Deliver a guest experience your parents would be proud of

I don’t care how old you are, or how young you are, you still look to make your parents and family proud of you.  It’s human nature, so use that burning desire to treat each and every guest like family.

Let’s take a look at what happens with your guest experience from the moment that booking is received.

Firstly when you receive your booking via email, your website or an online travel agency (OTA) like Airbnb or Booking.com what happens next? Champagne, celebration, panic, excitement…….

Other than your crazy celebrations, what happens for the guest.  Well I would expect a consistent process to be followed whichever channel the booking was received from.

A notification to the guest thanking them for the booking providing clear payment terms if required.  With an OTA booking they may pay them direct, so your emails will not require any payment conditions.  

But for other bookings payment terms and an option to pay securely online should be provided.

The email should contain all the information about their booking, how they gain access to the guest portal and if required when their balance is due.

We would also recommend making it very easy at this point for the guest to call if they wish to ask a question.

However, how can you answer these questions in advance? Reduce your ‘maintenance’ calls to make your short stay agency more profitable.

Why not provide an attachment with FAQs for their chosen property which includes questions about key collection / directions (if not paid in full, you will explain when they will get these details), payments, contact numbers, etc….

Why not WOW your guests and include a thank you video, your own personal introduction to the property and your company!

Guests are your lifeblood, treat them extremely well and expect the same in return. 

That’s the initial automated communication sorted, however if you want a more one to one service why not include a personal call to the guest as well as the above this will build your bond further and provide complete peace of mind when you implement our further steps!

First impressions count, so make yours one to be PROUD of.

Promote your processes and standards via your website

So the guest has booked and paid, they’ve logged in to the  guest area and have ordered some additional items they require ie food pack, meet & greet, etc…

Is your guest area inspiring? Does it give them the information they need?  Are the arrival details available?

Is the welcome video there?  Is there a walk through of the property?  What about the local area, what is there to do, what’s your personal recommendations.

To make a real difference to the GUEST you really have to put the work in, when bringing on new properties you need a solid process of what content MUST be created.

Can your guest easily call you? Is there a chat system where they can ask questions?

DON’T be upset that some guests may not use the guest area, in this case you need to build the EXCITEMENT, by regularly making contact via email you can build a series of emails that will keep the guest aligned with your service by drip feeding recommendations on activities restaurants, videos on your own personal experiences within the area.   Encourage your guests to utilise your guest portal, make it in their interest to login, the more you control their destination the less ‘Maintenance calls’ you will receive.

You MUST have a video on finding the property, where to park and how to gain access, this will give the guest complete peace of mind and familiarity when they do eventually arrive.

Go out of your way to ensure that each and every guest has that WOW feeling before they even arrive at the property.   How do you ensure your team is always fired up and ready to help your guests?

Ask yourself this question, How good is your guest experience from time of booking to just before their arrival at your property?

Do you disappoint them at that door? or do you build on the foundations already created.  

Follow these key points to ensure your guests feel LOVED and APPRECIATED.

1/ Do you offer a surprise welcome pack AND / OR a surprise meet and greet?  

Little touches like this can make all the difference, though Remember on a meet and greet don’t overstay your welcome.  

Be polite and courtesy show them where the important things are and how they can get in contact and how they can use your concierge app or booklet so they know how to work things without calling.

The one thing you can NOT do on a meet and greet is over power, intimidate or overstay your welcome.  Remember not everyone likes to chat to strangers especially after a long drive or flight.  

2/ Cleanliness, is your property immaculate

This is one part where it doesn’t matter if you are at the budget end or the exclusive vip end of the market your property should be Spotless clean and provide a clean odourless smell.  I know some people like the smell of lavender or similar but some people hate it! 

Also fresh flowers should be an option and not a surprise as maybe the guest is allergic to them.

Follow our guide on how to prepare your holiday home for short terms rentals.

3/ During their stay

Do you remain in contact with the guest after check in? 

By sending your guests a bespoke automated email 1 or 2 days after check in or if you have the capacity a call will ensure you over deliver to the guest needs and solve any issues before they become a complaint.  

You can also use this opportunity to recommend activities and restaurants that would fit with the client.

A wonderful idea is to send them an SMS message on the 2nd day, ‘We want you to have a wonderful stay in our holiday home, How did you sleep? Reply GOOD or BAD’

If they reply bad you can action a workflow to ensure you resolve any issue immediately.

4/ Engage via social media

This is a win win, if you can engage via social media the moment they book you can build rapport but also be Marketing to their network.  If the guest is happy too this communication and engagement can continue during and after they stay.

It’s on you to encourage them to communicate and to tag yourself in or to use a specific hashtag.  This engagement is perfect for rapport building and for marketing.

Run a best holiday photo competition or insist everyone visits a specific location / statue and has their photo taken with a caption and hashtag.   

Do you have your own company #hashtag, if not start today and encourage all guests to add this to any holiday snaps, the more exposure you get with natural social proof the more trust and confidence your brand creates throughout social media.

To get guests to engage with you via social media you need to be creative and adapt to each guest. But I promise you the more you interact the better the whole experience for the guest and the more loyal they will be.

Sharing is caring!

Written By

Andrew Jones

© iPro Software, Unit 4, Rowan House, Sheldon Business Park, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 0SQ