Previously outstanding customer service in hospitality meant welcoming your guests at the door of the property. But the industry has evolved and reshaped around current short-term rental travel trends and consumer demands. This is not to say that establishing a meaningful connection with guests is no longer the key to success. It’s quite the opposite. Communication between yourself and guests is more imperative than ever.
So, the goal remains the same, but how we offer customer service has shifted. Technology innovation has transformed the short-term rental scene by creating solutions to adhere to the modern traveler’s needs.
These adaptations include automated contactless solutions, like keyless entry. Guests no longer need to interact face-to-face with property managers but can access the property through pre-arranged codes or by scanning an app on their mobile phones. So, if you never physically see or talk to your guest, how do you achieve the ‘personal touch’ they expect?
3 ways tech can make short-term rental guests feel at home
There is a golden window of opportunity between when guests book their vacation and when they arrive at their destination. Take advantage of this with regular reminders to increase guests’ passive anticipation of their vacation.
Our world has become hyper-connected. We have endless information at the touch of a button. Guests, especially those of the younger generations such as Millennials and Gen Z, will expect to be updated with messages via their phones at every step of the journey.
With automated tech software, like an all-in-one property management platform with integrated solutions, you can offer your guests consistent communication throughout their entire customer journey. This includes the information sent after the booking process to prepare them for their stay and post-trip check-ins that can encourage reviews.
In-room digitized self-service
Give your guests the ability to resolve issues on their own and have control over the rental. Platforms using in-app communication offer guests automated services around the clock, which is in high demand. Research shows 80% of customers require quicker responses, and 39% admit they’d rather use self-service options as they can provide a faster solution.
It’s easy to meet guest expectations of accommodation controllability when tech solutions such as smart thermostats are connected to the property’s HVAC system. This not only allows guests to adjust the rental’s temperature for increased comfortability but comes with a host of property management benefits including setting limits, saving on costs with reduced consumption, and being notified of impending faults.
How can the tech which removes the need for the old ways of greeting guests make them feel welcome? We don’t have someone standing on our doorstep at home waiting to welcome us. We feel at home because it’s ours. It’s familiar. Contactless tech distances guests from the feeling of ‘sleeping in someone else’s bed’ with familiar attributes like the freedom to come and go as they please, control over aspects of the rental such as the temperature, and enhanced privacy as they’d have at home.
So, despite technology innovation diverging customer service from how we knew it to a ‘new normal’, it’s actually the driving factor in maintaining satisfied guests, especially since recent events have highlighted consumer awareness of health and safety risks.
Plus, contactless tech creates an unparalleled convenience for guests enhancing comfortability, and may appeal to a broader market – especially Millennials!
The benefits of making guests feel welcome
- Loyalty – Satisfied guests are more likely to come back to your property year after year because they will return on experience (ROE).
- Referrals – When travelers have a great experience, they’re likely to recommend you to others through positive word-of-mouth, especially families who will discuss their vacation with other families and relatives.
Going the extra mile to welcome short-term rental guests
It’s important to remember that although guests prefer contactless stays, they’re still expecting a personalized touch. You could use some of the money saved from employee efficiency to show guests you care. For example, leave a gift basket in their rental filled with locally bought items or stock the fridge with a yummy snack. You could even leave a scented air freshener in the rental based on the location, such as pine for forest getaways or tropical fruits for beachside homes, to instantly transport your guests into vacation mode. And don’t forget the handwritten note.
These human touches are sure to bridge the gap between not seeing your guests and making them feel welcome in your properties.
The short-term rental industry and the development of smart home technology solutions are moving at a quick pace. There’s no time to nostalgically reminisce about the old ways of customer service, not when guest demands have drifted so far from what they once were. Look forward and adopt the new ways of working to guarantee your guests feel at home when on vacation in your rentals.
Get in touch with our team to start your journey with property automation tech.