Custom codes can help you adapt the content of your messages to your guests.

In this tutorial, we will adapt a new reservation messaging rule (sent under Guest Experience > Messaging Rules) to change its content based on the number of days to the check-in, and adapt the check-in instructions (sent under Guest Experience > Messaging Rules) accordingly.

What the guest experience will be after this tutorial

If the guest has booked within 3 days (or earlier) from the check-in date:

This is the scenario where a new reservation is accepted on a Monday, a Tuesday, or a Wednesday, for a check-in on Wednesday (less than 3 days to the check-in date).

  • The new reservation message should thank the guest for the booking and include check-in instructions.

  • The scheduled check-in message will be skipped.

If the guest has booked more than 3 days from the check-in date:

This is the scenario where a new reservation is accepted on a Saturday or Sunday for a check-in on Wednesday (more than 3 days to the check-in date).

  • The new reservation message will just thank the guest for the reservation.

  • A scheduled check-in instructions will be sent 3 days before the check-in.


We will perform this in three steps:

  1. Create a custom code.

  2. Edit the new reservation message (under Guest Experience > Messaging Rules).

  3. Edit the scheduled check-in message (under Guest Experience > Messaging Rules).

Step 1: Creating the custom code

We will create a custom code that will allow Smartbnb to manage a part of the new reservation message depending on the check-in date. Instead of setting up multiple rules, you will just need one that will adapt to multiple scenarios.

To create a custom code, go to Guest Experience > Custom Codes

Make it work for one or all your properties.

Custom code can apply to all properties or to just ones you select. If you create a different custom code for each property, you can name them the same, making it easier to manage in your templates.

If you send the same check-in instructions to all properties, just create one custom code and select all properties in the scope section of that custom code.

If you send different check-in instructions for each property, you can create a unique custom code for each property. Make sure to select the correct property in the scope section. Name each of these custom codes with the exact same name.

Naming the custom code.

Once you have selected the right option for your setup, you can choose a name for the custom code. Since it can be anything, we will use the name instructions. 

This means we will use the custom code %%instructions%% in our template.

No need to add the percentage signs when naming the custom code, they are added automatically.

Setting the condition.

We want to change the content of the new reservation message whenever the check-in is within 3 days. To do this, under the Condition section of your custom code, select check-in is in "less than" and "3" days

Setting this condition means that if at the moment the new reservation message is sent, and the check-in is within 3 days, the %%instructions%% code will be replaced by the defined text.

If the condition is not met at the moment the new reservation message is sent, the %%instructions%% code will not be included.

Creating the text

Now that you have defined the scope of the custom code (whether it works for all or one property), its name and the condition that has to be met, let's provide the actual text that will appear when the condition is met. 

This code will be integrated right into your booking template. Remember this will be in addition to what you already have included in your new reservation message, so only include the additional check-in information without any greeting or sign off.

Any changes you make are automatically saved as you go.

Hurray, you have done the hardest part!

Step 2: Edit your new reservation

Once this is done, you will add the custom code %%instructions%% into your new reservation message. To go Guest Experience > Messaging Rules and click on the new reservation message you want to edit.

In the place in which you want the check-in instructions to be included begin typing %%. You will see a drop down which shows all of your custom codes. Click on %%instructions%% to add this to your message.

Remember the customer code won't be included if the guest has more 3 days until their check-in. In this case, the custom code will not be included and the message will be reformatted to make sure there are no excess lines.

Step 3: Edit your scheduled check-in message

Since your guests who check-in within 3 days or less have already received check-in instructions, we'll want to avoid sending them your separate check-in messing rule. To do this, go to Guest Experience > Messaging Rules and click on the check-in instructions messaging rule. Note: If you have different messaging rules for each property, be sure to edit each of them!

Timing

You'll want to make sure the timing section of this messaging rule matches the timing you've set on your custom code or visa versa.

A "last minute" booking is relative to the timing of the messaging rule. For example, this rule is configured to send messages 3 days before the check-in, and would therefore consider any booking within those 3 days as a last minute booking.

Therefor in this example, we'll want the timing section to be 3 days before check-in, since that is what was set on the custom code.

Settings

Under settings check the box to "Exclude last minute bookings"

That's it, you've done it! Sit back and relax.

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