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Question Replies: How to Automate Answers to Guest Questions
Question Replies: How to Automate Answers to Guest Questions

Learn how to automatically answer your guests' and potential guests' questions

Jenn Tomaszewski avatar
Written by Jenn Tomaszewski
Updated over a week ago

Question rules help you deliver prompt responses to your guests' most common inquiries. Using AI, Hospitable identifies question topics at every stage of the reservation journey. Then, based on your settings, you can draft or automatically send relevant responses to detected questions.

The current list of question topics can be found here. To help your guests quickly and save you time, we suggest setting up answers to as many questions as possible. If you'd like us to add a question that is not currently on the list, you can create a feature request.

Step 1: Create a question rule

  1. Click on Messaging rules in the left sidebar

  2. Click on +Add new at the top right of the page

  3. Under Reply to a question about... select the question topic you want to automate a reply for

Step 2: Create your response

Responses are sent based on the stage of the reservation (before a reservation, before check-in, currently staying).

You'll want to consider what kind of answer is relevant to the questions you get at the stage(s) included in this response. For example, a question about Air Conditioning before a reservation would best be answered with details about the presence of air conditioning at your unit. Air Conditioning while staying would be more suitable with a reply about the thermostat's location and how to operate it.

Important! Do not add greetings or salutations to your answer template, as this can have unintended consequences when using the %answers% short code. Hospitable will add a greeting automatically if you have not messaged the guest within 6 hours.

Step 3: Select the desired timing

Note: Timing is a global setting for question rules. This means that if you change the timing option for one of the question rules, it will be applied to all other question rules.

  • Default: Prepare the answer (never send automatically)

    When a question is detected, we will send you an email with the prepared response with options to send and edit.

  • Recommended: Send Instantly

    When a question is detected, we will send the response to the guest immediately.

You can also include answers in your event messaging rules by utilizing the %answers% short code. You can learn more about that here.

Answers will only be sent automatically if both the event messaging rule and the question rule are both set to send automatically. If this is not the case, the message will be prepared, but not sent automatically.

Step 4: Choose when this reply is relevant

The answer will only be sent when the question is asked during the chosen stage of the conversation.

  • Before reservation: Before a reservation is accepted

  • Before check-in: After the reservation is accepted, but before the guest checks in

  • Staying: While the guest is staying

You can choose one or more reservation stages for a single rule. However, as mentioned in Step 2, you'll want to be sure your reply is relevant for that stage.

Another example: a question about WiFi before a booking is accepted is often checking that WiFi is provided, fast, and reliable. A question about WiFi during the stay is usually asking for the password or mentioning an issue faced by the guest.

Step 4: Select the Scope

Like other messaging rules, Question Replies are only sent when they meet the relevant scoping. For each Question Reply you prepare, you'll want to ensure that the correct scoping is selected for all three criteria:

  • Booking Platform(s)

  • Host(s)

  • Property (or properties)


Should I include a greeting or salutation in my question response rule?

No. We don't want your replies to sound unnatural, so it's important to exclude greetings or salutations from your answer templates. We will add those for you when needed.

When a reply is sent as part of an automatic event response, your replies will be included as is. This means that if you were to include greetings or salutations directly in your reply, they would be included within your new inquiry, new request to book or new reservation rules that include %answers%. This would duplicate the greetings or potentially place them in the middle of your message.

When a reply is sent as part of a follow-up message, we add greetings depending on the situation:

  • No greetings or salutations if you have already messaged with the guest within 6 hours.

  • We include "Hello %guest_first_name%" (translated in the language of the guest) if you have never messaged with the guest or have not messaged with the guest in the past 6 hours.

When will the automatic answer to a question be sent?

Question replies are either (1) sent automatically once a question is detected, or (2) prepared to be sent manually by you. This depends on your timing settings.

You can, however, reply to any potential guest questions within an event message (such as a new inquiry, a new request to book, or a new reservation message) using the %answers% short code. If you do this, the reply will send with the following timing:

  • If both the event message rule and question reply rule are timed to send automatically, it will send automatically.

  • If either rule's timing is set to prepare the answer (never send automatically), the message will be prepared, but not sent until actioned by you.

Can more than one question be detected per message?

Yes, as long as those questions aren't in the same sentence.

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