Whether you’re self-managing or working with an external guest/property management company, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of providing a positive guest experience.
In this post, we cover the basic principles of understanding your guests’ needs and meeting their expectations.
1. Be Respectful and Honest
Honesty, transparency and respect should be the core values of your guest-facing service.
We’ve touched on honesty and transparency in our post about how to stand out on holiday rental listing sites, but ensure that you reflect this value in your hospitality at all times.
If there’s a problem, don’t try to hide it. Be open with your guests and tackle issues straight away before they escalate.
2. Communicate Efficiently
Respond to enquiries quickly and efficiently. Even if you don’t have an answer or solution straight away, ensure to communicate that to your guests and give them a time when you will get back to them.
Share your local knowledge so that guests can save time and try out some of the more unusual activities on offer close to the property, during their stay.
Start looking after your guests’ needs before they even arrive at the property! We ask all our guest and property management partners to determine the following in advance of arrival day:
- the number and age of guests,
- any specific equipment that needs to be available (eg baby equipment)
- which bedrooms should be set up
- their precise arrival time
- special requirements (eg if someone has an allergy they need to be aware of)
We also recommend they inform guests of any relevant information regarding road works, snow conditions and the location of the key safe or door codes.
3. Provide a Warm Welcome
4. Be Available
Providing a great guest experience means being available to guests before and during their stay, as well as throughout departure.
Make it clear to guests that they can contact you if they have any questions, problems or need any additional assistance or advice.
5. Be Adaptable
There are many different types of guests and each one will define the type of service they require from you. Some guests are very independent and are happy for you to have a fairly hands-off approach. Others may expect more from you.
A group of young guests may have different preferences to older guests, as may those who have paid higher or lower rates.
However, never assume prior to their arrival what guests are expecting. Similarly, after each set of guests, reset your expectations.
Following a great week, be wary of taking your foot off the gas, but also don’t let one bad week run over into the next.
6. Solve Problems Effectively
It’s unrealistic to expect that every guest’s holiday will be perfect. Some guests have higher expectations than others and ultimately, some things are down to unfortunate timing or bad luck.
However, it’s often not the problem at hand that people remember, but the way you deal with it.
Try using the L.E.A.R.N method of recovery when dealing with complaints or guest issues:
Listen to what the guest has to say, don’t interrupt them or tell them to calm down. Ask questions and don’t assume you have the correct solution before hearing them out. Although it feels natural to want to fix the problem straight away, you need all the facts first.
Put yourself in the guest’s shoes, how would you feel if this happened on your holiday? It’s easy to get defensive, but consider how you would want the situation to be resolved if the roles were reversed.
Apologise- even if it’s not your fault. Part of working in a guest-facing role is taking ownership and accountability, regardless of whether the issue was out of your control. Don’t pass the blame!
Let them know your plan and when you are going to get back to them. There is nothing wrong with going away and asking for help, but make sure you keep them updated. If you need to, remove yourself from the environment to formulate an appropriate solution.
Make sure you begin the problem-solving process straight away, do not let the problem linger! The more efficiently you hand the complaint, the likelihood is, the more understanding they will be.
7. Ask for Feedback
There’s always room for improvement.
Ask your guests how their stay was, encourage any feedback, take on board any constructive criticism and use it all to improve your holiday rental business for the future.
Don’t forget to ask your guests to write a review in your guest book and publish reviews online.
If guests had a great time, it’s likely they’ll want to return. Find out more about attracting loyal repeat guests here.
Ultimately, the guest comes first and they need to be your priority. Happy guests mean positive reviews, repeat bookings and a better reputation for your business. Find out more about the role of a guest and property manager here.
If you’re on the hunt for a hassle-free business solution for your rental property, discover our complete offering – designed for property owners who want to own a successful holiday rental business without it taking over their life.