Setup Guest Texting (Desktop)

Setup Guest Texting (Desktop)

QUICKLINKS: CLOUD VERSION


Path: Management > Setup > Interfaces > SMS Communication

Feature Overview

Feature Availability
Guest texting is available in the Visual Matrix Desktop and Cloud version.
However, the most advanced features that are Custom Responses and Automatic Triggers are only available on the Cloud version. To know more, look at this article HERE.

The features are as follows:
- Notifies guests when their room is available for check-in (when a clean room is assigned, or when the room that's assigned is marked clean)
- Sends a welcome message to guests at check-in
- Accepts special requests from guests via text message during their stay (sends customer confirmation when posted, asks for room number if multiple rooms have the same cell number)
- Notifies the On-Call hotel employees when a guest text is received (notifies guest when clerk marks complete)
- Sends an automatic thank-you message at checkout

Cost of the Feature
There is NO charge from Visual Matrix to activate or use Guest Texting.
All a hotel has to do is sign up with a Twilio SMS account. 
Twilio may have a small fee to use their service, but it's minimal. For US and Canadian hotels, Twilio does charge less than one cent per text.
For more information: https://www.twilio.com/sms.

Activating the Feature

Open an account with Twilio
To open an account, go to https://www.twilio.com/

Contact Visual Matrix Product Support
Once done, contact our Product Support to set up the account in Visual Matrix.
Open a ticket through our portal at help.vmpms.com.

Setups

Everything will be set up during the activation process with the Support Department.
However, if you want to customize the text messages, you still can.

SMS Communication Options
Allow Guest Text Requests: if you check/uncheck this box, the guest will only receive texts messages, but will not be able to do any request



Customize Texts Messages

Path:  Management > Setup > Interfaces > SMS Communication

You can choose the following:
- Welcome Text
- Room Ready Text
- Checkout Text

You can also modify the messages that are sent.





Using the Feature

Activate the Feature in the Reservation
On the reservation next to the phone number there is a check box for text alerts. If this box is checked the guest will receive alerts.
Hotels should ask guests as they speak with them or make reservations and ask if they would like to be activated for text messages. 
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and other regulations require you to ask the guest for permission before just sending them text information.
Hotels may also want to confirm the phone number on the reservation can receive text messages. 




The customer experience before check-in to check-out
The customer has elected to receive text alerts. The box has been checked in the reservation:
- When a vacant & clean room is assigned to the reservation, the guest will be sent an alert advising their room is ready. If you assign a dirty room, no alert is sent until the room is cleaned
- Once the guest checks in, they will receive a welcome alert. It explains that if they need anything during their stay they can just reply to this text. This message can be personalized
- When a guest needs something (like extra towels), they can send a text message as a reply to the welcome text they received. This will send a text message to each user in the On-Call section set to receive Guest Text Requests
- The guest in the room will receive a message that says their request has been received
- The text goes to the user(s) and the request gets created in Front Office > Supervisor > Res Mgmt > Text Alerts
- This has the same functionality as Special Requests. You can see the request here and you complete the request here
- Once the request is completed here it sends a text to the guest stating the request has been marked as completed
- When the guest checks out, they will receive a Thank you for staying message.

Guests will also receive an opt-out alert as well in case they do not want to receive text messages. They can opt out which will uncheck text messages from their reservation.

Pre-Setup Automatic Responses
If two rooms share the same phone number and the guest sends a request, they will be asked which room has the request.
If the guest enters a room number that does not have the phone number they are texting from, they will receive a message along the lines of “a reservation cannot be found with this number, please contact the front desk”.
If a guest sends a text message prior to check-in or after check out they will receive a message to call the hotel.
Messaging only works for the guest while they are checked in.

Follow-up of the Requests

When a request is sent and the on-call person is notified, you can find the message in two different places.

From the Supervisor Section of the Front Office

Path: Front Office > Supervisor > Res Mgmt > Guest Text Req



From the Reservation itself
Open the reservation and click on New next to the Special Requests.
There will be a second tab for Guest (Text) Requests.



Notes

In the On-Call section, if a desk agent is not set to receive text messages in Visual Matrix, there is an option to “also notify this number” at the bottom.
A user can check this box and enter their phone number here at the start of their shift. Let them know to remove that check when their shift is over so it will not keep alerting them once the agent goes home for the day.
If two rooms share the same phone number and the guest sends a request, they will first receive a text asking for which room is the request.
If the guest enters a room number that does not have the phone number they are texting from, they will receive a message along the lines of “a reservation cannot be found with this number, please contact the front desk”.
If a guest sends a text message prior to check-in or after check out they will receive a message to call the hotel.
Messaging only works for the guests while they are checked in.

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