Where a guest stays can be the most exciting aspects of a vacation. Guests aren’t made to feel treasured by accident! By constantly offering superior service, hotels create a lasting impression on guests (and the return again, and again). As a vacation rental owner, you can learn a lot from luxury hotels, and by implementing some of their strategies, you can also create a five-star experience for your guests.
Some of the best hotels in the world get their reputation from delivering excellent customer service. From the moment a guest checks in, or even when they are making their reservation, one key personalization technique that luxury hotels use is name use. Using someone’s name is the easiest way to make them feel special, showing them that they are more than just a number.
In the vacation rental industry, interacting with guests can be more intimate and personal than at a large-scale hotel. Keeping your conversations friendly and personal (“Hey David, thanks for calling!” or “Great question, Amy, let me clarify”) can make guests feel like they are talking to a friend, and not a stranger.
If meeting the guest upon check in is part of your check-in process, you have even more opportunities to provide excellent service before they reach the door. Greeting them, giving them a tour of the rental, and answering their questions makes them feel like you want them there and that they are welcome. After a long day of travel, a genuine and friendly face is always appreciated.
Another luxury perk is in having a seamless check-in experience. Especially if the family has traveled far (and/or with kids), prioritizing a seamless check-in will do wonders for your guests. Make sure your guests have a quick check-in, and you will be well on your way to showing them that you value their time.
During the reservation process, make note if they are celebrating any personal milestones or occasions during their stay at your rental. This is a powerful and effective way to deliver five-star service. Is a child having a birthday? – Leave a small gift with balloons. Is a couple celebrating their anniversary? – Then leave champagne and chocolates.
Small gestures leave big impacts; you’ll most certainly receive a great review!
There are two things that most people (especially guests) never decline: food and free stuff!
It’s customary for hotels to stock their bathrooms with toiletries for their guests to use, but many exceed that expectation by also supplying free water, coffee, or even wine in the room for guests.
Similarly, by leaving a “welcome pack” at your vacation home, with snacks, travel-sized toiletries, tea, coupons for pizza delivery, or water toys (for homes with swimming pools or next to a body of water) can make your guests feel like they’ve hit a homerun by renting your home.
Most travelers that choose to stay at vacation rentals do not expect that they will have meals prepared for them, however, leaving staples like breakfast goods or pantry items goes a long way in creating a great impression.
Families will want differing amounts of access to you, some will want you available just for check-in and then expect you to disappear forever. Others will want to sit down and glean all the insider knowledge you have about the area.
Interaction with guests depends on the comfort level of both parties. It is important, however, to touch base with your guests at least once or twice while they are there.
The vacation rental industry is also the relationship industry – people go on vacation to relax, be pampered, and be comfortable. If you can succeed in making that happen by diligently listening to your guests and acting on their suggestions, you will instantly set yourself apart from the competition; this is the essence of five-star service.
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