Greeting your holiday rentals guests in the right way can make a big difference to their perception of their holiday and how they treat your property. Customer service in holiday lettings can be approached in many different ways. This blog will nudge you to think about how you do it and maybe give you some ideas of how you might do it differently, making it easier for yourself and your guests or it may confirm to you that what you are doing works for you.
The first and most often overlooked essential for good customer service are the driving directions, so make sure that yours are detailed and easy to follow. Photos will help. Anybody getting lost at the end of a long journey is going to feel a little grumpy.
Do you live on site or very nearby?
If so then you can be there to greet them on arrival, hand over the keys and give them a tour of the property. In order to do this you are going to need:
- An expected time of arrival (or get their flight details so you can check delays online)
- Their mobile number
- To have given them your contact number and asked them to contact you if they are going to be late
Sometimes bombarding people with too much information as soon as they arrive after a long, tiring, hot journey is counter productive. They wont take on board everything you are saying and may resent your presence somewhat. Remember, no matter how much you love your property, for the time your guests arrive they want to think of it as their own. It may therefore be a better idea to leave the keys in a key safe for them and pop round later in the day or the morning after to say hello and show them the ropes.
Do you live remotely?
In this case your caretaker or property manager can take care of the arrival for you, and may also offer meet services – the good ones will even go out and find lost guests like this company www.mountainxtra.com in France. It may be that your caretaker does not fluently speak the language of your guests, in which case the provision of written instructions is vital. I prefer to send everything to my guests before they arrive as part of a Holiday Information Book and to leave a copy in the house. This way they do not have to wade through a whole pile of paperwork as soon as they arrive.
The little touches make all the difference
Many holiday properties leave a welcome pack for guests now. This is a simple, not overly expensive way of making the guests feel special and giving a good overall first impression. These can range from anything from a few sachets of tea, coffee and sugar with a pint of milk to full hampers. Why not have a think about how your guests may specifically feel on arrival:
Is your holiday rental in a very hot place and do your guests have children? Leaving ice lollies in the freezer, and juice cartons in the fridge is a thoughtful touch.
- Is there a local vineyard? Leave a bottle of their wine with a note about how to find the vineyard, giving local businesses a gentle push too.
- Are you on hand and do you like baking? Homemade cakes, biscuits or bread will always be well received!
- Are your rentals during the cooler months? Make sure there is a stock of firelighters and logs, better still light the fires before they arrive.
- Will it be dark when they arrive? Leave some outdoor and the entrance hall lights on.
Finally it is worth remembering that guests staying in self catering accommodation are generally wanting a more independent holiday than B+B or hotel guests and may rather not see you at all! This is a judgement that you may make for your property as a whole or may be on a guest by guest basis. Why not ask them?
We would be very keen to hear your views on this and what little touches you make to welcome your guests so please leave a comment.