In this next installment of improving guest experience, we'll look into ways we can end your guest's reservation on a good note to ensure positive feedback and a great testimonial. Keeping in mind the importance of following up after the conclusion of a vacation stay, it's important to understand why, and how valuable your communication with guests can result in increased bookings, ratings, and overall confidence in your listing.
Another important facet of follow up with your guests is through sincerity. Sometimes, things just don't go as planned, whether it's due to minor issues out of your control, or completely forgetting to check-off an item on your preparation list. While you should definitely attempt to remediate any error during the reservation, clarifying any mistakes in a later message and wishing your guest well can go a long way in how they felt about their stay overall. This level of attention is sure to stick with your guests, something they'll keep in mind when writing their testimonial (which, in itself, is not always guaranteed - but following up increases these odds significantly!)
Here are four things you should do after your guests have concluded their stay at their vacation rental:
1. Provide Brief Details for Checking-Out. Don't expect your guests to read through a booklet on how to properly check-out - oftentimes they are in a hurry to catch a flight, return a car rental, or just make it out of your listing on time. Prepare a script, preferably through the platform messenger or by text, with two or three simple steps for check-out. This could include "Please leave the keys inside the lockbox," which also helps as a reminder for where to leave the keys. This also helps reduce the chances of guests accidentally taking your keys!
2. End the Reservation on a Good Note. Most of the time, your guests are likely to respond to your check-out details with confirmation that they left your vacation rental. Wait for this message - if it never arrives, you can still send another message later wishing the well. Thank them for staying at your vacation rental and ask for any suggestions on how to improve their stay. If they respond, this will also provide you with a chance to earn valuable information about your property and confirm that you'll make the changes for future guests.
3. Leave Feedback on their Profile Within 72 Hours. Doing so shows that you're a responsive host and also initiates an automatic email, or text notification from the platform that you have left feedback on their profile. This also works as a reminder for your guests to leave feedback, without directly asking them.
4. Follow-up within 48 Hours of Leaving Feedback. Whether or not your guests have left feedback by this point is irrelevant - you shouldn't text their private number as it likely violates the terms of service of the platform, but sending a message over the platform showing your appreciation for their stay, and how clean they left your property, can go a long way. It will also give them confidence that they were good guests and feel compelled to leave feedback. You should also include a passive request for feedback somewhere in your message, letting them know their opinion is valuable.
By following these guidelines, and the proposed timeline, you allow your guest to return to their home - or next destination - comfortably, feeling unrushed and motivated to write feedback for your listing. Many times, you can also respond to the public feedback, either addressing concerns or once again praising your guests for being great tenants who are welcome back anytime. This showcases your vibrant personality and instills confidence in potential customers of the future. Remember, while your vacation rental pictures, descriptions, and amenities are all important in attracting customers to your listing and confirming their reservation, your testimonies and feedback can be the deciding factor. With search functions available for the feedback section of various platforms, following-up with your guests can go a long way.