While all that space offers guests an amazing experience, it can also make communication and logistics difficult for both guests and staff. “We're not like a central hotel where they can just walk to the lobby and get more towels, we are cottages throughout 550 acres,” Patrick Hess, Business Development Director for Wilderness Club, told Textline. That’s where texting comes into the mix to help make for a more perfect vacation experience.
Texting was a logical next step for Wilderness Club. “Our website is mobile-friendly, our booking site is mobile-friendly, and it was just a no-brainer to make sure that we were trying to leverage the texting capabilities of everyone,” Hess said. Email didn’t have the response rate Wilderness Club was looking for, the last thing people on vacation want to do is constantly check their email, so texting offered an alternative.
For Hess, making sure the staff had access to different conversations on a desktop app was key. “We have different shifts, different staff members all doing the same job, but I wanted continuity so that the history of a conversation could be seen from the morning shift and that the evening shift could go in and jump on the software and see the whole thing,” He said. Employees also utilize the Whisper feature to help them share any background when passing off a conversation.
His other favorite feature of Textline? Automations. The Automation feature allows Textline users to set an automated response to certain questions, or even to respond to messages outside of business hours to let customers know when they’ll get a response. Wilderness Club gets some repeat questions from guests or potential customers, and the Automation feature allows them to set up specific and ready responses that can be sent automatically via a trigger word.
Additionally, they use the announcements feature to share information with potential customers about rates, details of a vacation package, or rental availability. The benefits of being able to easily share information with existing and future guests while also improving internal employee communication are abundant for Wilderness Club.
Implementing texting brought Wilderness Club a new understanding of their customers. The first is that their customers prefer to text. They even respond more quickly to texts than other forms of communication. “It’s become our number one response tool,” Hess told Textline. He said they’ve seen response rates over 50 percent by implementing texting into their communication flow.