Increase Bookings by Staying in Touch with Guests
Thanks to technology, companies and brands are now able to stay connected to customers at all times because both sides are so accessible and available.
Want to get in touch with a customer service rep? Pull up the company’s app on your smartphone and send a message, easy!
While this is common for brands that sell consumer goods, other industries have adopted it and seen it pay dividends, too, like hospitality.
An example is Marriott International. The hotel powerhouse kept travelers close during the pandemic by staying engaged with them when they couldn’t travel.
The company partnered with 11,000 restaurants and delivery services and created a points system members of Bonvoy, its loyalty program, could earn and then use when travel resumed, according to this article. Further investments in technology (its app) allowed Marriott to continue communicating with guests and stay booked.
Please know this blog is not advising you to create an app for your vacation rental (whew). However, it is a good idea to follow Marriott’s lead and stay in touch with your guests to increase bookings.
Below are some simpler strategies you can adopt to inspire past guests to visit your vacation property again and create more memories.
This does not mean creating your own travel credit card to sell to guests, but rather, actual, genuine cards you write and mail throughout the year (just make sure you first get their consent and address).
Here are some ideas you can play around with.
Places frequented by tourists often sell postcards for them to send to friends and family or keep for themselves. This keeps the attraction, trip and surrounding location atop of mind, making a return more likely.
To ensure your postcards make a connection with guests, mail a postcard after they return home. This lets guests know you’re thinking about them and is a reminder there is more to come back for.
Traditionally, many households add holiday cards to their décor. People will place them on the refrigerator door or pin them on a bulletin board. This presents your rental an opportunity to take up some prime real estate in their home, but more importantly, mailing a holiday card also shows you value and appreciate your guests.
Plus, it may inspire them to spend the next most wonderful time of the year at your vacation property.
Four different seasons presents you four different opportunities to engage with your guests a year. Each one has unique aspects that make it special, so you can tailor the message to that and flaunt what your rental looks like in that particular season by including a picture.
Maybe the view of the sunset from the backyard in the summer is breathtaking, or the front yard becomes a winter wonderland from December to mid-March. However the seasons impact your property, show guests with seasonal cards, and include a personal message they’ll appreciate.
Brands, Modern Innkeeper included, engage with customers by sending them content, something you can do, too! By writing and emailing blogs to guests (again, you’ll need their consent and email address), you are keeping them in the know about your vacation rental and its surrounding area.
This method requires some work, but is worth it because it will strengthen your bond with them.
Coming up with what to write about is easier than you may think. Here are a few ideas:
● Feature new additions to your property, like a new fireplace alternative
● Promote fun, local activities and new businesses in your rental’s area
● Show off baked goods you welcome guests with
Anything to create excitement around your property works, and blogs do not have to be long! Just be sure they inspire another vacation and establish a connection.
Using a software like AWeber helps you keep an email list organized and simplifies the process.
Stay Connected and Booked
Too many businesses mistakenly focus on winning new business instead of getting the most out of their existing customers. When in reality, they would benefit more from concentrating on the second group.
In addition to being a host, you are also a business owner, so it is important you think like one.
A great starting point is engaging with your customers and seeing how it increases your rental’s bookings.