In the last few years, delivering an outstanding customer experience has been a main focus point for many businesses and industries. CX is not a new concept in the vacation rental industry, though.
We take a look at how using email autoresponders can truly enhance the guest experience and gain more bookings, all the while saving VR owners and managers a lot of time and effort.
What defines the “guest experience”?
Providing an outstanding guest experience and making renters feel “home away from home” has been a priority to owners and property managers ever since the beginning. However, the tools with which CX is delivered have changed, and it’s important for VR owners and managers to adapt to new mechanisms.
VR owners and managers alike need to acknowledge the fact that a positive guest experience is no longer just created by providing a fancy property with top-of-the-range amenities and services. Instead, the guest experience begins as soon as they visit your vacation rental website or listing, and it continues right up until the guest submits their glowing review and recommends you to friends and family.
We already know about the importance of mobile-friendly websites for delivering a great guest experience across all devices, but what else can you do to ensure a seamless user experience on your vacation rental website?
Our advice to vacation rental owners
Install or activate an autoresponder on your site and immediately drive your customer service up a notch or two.
Although it’s pretty easy to be helpful and personally answer all inquiries at the beginning, once you enter peak season and start receiving multiple inquiries each day, it gets difficult and very time-consuming to keep up with the correspondence.
That’s why using so-called autoresponders and canned responses can be extremely useful when handling bulk inquiries.
What is an autoresponder?
Autoresponders are automatically generated emails that are sent to the guest when they (for example), inquire about your property, make a booking request, or are asked to submit a review after their stay. Autoresponders enable you to manage your time more efficiently and ensure that all inquiries are taken care of promptly.
There are many solutions which offer an autoresponder service. You could use your personal email account to send out automatic replies, or opt to use more sophisticated solution like Lodgify, which includes several options of customizable autoresponders and canned responses.
Why use autoresponders?
Bear in mind that your potential guests may have sent inquiries to three, four, even five different vacation rental owners. So what’s going to set you apart from the others?
A quick, helpful response.
VR operators need to reply in a timely fashion to all kinds of inquiries – whether that’s answering questions about the rental property itself, the neighborhood, logistics, or rates etc. Otherwise, they may lose the booking to another vacation rental property in the area.
And “timely” means within an hour or two. Easier said than done – of course. So that’s when your autoresponder comes in.
So, having these preset messages can really help save VR owners a lot of time and effort.
Using Lodgify’s autoresponder function
Lodgify’s reservation manager provides you with a complete set of generic autoresponders in more than 10 languages. These automated emails include:
A “Thank You” message to the guest for inquiring
An assurance that you’ll get back to them ASAP
A recap of the property or booking details
Links to helpful resources
And most importantly, an email signature with all of your contact information
You can, of course, choose the email notifications you want to have sent out automatically.
If you’re not sure when you should send automated emails, think about these for ideas:
When a potential guest makes an inquiry
When a booking has been confirmed
Two days before a guest arrives to provide some final logistical information
A couple of days after the guest has left to ask for a review
Give your own magic touch to your predefined emails in Lodgify’s reservation manager – add your own text, links, images – anything that will give your mail some personality. After all, guests don’t want to communicate with robots!
What’s more, you can add unlimited personal canned responses, and simply choose those responses when replying to common inquiries from guests, such as “when can I check-in?” or ”how much is a taxi from the airport?”.
You simply select your pre-written response and press send. What used to take you around five minutes each time is now done within seconds.
What to take away
Implementing autoresponders is recommended for the day-to-day management of your properties. Not only will it make your life easier, but it can also increase your booking conversion.
If you have any additional advice regarding the use of autoresponders, feel free to leave us a comment! If you have any questions or feedback about Lodgify’s automated email system, simply reach out to us via chat or email and we’ll be happy to explain further.
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