Planning your Guest Communication Journey
First impressions count! Properly planning your guest journey, from the time that they first search the dates they are interested in to the time that they receive a thank-you email and review request helps to ensure a happy guests and minimises Admin for you.
At the beginning of set-up, we recommend thinking about which emails you wish the guest to receive, and at what points they should get them. Planning your guest journey will help you to set up and automate your templates in an intentional way.
Adding Custom Text to Website Calendars
If you need to highlight property-specific information to you guests early in the booking process, you can add this to your calendars, so that it appears as soon as the guest has selected the dates of interest to them. These might include information about specific capacity, configurations, particular access or travel information, as illustrated in the example below. Instructions on setting this up are here.
Informing Guests about Booking Extras
You can inform your guests about the specific details of the booking extras they might choose, such as what the 'Firewood' option amounts to, or what choosing the 'Private Chef' option entails. You can also upload a photo to illustrate the extra. Instructions for setting this up are Here.
Gathering additional Guest information via the Booking or Enquiry Form
You might need to add custom questions or statements to your booking form and/or enquiry form to gather pertinent information, which can easily be set-up following this guide, for example, to ask how beds should be made up (double/twin), for the addresses of additional guests, or to create a compulsory check box to ensure that the guest assents to a requirement of booking (i.e. that their booking conforms to current government guidelines).
Guest Emails- automating and personalising your Booking management communication
Personalising your Template Emails using Tags-
Guest/Booking Specific information- Email templates can be set-up with tags to pull through guest, property or booking-specific information, and the link to make payment via a payment processor can be added by appending the booking summary.
Custom Fields Tags- You can set-up customised property-specific tags, which can then be used in generic email templates to pull through property-specific information to send to guests. A good example would be if a cluster of cottages each had their own entry keycode and assigned parking space. One or more custom tags could thereby be set-up in an arrival email template to inform guests of the access code and assigned parking space for their particular cottage. Using tags to do this avoids the need to create and automate a separate arrival email for each cottage.
Booking Extra Specific emails- It is possible to use booking extras to trigger an automated email.
In the example below, the 'Dog Friendly things to do in the area and Dog House Rules' email has been set-up to send automatically 7 days before the arrival date, but only to those bookings who both chose the 'Dog Fee' option AND have paid their Balance by the 7 day before arrival mark. Since it is dog specific, it should only go to those who have indicated that they are bringing a dog, and also should only go to fully paid bookings (since I might not want it to go to a booking I am still chasing for their balance). If a booking is placed within 7 days of arrival, I have also ticked the box to 'Send on Booking Date if Booking placed after this' so that those bookings to will receive it, so long as the criteria (bringing a dog and balance paid) are met.
You can also dot this with Guest Demographic information, (i.e. first time guests, only guests with children etc.) along similar lines.
Adding Attachments to Automated Emails-
It is possible to upload documents to attach to emails, whether these are sent manually in an individual booking or scheduled automatically.
2. Follow these instructions to automatically schedule one of your email templates. As part of this process, a list of all uploaded 'Global Documents' will appear. You can then tick which attachments should send as part of that automated email.
Planning your Automated Email Communication Flow
- Automating your Email Templates make it easier to manage your guest communication. You can use automated emails to automatically send your guests arrival instructions, reminders to pay their balance, a thank-you message, or almost anything else they might need to know, at a point before arrival or after departure determined by you, or only when a criteria is met (such as if their balance remains unpaid past its due date). You can even send an email automatically only to bookings that have selected a particular booking extra, such as a dog guide only to those who have chosen to bring a dog? Click HERE for Written Instructions on Automating emails
- You should think carefully, and plan out, the exact sequence of emails that should be sent to guests, in various booking scenarios (i.e. a successful booking that stays; a booking that is rearranged; a booking that is cancelled; a booking where a particular booking extra has been chosen etc.)
Using the Guest Login as part of your Communication Journey
Another useful way of optimising your guest communication journey is using the SuperControl Guest Login. This enables guests to manage their bookings themselves. If they want to add any options or extras, enter in guest names or pay an outstanding balance, they can do this from their own login area. They can also view their previous bookings. Within the Guest Login, you can enter custom pages to provide more information about your business. The good news is that it’s very easy to set up.
Using UpFront Reviews to complete the Guest Booking Journey
UpFront Reviews: collecting and displaying real guest reviews, made simple -
- UpFront Reviews are verified (only genuine guests can submit them, removing the risk of fake reviews) and automated (once set up, review requests are sent automatically). It is a free service available exclusively to properties that use SuperControl online booking system.
- UpFront Reviews enables you to receive valuable feedback about your accommodation, and visitors can view reviews before they book, which helps them decide where to stay. You can also put a widget on your website, so potential guests can see all the features of the property previous guests loved.
- UpFront Reviews is easy to set-up. The person who placed the booking is invited by email automatically to submit a review. A reminder is sent if they do not respond within 7 days of the initial request. The review once submitted goes live automatically in 48 hours. If required, the review can also be flagged for manual review by our team, to ensure only fir and accurate reviews are displayed.
Using targeted marketing to incentivise bookings and re-bookings
Using Vouchers and your Guest Database to incentivise re-booking direct
Vouchers are the perfect way to create discounts unique for a specific group of previous and/or potential guests. Vouchers codes can be issued to a guest prior to booking, which they can use to claim the specified discount (a percentage or fixed amount) off their stay during the booking process.
They can be used strategically (in a thank-you message for example, or on a take-home card in the property), to encourage guests to book again in order to get a discount on their next stay. This is a great way to get guests who booked originally through third parties to make their next booking a direct one!
Using your Guest Database to send updates, newsletters to sustain interest in your properties
If you have added existing and/or bookings with the guest details, or have simply started to build a good guest database, why not use that data to better market your properties, and possibly increase your repeat guests.
Mass emails can be sent to your database easily with the assistance of a third-party programme such as MailChimp, following these instructions.