Text reminders from reservation system

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Arks's picture
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I just wanted to mention that I've contacted John at ResKey about an idea Jay Karen (PAII CEO) posted on the PAII forum for consideration, that being the idea of giving the option for our reservation system to automatically send the "your visit is x days away..." reminder as a text message to the guest's phone instead of, or in addition to, sending it as an e-mail. I know a lot of younger people don't even use e-mail anymore. They do everything by text message, and Facebook messages.

Hmmm. Maybe need to add it for Facebook next...

Anyway, John at ResKey thinks it's a good idea and he's looking into a way to do it easily, and for free of course!

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Arks's picture
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I got two thoughts from John at ResKey on this:

  • I'm really busy right now.
  • People can get e-mail on their smartphones.

So I don't think he's getting that more and more people are more into texts than e-mail these days. I told him to just file it away for the future. Case seems closed for now.

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I like the option!  I would also like to have the option whether the option appeared on my form or not!  

For late arrivals, I give the guest the option of calling within 24 hrs of stay to get the door code OR receive the code by txt...  Most are choosing the txt now.   NOW it makes me have an additional task but I don't have (scheduled crying) late check-ins that often. 

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The other issue I have, I know I know...but it is legit. People can barely flippin' fill out the form as it is, for whatever reason. The more you add the less you get! 

A line they CANNOT SKIP about food.

They arrive "Uh I can't eat eggs"

I just don't want it this way, the more we offer the less we get. 

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Hillbilly's picture
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I would agree to that. Just had a funny thought. If we had a button that said "If your an idot Click Here!" Then it takes them off our site. I wonder how many people would click it? Smiling

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Back in the days of BBSes, I set up a fake button for April Fools. It said something like Private User Information. Instead if you choose it, it showed you a list off all the other fools who had chosen it and logged you off. 

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Hillbilly's picture
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Ha, thats great!

Hillbilly's picture
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I like having it as an option. This gives the guest the best option for them, not us! I personally have been trying to keep up with technology. Times are changing. Most younger people would rather text than call. I let the guests know that they are always welcome to call, email or text me if they get to town and need directions or suggestions. It's amazing how many people choose the text option. I kinda like it to. If I'm busy doing something at that particular time, I can finish what I'm doing and then answer them. I personally think a phone call is more personal. But the younger generation does not think this way. Times are changing and I think having an option for them is needed. As many of you have said, it all depends on your clientele and your personal way you do business!

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Personally, don't like the idea at all. Any form or fashion. I know people eat live and breath texts, but majority of our guests I don't think are this way.

If I were in a city or green lodging in the wilds with a much younger demographic staying with us, I would do this.

This is from me, the one who won't call the guests to find out where they are. Also, this is from me, if someone called me to find out where I was and when I was arriving I would be put off. So if they texted, it would put me off. I realize they could have a check box to receive a text if they want to, and all that...still don't like it.

Back to my doilies and gnomes...

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05/30/2008

I love technology and use it all the time.  I have a Smartphone and it's fantastic.  But, I only want to send/receive texts from the people I actually know.  I would also be put off by a text from a lodging property.  My email comes to my phone, that's  enough.  And if there's a link in the email to directions or a map, that's OK.  I'll keep it on my phone until after arrival.

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gillumhouse's picture
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I am with you.

Joey Camb's picture
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I don't know - I use a text if I have a room ready earlier than check in and I want to encourage them to check in!

"Your room at The Camberley is ready for check in". people seem to like it and it means i get (hopefully) all of them in and have a nice relaxing evening.

I think partly they think its an automated thing

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Madeleine's picture
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I don't think it should be the be all end all, but it does work for what is starting to look like my entire demographic of really old geezers. My guess is I have gone from less than 50% of my guests using a smartphone to closer to 100%. So, a check box, like you get when making plane reservations, would be good.

'Would you like a texted reminder of your reservation info 3 days before arrival?

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Generic's picture
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What I want to see is a setup link in email that let's it add it directly to their schedule/calendar. It's a simple thing, but I can't manage to get it done.

Arks's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Back to my doilies and gnomes...

Smiling 

That's what's nice about the idea. It's both opt-in for the guest and opt-in for the innkeeper. Nobody will send a text if they don't want to. Nobody will receive a text if they don't want to. I just wish doilies and gnomes were governed by the same system.

Eye-wink

Joey Camb's picture
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id be happy with "reminder: your reservation is for XYZ and check in is 2-9 - please phone on XYZ if you have any further questions or need any information."

think it might repress the check in whenever we fancy it brigade!

 

Arks's picture
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Another thought. It's possible to send a text message to an e-mail address. So maybe the "return address" on the reminder text message could be set to the inn's e-mail address, so if they hit reply to the text message, they'd just send an e-mail to the inn. I've sent that thought to John at ResKey.

Joey Camb's picture
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there must be a way to do it cos my car dealership sends me a text when my car is due for service and you can't tell me they have a person who types them all in.

Arks's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

there must be a way to do it cos my car dealership sends me a text when my car is due for service and you can't tell me they have a person who types them all in.

Yes, that's what prompted Jay to suggest it. He says he gets text reminders of his doctor appointments, even from the guy coming tomorrow to clean his carpets, so he thought it might benefit innkeepers too.

Agreed there would have to be a separate, condensed version for texting. I guess you could set that up as a separate template from the e-mail reminder template, and just include the basic reminder of the date of the arrival, checkin time window, and perhaps a link to launch the smartphone web browser for more information, like maps and such.

Madeleine's picture
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That's an interesting idea.

Now for the clueless part...wouldn't that be a really long text msg? Long enough that they wouldn't bother to read it? Or is it just a quick 140 character msg?

Breakfast Diva's picture
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It wouldn't work well for me in my location, but could see the benefit for others.

Arks's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

It wouldn't work well for me in my location, but could see the benefit for others.

Why? The reminder text messages aren't sent to the guests while they are staying with you. They are sent by the online system to the guests at home, a few days before they are due to arrive at your place.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Breakfast Diva wrote:

It wouldn't work well for me in my location, but could see the benefit for others.

Why? The reminder text messages aren't sent to the guests while they are staying with you. They are sent by the online system to the guests at home, a few days before they are due to arrive at your place.

Two reason 1) I don't want to be texed back. No cell service here and we don't pay for texts on our cell plan. 2) Part of Jay's thinking is that it will also encourage guests to text the innkeeper back or text when they want to communicate with you before or during their stay. That wouldn't work here and I don't want to have to constantly check e-mail(text by mail) to know there's a problem.

Madeleine's picture
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I remember that came up before as an option for guests...text the innkeeper. I'm sorely in the dark ages here without a smartphone, no texting service on the phone I have, etc. AND, for me the biggie was, we never have the phone turned on! If someone texted back, it would have to go to email instead of a phone.

And, no, I am not answering texts or emails or even answering the phone at midnight.

The idea of a 'no reply' text with the vacation info is a nice idea tho.

Arks's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

The idea of a 'no reply' text with the vacation info is a nice idea tho.

Excellent thought. Let them know, in the message, that the text comes from the cloud and not to reply to it. In fact, since it's not coming from your phone, maybe they couldn't even reply to you if you wanted them to.

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