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Sending Directions & Information To Guests - How Do You Do It?

We use message templates and scheduled messages to send directions and other information to guests. Every guest receives one message at the time of booking. They receive another one 7 days prior to arrival. Yet most BDC guests don't see these and don't respond.

So how do you send directions and other information to guests?


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Sergei - Commu…
1 year ago

Hello, Isle of Wight Vacations! Thanks for starting an interesting conversation. I featured it, so other partners can see it too.

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Hawksview at M… 1 year ago

We also use message templates and follow-ups and generally get a good response. For international travellers - we're in Australia - we ask how they would like to keep in touch with us once they arrive. Mostly directing them to the Booking.com messages and prompting them to check these regularly. Seems to work pretty well.  For local bookings we depend on having a contact phone number as our last resort, and here's the problem. If a booking is made through Agoda the contact information provided is their corporate address in Bangkok and an invalid mobile phone number.  The guests are unaware that their booking has been transferred to the Booking.com platform so don't see any messages that are posted there, because they're looking on Agoda. The only way around this is to ask Agoda to ask the guest to contact us directly, sometimes this works sometimes not.  We've had 2 costly no shows due to this issue. We can't reject the booking and it blocks someone else from booking those dates.  Is anyone else having this problem?  All we're asking is that the information the guest provides to Agoda - address and personal contact details - is passed onto Booking .com.

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M Adamopoulou 1 year ago

Thanks Isle for bringing up this question!!!

 

Communication is very important and sometimes it’s very difficult…

 

I have set my first template to be send to guests automatically as soon as they make their reservation…

In my message I inform my guests that they can also reach me through WhatsApp…that seems to work!!!

For important issues I use both Extranet inbox and WhatsApp…extra work…but safe…

 

Wish everyone a great evening!!!

 

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Isle of Wight … 1 year ago

Strange that some others find the automated message templates work ok .....

We've been told by guests that once they've paid, they get lots of marketing emails from Booking.com, and then ignore everything that comes from Booking.com .... maybe they think our automated messages are just more marketing junk from Booking.com ???

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Skyline10 11 months ago

I absolutely agree!  My guests complain bitterly about the snowstorm of stuff they get from Booking.com, which they either ignore, delete, spam or block.  I suspect everything I send them is, therefore, also binned.

Before booking, guests don't read the general description, policies or small print, or the individual room descriptions.  They don't even look at the photos!  As a result, time-after-time, they book rooms that are unsuitable and wait until a couple of days to check-in before looking at it again (if they ever do).  

If they then see something that doesn't suit them (or actually read the automated messages we send them when they book AND three days before check-in) some either want to re-draw our business model (lol) or cancel with a refund - and neither is going to happen.

Declined a refund, they either cancel, and *** about us on Tripadvisor, or stay and *** about it on Booking.com.  

A room booked out a year in advance can be held until the last couple of days.  Even then, guests try to go around Booking.com and ask me to cancel it for them.  I direct them back to Booking.com to do it, where they cheekily select the "Ask for a refund" option.  Naturally I decline, which should mean it's back on the market, and they lose their cash.

However, either because they don't understand the system (or more likely because they are frustrated by getting the same response), they don't follow through to actually cancel the room.  After a while, it falls to me to phone Booking.com to insist they either contact the guest for their decision, or clear the calendar themselves.  Some operatives will, some won't, there is no consistency.

Then there are the guests who have booked more than one place and decided they want the other one, not yours.  And the ones who say they have broken a leg/are attending granny's funeral/are stuck on Mars, and want a refund.  Surprising how many of these suddenly heal up/resurrect granny/get a ticket on a space shuttle and show up when a refund is declined.

But then they have a gob on them, stay, moan about everything and leave you a bad review.  Treacherous things, the general public.

Learning from other local businesses, this year I brought in much stricter cancellation policies, and these often result in my earning more money from empty rooms than from occupied ones!

Online booking agencies who over-complicate the process and obstruct communication between guests and hosts cause a very poor outcome for the guest and a lot of unnecessary work for the host.

To paraphrase: "You can drag a guest to fine print, but you cannot make them THINK".

Mind how you go.

F

 

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M Adamopoulou 1 year ago

You’re probably right….

Ive heard that also but in my first template I state that I am the owner….and they can contact me through WhatsApp…it seems to work for me at least!! 

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Jim Stewart 1 year ago

how is whatsApp setup for owners to contact you?

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Isle of Wight … 1 year ago

Discovered now that when people use Hotels.com to book a property that was listed on Booking.com, they don't get any information / emails etc, so the automated messaging is worthless ......

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Hawksview at M… 1 year ago

See my response from 17 days ago. The same problem exists with Agoda and who knows how many other affiliate sites which are pretty much owned by Booking.com but not explicitly linked to it to share information and messaging platforms.

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Skyline10 11 months ago

I send them a greeting email with all the details, including directions, when they book and again 3 days before arrival - and a stern warning about not calling the house phone and banging on the door late at night. 

But since most of them don't read ads or anything put in front of them, you do begin to feel like leaving them to wander around in the dark like lost sheep.............

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M Adamopoulou 11 months ago

Hi Skyline!

You are absolutely right…guests don’t read emails…

Have a nice day!