The importance of great customer service in vacation rental management
Responding quickly to inquiries, resolving issues promptly and sympathetically, and being available 24/7 are just some examples of good customer service. And as a guest, the service offered by the vacation rental host is a big part of the pleasure of staying at the property.
By incorporating great customer service into your business, you’ll provide a better guest experience. This increases the chance of repeat business and receiving positive reviews from enthusiastic guests. We will look at nine ways you can improve your customer service for your vacation rental.
Understand Your Guests' Needs
If you know what your guests value, then you can capitalize on that. Do they have small children, and would they appreciate a high chair in the kitchen? Are they arriving late in the evening, and would they be very happy to find a full fridge? Are they into the idea of renting a bike?
Understanding your guests’ needs and expectations gives you the opportunity to be a better vacation rental host, from their point of view. Understanding your guests’ needs could be realized by taking pre-arrival surveys or post-stay feedback forms. You can use that information directly to serve the guests or to offer future guests a better, more personalized service.
Be Responsive and Available
Especially when your guests need something quickly, such as a towel, an extra key, or medical support, it is crucial for you as their vacation rental host to be responsive and available to them. And if they need some tips or local recommendations, a quick and easy customer service contact is very helpful and will improve their guest experience.
Nowadays, there are many ways to be more responsive such as by using messaging apps or providing a contact number.
Provide Clear and Concise Communication
Incorrectly communicated information annoys your guests, even if it happens unintentionally. This does not exactly contribute to a pleasant guest experience. Ensure you provide clear and concise communication to prevent misunderstandings and ensure a smooth guest experience. You should, for example, provide detailed check-in instructions and set guest expectations for response times.
Anticipate Guest Needs and Provide Proactive Assistance
Anticipatory customer service is about being one step ahead. You don’t just notice something but anticipate it. Instead of waiting until your guests ask for something, you are already suggesting it.
You could provide extra towels or offer recommendations for local activities and attractions. Or, if your guests arrive late in the evening, ask them whether they need help arranging transport. You could also provide a meal for when they arrive. By providing proactive assistance you can make guests feel valued and cared for, enhancing their guest experience.
Respond Quickly and Effectively to Guest Issues and Complaints
Of course, as a vacation rental host, you prefer not to receive any complaints. However, issues will inevitably come up. You can tackle these by offering great customer care. Doing so can help prevent negative reviews and retain guest loyalty.
The best way to deal with complaints is by listening actively and being empathic. And by offering real solutions rather than getting defensive, the chance that your guests will leave your property with a smile is way bigger.
Go Above and Beyond to Surprise and Delight Guests
To facilitate a great guest experience, go above and beyond to impress your guests. Similar to taking the anticipatory and proactive approach, surprising your guests in a positive way creates a memorable guest experience.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money to delight your guests. A personalized welcome basket or complimentary upgrades like free towels or bike rental goes a long way.
Train Your Team on Customer Service Best Practices
Do you work in a team? Make sure that your team has a unified, customer-friendly approach to customer service. Refresh your team frequently on customer service best practices and, of course, set a good example. You may train your team by providing regular feedback and setting expectations for service standards.
Use Guest Feedback To Improve Your Customer Service
It might feel a little uncomfortable, but gathering feedback is a great tool to improve your customer service. Whether positive or critical feedback, any experience that a guest shares with you could contain tips to make your vacation rental an even better place to stay.
You don’t need to ask your guests for feedback face-to-face. Online review platforms and post-stay surveys are a great way to gather and analyze feedback.
Use Guest Apps To Support You in Delivering Great Customer Service
You might already use one, or maybe you’ve heard of them – guest apps. Guest apps are the future of customer service. They contain tools that allow guests to easily perform functions related to their stay such as checking in and out, booking extra services and amenities, reading the house manual, and contacting you or your staff.
Guest apps also help you get a better understanding of your guests’ needs so you can proactively anticipate them.
Take care of your customer service for a better guest experience
If you want your guests to have a happy, carefree stay at your vacation rental, great customer service is key. High-quality customer service will increase the chance of guests returning, leaving positive reviews, telling their friends, and using more of your services.
We recommend you use these nine tips to make your customer service the best it can be. An easy way to do this is by using a guest experience platform and a guest app. With these tools, you can create a positive guest experience, improve guest satisfaction, and take your business to the next level.
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