How to use communication to elevate your guest review scores

We all know how influential guest review scores are to the success of your short-term rental business.

Ensuring seamless communication is present throughout the entire guest journey will help translate into elevated guest review scores. This poses a whole host of benefits for short-term rental hosts, including a potential increase in repeat bookings, freedom from OTAs, as well as long-term wealth to reinvest back into your property. 

Yes, they really can have that much of an impact, so how do you communicate in a way that leads to glowing reviews all short-term rental hosts vie for?

Why is guest communication so important?

It’s easy to get sidetracked on other tasks related to running your holiday let. Some of these include: the presentation of your short-term rental listing, the booking process with your guests, or even, which amenities to select from local artisans. However, without guest communication, the guest experience falls apart one seam at a time.

Why is it so important? Let’s get into it!

Good communication forms the basis of a great experience by showing you care

For many guests, the following scenario is likely a familiar one: they’ve booked their Airbnb, excited for their holiday to get underway. Despite the initial automated messaging providing their booking details, they hear crickets from their hosts. It’s something our CEO here at Touch Stay, Andy McNulty, has encountered and it goes to show that it can happen to anyone:

“Most of my experiences of staying somewhere is that the person I’m staying with doesn’t communicate: it’s once on booking, and then almost at the time that I’m about to show up. But there’s nothing in between. It’s that moment of tumbleweed, that deserted town. It’s such a shame – there’s so many opportunities to communicate.” 

From the initial experience of guests booking your short-term rental, to the moment your guests return home – awash with post-holiday bliss – guest communication is easy to enact: especially when you automate the process. It speaks volumes to the care, value, and appreciation you express to your guests for choosing to stay with you.

Guest communication uncovers valuable trip insights

Did you know your communication with visitors at each stage of their journey in staying with you, will uncover valuable trip insights? Especially during the initial post-booking stage, your guest communications can reveal the purpose of their trip, like a wedding anniversary or a birthday.

These tidbits of information allow you to create a personalised guest experience by tailoring your holiday home to these special occasions.

These touches (for instance, leaving a bottle of champagne for the happy couple celebrating their anniversary, or a fresh bouquet of flowers on your kitchen counter for the birthday girl,) aren’t of great expense to your short-term rental property, yet have a lasting impact on your guests.

Collect enough post-booking information from your guests over time, and you can use this data to reveal patterns in your guests’ behaviour. For example, what their likes and dislikes are, and what type of guests do you typically attract to your short-term rental property? This allows you to cater to your guests’ wants and needs even more.

How to communicate to elevate your guest review scores

So, how exactly can communication elevate your guest review scores? These Touch Stay tactics will help kick your property reviews up a notch.

1. Remind and repeat

While guests are busy packing and planning their itinerary, it’s possible the information and resources you send go in one ear, and out the other. If your guests need to be reminded about your property guidelines, you can fill in the gaps by adopting a ‘remind and repeat’ mantra.

Ensure your communications leading up to their stay with you are friendly but to the point. Don’t be afraid to repeat important information and key features of your property. Guests with too much on their minds will appreciate the reminders as it prepares, informs, and reassures them that everything is taken care of ahead of their holiday.

2. Provide personalised recommendations

Local highlights that guests won’t find anywhere else will have your visitors feeling like the VIPs of the town. Again, by using your post-booking communications to your advantage, you can customise your recommendations for visiting guests.

If your data reveals a hen party has booked into your short-term rental, such recommendations can include:

–        A drag queen mimosa brunch

–        Blushing bride spa packages

–        Bottle service for a retro bar

Make your guests’ stay even more special by providing exclusive discounts and affiliate codes to bars and restaurants, boutiques, shops, and spas. Partnering up with local businesses is mutually beneficial – bringing in more customers for your town while earning you a small kickback for your short-term rental property.

3. Get creative with your guest notifications

Communications can be sent at every stage of the guest journey – for example:

●       Promote your upsells when advising them of what things to book ahead of their stay

●       A simple check-in to make sure your guests have arrived safely

●       Directions and entry information to nearby attractions

●       A message of gratitude on the day of your guests’ departure

●       A gentle nudge to leave a review

What do you say to your guests when wanting to communicate or notify them of pertinent information relating to their stay? Don’t be afraid to show off your creative side as part of your interaction with visitors, or when building out your automated flow of guest communications

Breathing new life into your guest communications is as simple as implementing gentle reminders to send throughout your guests’ trip and incorporating them as a component of the complete guest experience.

If you’re looking to elevate your guest review scores and host experience, check out Know Your Guest – available with Touch Stay’s digital guidebook and create your own seamless all-in-one resource for creating a winning guest experience.

This is a guest post written and produced by Touch Stay, December 2022

This article was first published at https://superhog.com/blog-post-guest-review-scores-touchstay/

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