FAQ Q349: How to use Planyo's messaging system to communicate with the customers?

Besides automated email/sms notifications, Planyo has a built-in messaging system which you can optionally use where your staff can exchange sms or email messages with the customers. These messages always happen in the context of a specific reservation ID. The advantage of using Planyo's messaging system rather than regular email is that all your staff members can see the entire conversation with the customer.

Sending a message to a customer

Go to the reservation details page and in the section Messages click on the button Add new message (note that you can click on the SMS button which will work if you have enough SMS credits purchased and if the reservation has a mobile number associated with it).

The message page shows the entire history of messages between your staff and the customer. The email message can include custom attachments or predefined attachments in form of invoice or a reservation document.
In the message body you can use any of the Planyo tags. This is very convenient if you frequently send messages with similar content. In such case you can carefully prepare your code fragment with the Planyo tags (using the preview button or the tag playground) and then click Save as frequently used text. This will allow you to retrieve the prepared code snippet in the future with a simple click.

Receiving messages from a customer

By default customers have no way to send a message using Planyo's messaging system. You can allow them to do this either by sending a custom message to them or by sharing with them the url of the messaging system for their reservation.
Any custom message you send to the customer will include a link to the messaging system at the bottom clearly asking them to use the link rather than simply replying to the email. When the customer uses the link, they will arrive at the same page they used when making the reservation (on your website if advanced integration was used) where they'll be able to reply to your messages. These replies are by default sent to the main site administrator although you can customize this in Settings of messages sent by customers by selecting the main moderator or resource admin role as the default recipient. You can also add a BCC address for the customer's replies. Note that if the customer ignores the prompt to use the link to reply and instead replies to the email directly, the default email address of your planyo site will receive such reply which will not be registered by the Planyo's messaging system. Another way to allow your customers to send messages to you using Planyo's messaging system is to include the link in one of the automated email notifications, e.g. the reservation confirmed notification. Use the $(message_url) tag in any of these notifications - it will be replaced with the actual url of the message page (on your website if advanced integration is used or on planyo.com).

Message Inbox

Other than working with the messaging system within the context of a specific reservation, the blue menu on the left of each backend page includes a link to the Message Inbox. This is a page where you can quickly see all the latest messages from one of the 3 categories: unread, read and sent. The filters on top of the page allow you to choose a specific subset of the messages you might be interested to find.

Unread messages are messages sent by your customer without a reply from the staff. A message can be also manually marked as read by a staff member on the message page in case it needs no further reply. The message inbox is a useful place to scan for all messages across your reservations which require your staff's attention.
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