargate.
Messages to Add
In your communication with Guests, you will use three types of messages to invite them to the Autohost Guest Portal. A few messages will require modifications, whilst one of the messages is brand new (Reminders). See below:
- Booking Confirmation: This message is your first contact with the Guest. Here, you will modify your existing message copy to notify the Guest that their booking is not yet confirmed. In order to finalize the booking, the Guest will need to complete the Guest Portal (for registration / verification / confirmation purposes).
- Reminders: When Guests who have not yet completed their Guest Portal, you can set reminder messages. These messages can be scheduled to be sent at specific intervals throughout the booking process -- be it 24 hours after booking, 4 hours before check-in or anything in between (Reminder 1, Reminder 2, Reminder 3.., Reminder Urgent). See 'Best Practices for Reminders' note below for ideas on how to word your messages.
- Check-in Instructions: In this message template, we only change the conditions for sending a message. You can set your check-in instructions to be sent if (or when) the Guest is Verified. With this step, you don't have to compromise your safety and send check-in instructions to a guest who has not been fully vetted!
Depending on your business practices and screening requirements, you may choose to use more or fewer messages in your flow.
Best Practices for Reminders
Friendly Reminders: To encourage completion of the Guest Portal's, it's recommended that you set up a number of friendly reminders, scheduled to be sent post-booking. These reminders can be scheduled between 3 hours, 24 hours and 48 hours after the Booking Confirmation email has been sent.
Note: friendly follow-ups with the guest are encouraged, while their booking is still top of mind.
Urgent Reminders: If the Guest's arrival date is approaching, and they still have not completed the Guest Portal has, urgent reminders can scheduled to be sent pre-check-in. In these messages, it's recommended that you use wording that emphasizes to the Guest the importance of completing the Guest Portal, as it is a required step in order for them to receive their check-in instructions.
When it comes to wording and design, it is recommended that you stick to your own branding, and set the right tone on how you interact with your guests. For inspiration, read Default Message Templates to Guests.
To complete integration set-up, refer to this page to view the messaging guide pertinent to your PMS integration.