Breaking Down the Guest Experience
Time and time again, you have read blogs talking about the importance of your vacation rental’s guest experience. There are several examples in The Art of Hosting that can help you improve yours, but learning what the guest experience entails will make applying these examples to your property easier.
Understanding guest experience means knowing about both customer service and customer experience, what their differences are, and what you can do to improve both. Hospitalitynet broke all of this down in a piece published in February 2022, and Modern Innkeeper wants to help you benefit from this information.
The Differences Between Customer Service and Customer Experience and How to Deliver Both
You can only better both if you’re clear on their differences. After learning them, you can begin working on improving your vacation rental’s customer service and customer experience.
Study.com defines customer service as, “The act of taking care of the customer’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high-quality service and assistance before, during and after the customer’s requirements are met. Customer service is meeting the needs and desires of any customer.”
For you, quality customer service means exceeding your guests’ expectations when they come to you with a question, request or problem. Places like large hotels have to train several employees on how to provide great customer service, but since it’s either mainly you or only you running your property, accomplishing this is more manageable:
● Demonstrate empathy when guests bring up an issue
● Acknowledge the root of the issue and own up to it
● Provide personalized solutions
A large part of delivering great customer service is being available when guests need you. Even if you don’t live in your rental’s area, assure them they’ll have no trouble reaching you.
Hospitalitynet defines customer experience as, “How a client feels about the sum of their interactions with a business. It involves every way a customer interacts with a company, at all stages of the buyer journey.”
For you and your vacation rental, this means customer experience includes guests’ traveling experience at every stage of the process. Examples of this are:
● The booking process
● Communication with you before, during and after their stay
Your vacation rental’s brand impacts the customer experience because it represents you and your property. Every moment between when travelers first see your rental online to your communication with them after they leave is a reflection your brand.
A successful brand makes it a point to stay engaged with customers after the buying process, so in your case, after their trip. Doing so is beneficial because it shows you appreciate them for choosing your vacation rental, effectively increasing the chances they will come back again. Ways to get your brand in front of travelers include:
● Having a social media presence
● Asking for their feedback
Building a quality brand takes time, but if you do it right, you’ll see it was well worth it.
Care For Your Guests, Fill Up Your Calendar
Every action you take as a host affects how guests perceive you and your vacation rental. Keep both customer service and customer experience in mind as you continue to improve yours, and you may end up having the most desirable vacation property in your area.