Lacking Full Transparency of Guest Communication
Seaside Vacations had been using various platforms to communicate with guests via text messaging and email, but the workflows and visibility into the guest experience were more ‘cumbersome’ than expected. “With our old system, we would only know the guest's name - we would have to go back, look up the reservation, see where the guest was staying, and then switch screens again to complete the message,” recounts Elaine Stitcher, Owner of Seaside Vacations. While information wasn't missing, the lack of consolidated information in one view, and inefficiencies from toggling back and forth between systems, became very frustrating for Elaine and her husband Lance.
Specifically, the speed it took for Seaside Vacations to follow up with guest requests was a large pain-point for Lance and Elaine. With their existing messaging service, Lance and Elaine couldn't access guest messages after hours (or during their quiet winter season when they are closed on Sundays) and had to be physically logged on the computer to see messages come in. Reminding guests via a separate message that the line was not monitored after 5 p.m., and having to comb through messages each morning from the night prior, simply wasn’t working.
Working Across Two Locations and Supercharging Operations
Integrating Breezeway with their Track PMS system automatically syncs over reservation information, property details, check-in/out dates and much more into Seaside's new property operations and messaging platform. Not only did Breezeway close gaps in Seaside's client communications, but tying the company's guest texting programs closely to its operations gave Lance and Elaine full control and transparency into how their teams are operating in both their Virginia and Maryland markets.
With reservationists, cleaners, maintenance staff, and other employees accessing the Breezeway system, almost all departments of Seaside Vacations heavily lean on Breezeway to structure their day. Knowing whether a guest decided to leave early to get a jump start on traffic gives the company's property care teams the ability to get a jump-start on cleaning and maintenance work. And from a high-level, Lance and Elaine can monitor the status of issues and property readiness across both Ocean City and Chincoteague locations, and intervene when needed. “I can use the Breezeway app in the office, in the field, or on the go, meaning I can respond to guests on the fly or triage issues. For a business that operates in two markets, this is hugely beneficial.”
In fact, Breezeway transformed Seaside's ability to communicate with guests. The system easily drafts and sends automated messages to remind guests of their reservation information, or notify them of local activities such as a summer concert series in the park or the launch of the Antares rocket. Resolving guest issues that come up is much easier too. The team no longer has to manually monitor the messaging channel after hours, and instead are notified of requests when they happen and the status of associated tasks. The Seaside team has seen significant time savings from this enhanced workflow, and have found that guests feel much more connected.
“Breezeway has become just as important to us as our property management system. From communicating with guests, to handling the operations between our two locations, Breezeway is where it’s at for us. Our staff also heavily relies on Breezeway and the workflows that make their jobs easier.” - Elaine Stitcher, Owner of Seaside Vacations
One Message to Change A Business
The most anticipated, but dramatic impact the Stitchers felt in their business as a result of Breezeway messaging was a surplus in Google Reviews. Since implementing thank you messages with a Google link upon checkout, Seaside Vacations has gone from receiving ten reviews a year, to ten a week.
This 50x increase in reviews has had an immense effect on Seaside's competitive edge and revenue. "The consistent Google Reviews we've generated through Breezeway's texting product have been incredible for our business. We're a new player in our market, so to drive a surplus of five-star reviews to boost SEO, increase return bookings, and access new renters is a game-changer," said Lance. Better yet, the Stitchers have found that sending the review request while the guest is engaged with Seaside via SMS draws a much higher conversion rate than that via email several days post departure. Collecting positive reviews in both of their markets has helped Seaside Vacation Rentals acquire additional inventory all while staying aligned operationally.
“The consistent Google Reviews we've generated through Breezeway's texting product have been incredible for our business. We're a new player in our market, so to drive a surplus of reviews to boost SEO, increase return bookings, and access new renters is a game-changer.”