NEW FEATURE: The Broadcast Message
Imagine this: There's a last minute change in your operation and you need to communicate this to your clients who are scheduled on a tour that will begin in two hours.
We've all been there. Accidents, weather conditions, political riots are all things that can happen before a tour and affect your whole operation.
What do you do? Do you start calling them one by one? Do you text them? How do you even get their numbers? Do you have to go in to your reservation system to find out who's scheduled for this tour? How much does this take you. Today, we are happy to announce a solution to this problem and our most requested feature. In the tours and activities industry, not everything is predictable or even "fixable". There are times when you just need to communicate specific information to customers who've booked a product on a specific date.
So today we are happy to announce the most requested feature by our clients: The Broadcasting Message.
What is the "Broadcast Message"?
It's a simple, yet powerful automation tool. The "Broadcasting Message" feature will allow our clients to send an SMS message to all customers who've booked a specific product on a specific date. Therefore, if you have information you already know ahead of time that you want to communicate, you will want to set up, what we call, a classic "automated message".
However, if you've got updates specifically for customers coming on a specific date, you will want to use this feature. Examples of this include emergency information, last minute changes or cancellations of an activity, traffic information, late arrivals, and more.
There's two reasons why this is so complex and challenging now a days:
Time is of the essence: No one can predict when an emergency or something critical that will affect your activity or tour will occur. So when they happen, it's likely going to be very close to the activity time and you will have very little time to communicate and respond. And when you have so little time, you don't want to find yourself trying to collect all customers' emails or phone numbers into a list.
Not all customers are created equal: If your customer booked through an OTA you will most likely not have their email address, so how do you get a hold of them? Do you send individual messages to each one of them through the OTA's inbox or do you call them one by one?
Wouldn't it be nice if you could just send all of them a text message in less than 25 seconds?
Here's the proof:
Examples of When To Use a Broadcast Message
1) Cancellation of a tour due to weather conditions.
If you've been to Iceland, you know this is a perfect use case. The famous Northern Lights tours are subject to meteorological conditions that no one can control. And if you've booked a tour to go out and see the Northern Lights, there's high chances it will get cancelled if there's rain or a cloudy sky. However, operators of these type of tours can only know with certainty whether the tour will operate or not, a few hours before it starts. And the challenge there is getting in touch with all customers to tell them how to go about rescheduling their tour or get
ting a refund. By using the Broadcasting Feature, our clients in Iceland will be able to send a message to all customers who've booked specifically the Northern Lights Tour for that night.
2) The tour is running late due to a big accident in the road.
You pride yourself in the punctuality of your hotel pick ups. But one day, there's a big accident in the road and the vehicle that will pick up your customers for their tour is running late. There's nothing to do, there's no way out of it. Before you start receiving some really angry calls, you send all customers who've booked this tour for today, a text message telling them about the status of the situation. Your customers, instead of having to wait and anxiously expecting the bus to come soon, might relax a bit and go for a cup of coffee instead.
3) There's a change in the itinerary of the tour due to programmed construction work in one of the activities.
You're running a city tour in London and customers are expecting to stop and take pictures at the famous Big Ben. However, 7 days before the tour takes place, you get an email from the city announcing some reconditioning construction work in the clock tower. The issue is not big enough to cancel the tour, but you would rather make a change in the itinerary and take your clients to another famous attraction instead. Therefore, you use the Broadcasting Message feature to send them an SMS and manage the expectations ahead of time. They will appreciate you diligence.
4) You want to communicate operational information.
If you're an operator you know that there are things that might be important for your customer, but you have no way of telling them ahead of time because of how volatile these might be. We've had clients tell us that they want to send information like:
The tour guide's name.
The vehicle or driver who will be picking them up.
The track information for their train.
These are things that are assigned usually on the day of, or maybe one or two days before the activity. Therefore, there's no way for this to be automated or included in their booking confirmation email.
Well, now you have a solution that will allow you to send this information to your customers and it will take you less time than that YouTube ad you saw this morning.
Is there an extra cost to use this feature?
No, there's not 🙂. All of our clients on a regular prepaid plan with us will be able to take advantage of this new functionality immediately. Messages sent through the Broadcasting module will be deducted from your standard package if you have them available. Our hope is that this new feature will, once again, improve how your clients feel about your brand, while also reducing the amount of time you spend on customer service and operations.
If you want to send your first Broadcasting Message, go to this link here to learn how.