Automation is the process of using technology to automatically perform tasks with little to no human input, from the rudimentary to the complex.
In recent years, we’ve seen automation grow to become a part of our everyday lives, playing a considerable role in marketing efforts, the production of goods, business processes, and even in our homes. On a small scale, automation helps us take routine tasks and streamline them, but the overarching advantages of automation are the same regardless of the capacity in which it is being used; reduced manual labour, less human error, increased productivity, fewer labour costs, and savings in time and money.
As consumers, one of the most obvious uses of automation that we see from day to day comes in the form of behaviour-driven emails and SMS. These messages are automatically sent in response to specific actions that you make online, whether it be leaving items in your cart, placing an order, or making an accommodation booking. Behaviour-driven communication is vital to consumers because it provides crucial information like receipts and confirmations. From a business perspective, it provides a way to deliver personalised, responsive, timely information that improves the customer experience and boosts engagement.
All About Automated Contact
At NewBook, we pride ourselves on our time-saving, money-making automation features that help to minimise labour costs and streamline operations for hospitality providers (like you!), and our Automated Contact feature is a great example. Automated Contact allows you to send a wide range of personalised, automated emails or SMS messages to your guests during certain stages of their stay with you, from check-in to check-out.
Here’s what you can use it for:
- Booking confirmations
- Notifications to owners of bookings placed
- Payment receipts
- Guest arrival confirmations
- Reminders of quotes/bookings expiring
- Reminders of outstanding balances and deposits
- Online registration forms
- Welcome emails
- Check-in instructions
- Site security codes
- Promotional offers and booking enhancements
How to Make the Most of Automated Contact
Using our Automated Contact feature is a simple process. Within a few minutes, you can set up a whole range of automated messages tailored to your property and guests. However, if you want to make these messages even more helpful, there are a few quick things you can implement.
Did you know that you can include your Bookings Map in any automated email? Yep! Within Automated Contact, you can build your map into the email or attach it as a PDF document so that your guests will have an electronic copy complete with a handy map marker indicating the location of their site or room. We suggest sending a map to guests arriving after your reception area has closed for the day so that they can easily find their way to their booked accommodation without needing the help of a staff member.
Expecting rainy weather? Rain, hail, or shine, you can help your guests prepare for their stay by adding a 5-day weather forecast to an automated email. This is perfect for arrival letters or any automated email you send prior to check-in. The forecast will appear just as it does on your Front Desk, in an easy-to-read icon format.
Expiry and Payment Reminders
Using Automated Contact, you can easily remind your guests of any actions that need to be made by a specified date. For example, you can send a quote expiry reminder at several intervals before the quote cancellation, e.g. one week or one day prior. You can even include a link to confirm and convert the quote into a booking, helping you to effortlessly increase conversions. Additionally, you can do the same for any outstanding deposits by scheduling Automated Contact reminders to send prior to the deposit due date.
According to a 2020 study, 40% of consumers admitted that they have at least 50 unread emails in their inbox – yikes! However, only 4% have 50 or more unread texts. If you’re sending an Automated Contact that requires a super speedy action or response, SMS is the way to go.
For example, with 2-Way SMS, you can send messages to guests arriving at your property after office hours to check whether they have arrived or not using quick codes. Based on their response (like YES or NO), NewBook can update their arrival status. You can do the same using emails, but instead of using codes, your guests will need to follow prompts to notify of their arrival status, e.g. Click here to check-in.
Within your Automated Contacts, you can easily add a range of links to make navigating things a little simpler for your guests, such as links to pay invoices, view booking information, purchase add-ons, and more!
Online Registration and Covid Declarations
Fast-track the check-in process by sending all the forms you need to be filled prior to arrival, for instance, registration forms, Covid declarations, and pet policies.