There are a few things to look out for when determining why the guest's question went unanswered automatically.
You can find instructions on how to set up an automatic response to a question here.
If you've already done that and you're still not seeing the answer replied to automatically, then please check out these common settings below.
Is your answer scoped to that stage of the reservation?
You can scope your answer to three different reservation stages: before reservation, before check-in, and staying. If your answer was scoped to staying, and the guest asked you a question before their check-in date, for example, then we wouldn't send any reply. Sending the answer you have scoped for staying to the guest before they check in could be very confusing and make you sound like you're not paying attention to their question. And that's not something we want.
Prepare answer vs send answer.
When you create a messaging rule to answer a question, you have the option for that message to only prepare but never send or to send straight away. If a guest asked you a question and we picked it up, but an answer wasn't sent, it could be because you set the answer to only prepare but not send. In this case, the answer would be visible in the activity log on the conversation thread. You can select the answer there and click Send now to send the answer to your guest. If your answer is set to prepare only and you want it to send right away when a question is detected, then you can change that in the messaging rule itself, under Timing.
The guest already asked and received an answer at that reservation stage.
The guest may ask the same question twice at the same stage of the reservation. Let's say you have an answer set up for questions about early check-in. A guest books with you two months in advance and afterwards ask about the possibility of an early check-in. Your answer sends out, saying "we can explore the possibility of an early check-in closer to the arrival date". 2 days before arrival, the guest asks again if they can check in early. The reservation is still in the before check-in stage, and the guest has now asked you twice. If we resent the message telling them you will explore the possibility closer to the arrival date, that might agitate the guest and make you sound repetitive and robotic. We want to avoid this, and therefore do not send the same answer again.
Is your answer correctly scoped?
Is the answer scoped to the right property and/or platform? If a guest asks you a question on a reservation that came in through VRBO but your answer is only scoped to reservations on Airbnb, then we will not send it. Similarly, if your answer isn't scoped to the property the guest booked, we will not send it. You can check the scope of your answer in the messaging rule under Scope.
Did we exceed the number of questions we can detect that minute?
We use a service called DialogFlow to detect questions. DialogFlow can only process a certain number of questions every minute. If your guest's question was in excess of the quota that minute, then we will not be able to detect the question and send an answer. This is not something you can check on your account. We will have to check this on our backend. If this was the case, and the quota was reached that minute, there is nothing that can be done to reset it to detect that question. A manual answer will have to be sent to the guest. This should be rare!3
If none of the examples above explain why your answer didn't send, please don't hesitate to reach out to us in support, and we will investigate!