If you have read our free e-book for hosts and property managers, you will know there are two things you can never scrimp on: professional photography and super-fast Wi-Fi. And if we were to add a third to that list, it would be excellent communication.
Strong communication can vastly improve the guest experience, help you to achieve top ratings, and increase revenue. These things – and more – were confirmed in a recent report published by digital guidebook providers Touch Stay, who surveyed more than 2,000 guests in July.
In terms of the number of messages, guests contacted 3-5 times reported a higher satisfaction rating. Interestingly, 66% of guests received two or fewer messages from their hosts, while a small number received no communication at all (which seems remarkable!).
In terms of timing, 28% of guests said they preferred to receive check-in details immediately after booking, while 21% said a week before was the perfect timeframe. About 20% also preferred to receive recommendations, including restaurants, at the time of booking.
As a result of effective communication, guests reported being able to discover new attractions, book popular restaurants, enjoy a discount, purchase add-ons, or book extra nights. 40% appreciated recommendations from hosts, while 38% said a passionate host improved their visit.
Here is some information we include in our check-in details, which hopefully you will find useful:
Restaurant recommendations, including some which offer an exclusive discount to our guests
Information about nearby attractions and public transport options
Details on how to purchase add-ons, such as a late check-out, subject to availability
The opportunity to purchase extra nights, subject to availability
When it comes to reviews, 69% said communication influences the likelihood of them leaving positive feedback. And as we mentioned in a recent article, one way to boost your ratings is to prompt your guests to leave a good review.
One other communication tactic is to offer your guests the chance to book directly if they would like to return to the property. The perfect time to share your direct booking option might be on check-out, at the same time you ask for a good review.