How to Manage the Airbnb Guest Experience
Like other guest service businesses, Airbnb hosting is all about creating memorable experiences for every paying customer. As a result, Airbnb hosts are held to a high standard in terms of the amenities and communication they are expected to offer their guests.
This article will explore how to anticipate the needs of your guests, resolve any complaints or issues, and manage each booking in such a way that you consistently earn great guest reviews thanks to your gracious hospitality and excellent service.
Prepare the Property for Guests
The first step in creating a fantastic experience is greeting your guests with a well-maintained, stocked, and clean vacation home that they'll be happy to stay in for the duration of their booking. Each of these factors is likely to affect your guests' mood and attitudes right from the start, which is why giving them pride of place in your concierge preparations is so essential.
Clean each significant section of your short-term rental property shortly before each new booking. Prioritize cleaning tasks such as dusting all surfaces, vacuuming and sweeping the floors, providing fresh linens, and keeping the bathroom spotless.
When it comes to typical amenities to keep in stock, be sure to include everyday essentials such as toiletries, fresh towels, adequate kitchen supplies, and access to Wi-Fi. Personal welcome touches (such as a guidebook to the area or a welcome basket) can also go the extra mile in starting the guest experience off right.
On top of taking the appropriate hospitality measures, you should also double-check any safety requirements, such as working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, easily accessible fire extinguishers, and functioning door and window locks.
With cleanliness, comfort, and safety taken care of, you can move on to establishing a rapport with your guests.
Build a Relationship with Guests
Part of making your guests feel right at home is extending courtesy and clear communication right from the start. Once a potential guest has committed to researching your Airbnb property, respond to any inquiries clearly and promptly.
Respond to guest questions as fast as you can, and be sure to let your guests know how much you earnestly look forward to hosting them once they've confirmed their booking. Even if you have to refuse a booking for any reason, do so with civility and a sense of apology so that the inquirers won't be put off.
When you have incoming guests, make sure to provide any essential information before they check-in, such as access codes, instructions for using any appliances within the vacation home, and any other need-to-know tidbits. Be extra patient with guests who have trouble understanding your check-in procedures, such as older or otherwise less tech-savvy guests who have trouble navigating smart locks and other self-check-in methods.
Similarly, make the check-out process as seamless as possible so that guests don't feel any extra stress as they wrap up their vacation.
Match Your Guests' Individual Needs
Every guest has particular needs and unique expectations when they check into your vacation rental home. Part of being a good Airbnb host is showcasing your flexibility by accommodating those needs.
For instance, perhaps you usually greet your guests with a welcome basket complete with milk chocolate, only for your guests to message you that they have a dietary restriction. Shake up your routine by swapping out the items in your welcome basket so your guests can feel safe and at home.
Flexibility is one of the most significant advantages that short-term rental services like Airbnb have over traditional hotels and motels. That means being as flexible as you can reasonably manage (such as concerning check-in/check-out or cancellations) is one of the most important things you can do to create an excellent travel experience.
If you have any intelligent technology or unusual appliances in your vacation property, let your guests know ahead of time how to operate those devices. The easier you make it for guests to feel at home and enjoy their stay when it comes to even the most minor things, the likelier your guests are to leave you an outstanding review.
Offer Tips for Your Locale
Insider travel information is another exciting part of the Airbnb experience. Giving travelers the scoop on the best eateries, local events, and must-see places will make them feel like they have access to a 5-star hotel's concierge at half the price.
Don't limit your advice to the best spots to visit, however. Also, keep your guests informed about how to take advantage of local/public transportation, give them advice on the best options for getting around (such as which major highway has the fewest delays), and any potential hazards to look out for on the road.
Pay attention to any nearby roadwork construction so that you can give your guests a heads-up, and let them know if any of the major attractions have pricey or otherwise restrictive parking. In everything you do, give them enough information to make the most of their sightseeing experience while staying at your Airbnb property.
Stay Available for Communication
As you've probably guessed by now, open and cordial communication (including honest and timely responses) is everything when it comes to providing a phenomenal, 5-star experience. In addition to being quick on the draw when responding to booking inquiries and requests (24-hour-response time at the most), you should also demonstrate professionalism after your booked guests have checked in.
Send out scheduled messages (such as a check-in message halfway through a guest's stay to make sure they're enjoying everything) to let guests know they're on your mind and that you're always there to take care of their needs.
If a guest does need something from you, respond in a friendly and positive manner within an hour of receiving their message. We'll go into more detail about resolving complaints and issues below, but in terms of communication speed, be fast, honest, and kind in your approach.
Your digital demeanor when interacting with guests throughout their stay will have an incredible impact on the final score they give you after check-out.
Resolve Problems Promptly
No matter how well you prepare things ahead of time, something can also go wrong during your Airbnb guest's stay. That's why reliable communication and timely responses are so essential.
As soon as a guest lets you know about an issue on the property, such as a broken appliance or a leaky roof, take action immediately. Start by apologizing to your guests, then reach out to your maintenance staff or your list of handyman contacts so that a professional can resolve the issue.
You should also be willing to provide your help for any problem that arises during a guest's stay, especially if it's something as straightforward as supplying more toilet paper or new linens.
When working to resolve a customer issue or complaint, you should find ways to go the extra mile so that you overcome whatever negative emotions the problem created. Anything from a handwritten thank-you note to additional sightseeing recommendations can put guests in a better frame of mind following an unexpected problem during their stay.
Offer Personalized Amenities
Excellent customer service means treating guests like valuable human beings rather than dollar signs. A big part of conveying that sense of compassion and empathy is adding small, personalized touches to the overall Airbnb experience.
As mentioned above, a welcome gift or basket containing a personalized note can be quite a treat for guests checking into your property for the first time. You can make the basket extra special by including locally sourced food or drink so the guests can immediately feel at home.
The number or makeup of your guest group can also determine which amenities to showcase. A family, for instance, will probably appreciate clearly displayed books or board games to use during their stay.
Or perhaps the guests have indicated that they're in town to celebrate a special event, such as a birthday, anniversary, or honeymoon. If so, it wouldn't hurt to include a small surprise, such as a complimentary box of chocolates or a balloon decoration.
No matter which route you choose, personalized amenities will go a long way toward making your Airbnb property stand out from the rest.
Reward Top-Notch Guests
Not all guests are created equal, which is why those who recommend your Airbnb property to their friends or others online or through word of mouth appreciate your recognition. Leaving your guests a positive review and establishing a loyalty program show the guests you value their ongoing support.
Apart from direct rewards, you can also maintain good ties with your guests after check-out. Send a post-check-out message after your Airbnb guests have left so that you can make sure their stay was enjoyable. Ask them to leave positive feedback, as well as let you know how you could do better next time.
Taking all these steps increases your chances of receiving referrals following an exceptional experience, which will give you the chance to show even more guests your top-shelf customer service.
Contact Us Today!
Want to know how to transform your guest experiences through unbeatable concierge services? Contact the team at Vello to learn how much our short-term rental property managers can do for you today!
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