We chat with 5 accommodation providers who’ve found the secret sauce for happy guests. Simply watch the recording and discover the recipe for yourself.
- Unearth how nailing the guest experience has ramped up their review scores.
- Learn what steps they’ve taken to excel at guest communications.
- Discover what common guest management challenges have been overcome by super hosts, property managers, B&B owners, RVers and glamping sites alike.
Hosted by Andy McNulty and Tyann Marcink from Touch Stay, creators of the digital guidebook.
- Deborah Kane (Founder & CEO, GoCamp)
- Dean Carlson (Owner, Villa Temenos)
- Jayne Hancock (Owner, Fields Lodge Boutique B&B)
- Lorraine Galloway (Operator, Wigwam® Holidays Wigtown)
- Andy Meddick (Founder & CEO, Seachange Vacation Rentals)
Questions answered during the webinar:
- Once they’ve booked, what is it in your experience that guests want most?
- How much time in an average week does answering guest questions take up?
- What have been your learning curves in guest communications?
- As Touch Stay users, how has a digital guest guidebook freed up your time?
- What do guests make of your guides?
Comments and questions from the attendees
We text a link to the guide on the morning of arrival and the following morning. People open texts and they’ll keep the link on the phone for easy access. We use videos and text because people consume in different ways
Love it Glenn, ample opportunity for guests to see it. And agreed texts generally are more accessible. Also like the mix of video and text to cater for the preferences of different guests.
Text and WhatsApp get opened more than emails for me
Like Glenn’s comment, we agree. WhatsApp is also good for seeing if the recipient viewed the message.
We run a BnB and also get asked about local events. I used to embed a google calender on my website, adding events as I found them. Is it possible to add a calender into Touchstay? Thanks
Potentially we could embed it, it just gets tricky because the viewport when embedded might not display the calendar so well. Could you create a hyperlink to the calendar? It will take guests away from the Touch Stay guide, but it might be a better viewing experience for them.
I’m going to add What3Words (App) for my cottage position.
We’ve seen other customers include the link to their W3W position from the directions section or parking section in Touch Stay. It’s brilliant! You can of course move the map pin to the precise location in Touch Stay, achieving a similar result, but giving the guests the extra option of using W3W gives flexibility.
- Also Robert Geller and Nicky Cross
Our contact details provide email/phone and a text only. Most people prefer text. We link to slack so all the team can view incoming texts
Linking to Slack so the entire team can see incoming texts is genius. Great idea!
I think there still has to be some face to face contact, and valued by guests, also required for legal, need to have some face to face at some point, duty of care in property…I’m 700 miles away but local housekeeper checks in within 24hrs. Heard comment in UK on T&Cs webinar recently
We won’t comment on the legality of situations since we’re not at all qualified. However, as humans, the value of an interaction with a real person is very important. Lorraine described it really well. She’s able to make the check-in/out process work without her physically present but she is still onsite and does interact with guests during other parts of the stay. That personal connection isn’t always possible with remote hosting so, in that case, weaving some other human element into the process is key. Whether that’s a call on the morning after arrival to check how the guest is, or a personal video included in a guide like Touch Stay, or someone who is local (like your housekeeper) to offer that human connection.
I assume the google form is a link or is it embedded?
It’s a link although it could be possible to embed it depending on dimensions. But a link is far easier. Have a look at point #1 in this article in which Tyann explains the Google Form process.
One of the best uses I have for Touchstay is to provide a link to where guests can leave a Google review for my property
Yup, makes total sense!
We still have a significant minority of guests who ask for the paper book because they either don’t have a smart phone or just prefer paper so a different perspective from most of the panel
I believe this question was answered on the webinar. But we failed to mention that guests can click the print icon in Touch Stay to generate a PDF and then print some/all pages.
I put health warning on the hard copy guide book, plus a QR code to the Touchstay guidebook
QR codes rock! So simple to create using something like https://www.qrcode-
monkey.com/And also look at point #5 in this article which has a link to our free Canva template like Tyann explained.
I created a little booklet and posted to guests in advance of stay so they can peruse before leaving home
Now that is GOLD. Who gets interesting things through the mail these days?! To receive something like that would be wonderful, a genuine smile on face moment. A great branding opportunity too.
We use a Google Form in Touchstay to get bed configuration and ask them to confirm they have read and accepted our T&C’s. They cannot send form till accepted as tick box is mandatory. We put QR codes on every bed
Great idea, Glyn, to use a mandatory tick box. If anyone wants to know about Google Forms and QR codes, see above.
Yes! We leave a welcome letter with the QR code on which links them to the guide.
Ah, the welcome letter. Under used and yet such a strong statement about your approach to guest experience. Like the above mailing of a mini guide, this is another example of a wow moment because few people do it. So keep doing it!!
We put a welcome letter in each cottage giving QR code and reminder to download TS. The letter also reiterates what has changed due to covid so they aren’t disappointed with no cushions etc!
Ha, another welcome letter advocate. YES! And a great use case to reinforce that some things are very different to a stay during “normal” times.
I send week before same time as the gushing Airbnb you are going on holiday soon… 🙂
And I am certain yours will be more appreciated than Airbnb’s message 🙂
Please DO share your video guide! Thanks.
The mentioned videos on how to use the hot tub at Tyann’s vacation homes.
I send out a month before arrival as many guests want to book restaurants and water sport activities that get booked up
Great example of why it’s important to send at different moments during the entire pre-stay process. Hopefully you’re able to automate that to send out x days/weeks/months prior to arrival with a relevant message, in this case reminding guests to book restaurants before they travel to avoid the fully-booked disappointment.
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Additional technical questions
Marian French: Are you able to link to a specific part of the guide?
Yes. It’s not something you can do yet from your login (coming soon) but you can email Joe on firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll send you a file with your internal links.
Graham Stow: So how is Deborah able to put personal information for one particular guest on TouchStay without other guests seeing it?
I don’t believe she does. I think she was referencing information that her owners should have included in the guide but didn’t. She’s now able to do that herself rather than waiting on her vehicle owners to do it.
Keren Cinzio: Would it be too off putting to not provide the entry code before they sign off on reading the rules and or accommodations guide?
It’s tempting but runs the risk that they never do this and then you end up fielding last minute calls/emails/texts about the door code. Why not try it as a test and see what happens? Would love to hear the results as maybe something others could benefit from adopting.