Last Updated on June 7, 2016 by Mark Lavington
The build up to a holiday can be an exciting one for your guests. In anticipation they’ll have created a number of expectations in their mind about the quality of the accommodation, the local area and the experience they feel they’re likely to enjoy.
How are these expectations formed, and what can you do in order to effectively shape and manage your holiday letting guest expectations?
With visitor expectations rising year on year this is becoming an increasingly important part of owning a holiday cottage and ensuring that your guests go home happy that each of their expectations have been readily met or even exceeded.
We discuss a few areas you can use to make sure that your customers know exactly what they’re getting…
This can be an area that is often neglected so when was the last time you wrote, reviewed or updated yours?
When someone visits your website they’ll be doing so with a list of things you’ll need to fulfill in order to gain their booking; some of these will be conscious and others, sub-conscious.
They’ll have things that they’ll need from their accommodation (for example a certain number of rooms), they’ll have things that might be desirable and add something extra (for example a hot tub), and finally fears or worries (for example being somewhere too remote and without local shops).
By working out what your visitors need, want and fear, you can then effectively answer these through each of the pages of your website.
In doing so you’ll be answering all of their questions, and creating a clear picture of what they can expect. You’ll be managing their expectations by increasing their knowledge of your cottage. For more information on improving the copy on your holiday home website listing see our previous post:
Whilst words will tell them everything they need to know, photos will give them a real feel of what to expect.
You’ll probably already know that photographing the interiors of a holiday home is a tricky business; lighting and making the rooms seem as large as real life are just a couple of the common barriers holiday homeowners will have faced when trying to get the perfect shot.
Consider investing in a professional photographer to ensure your rooms, and other areas are done justice and give a realistic expectation as to what someone can expect.
Also, make sure you have a wide range of photography; both inside and outside, to ensure that nothing is left to the imagination (which is where expectation and reality begin to part).
For more information on eye catching photography for your holiday home website listing see our previous post:
Communication with guests
Whilst expectations can be built and shaped through your website communication, they will continue to evolve during the run up to their visit.
This could be as the result of previous experiences both good and bad, so it’s important you continue to communicate with them and let them know exactly what to expect.
This can include information about their welcome pack, when they can check in, what they’ll need to bring with them and what’s already provided.
The more information you’re able to give them, the better you’ll be able to manage their expectations.
Welcome information folders are an important tool when for communicating useful information to your guests. For more information on welcome folder content ideas and why it’s important to keep them fresh see our previous posts:
- 10 content ideas for your Holiday Let Welcome Folder
- Keeping your Holiday Let Welcome Folder fresh has many benefits
It’s the little things
Whilst you can manage the expectations in the run up to a guest’s visit it’s still the little things that count. Think of elements you can add to their stay that may now exceed their expectations; have you considered adding something special or seasonal to the welcome pack? Perhaps hooking up with another local tourist business to offer them a special discount? Or even a pre-decoration service if they’re coming for a special occasion?
Adding and exceeding guest expectations could mean more repeat bookings, so once you’ve shaped them, make sure they have the stay they expect and so much more!
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.