A lot of short term rental owners think that the direct booking revolution is about increasing the margins and cutting out the intermediary. The important thing to bear in mind, however, is that it is also about knowing and owning your guests before, during and after a stay. To boost your direct booking, knowing your guests online is essential. We at Zeevou suggest 3 steps to help you know your guests better online.
Step 1: Build Your Brand
– OTAs. Attract.
You can attract your guest’ attention to acknowledge your brand even if they’ve booked your short let through an OTA. It is the first among the steps to know your guests online. Make sure to
- Include brand name in your listing titles.
- Display photos on the TV in your property with your logo & #bookdirect slogan and extra details about the benefits of direct booking.
- Provide eye-catching photos and realistic, detailed descriptions of your listings to make a significant first impression.
– Website. Convert.
You have the chance of converting OTAs-driven guests to your own guests through your website.
- Wow your customers and win their trust. If you look satisfactory and trustworthy to them, they will come back to your website sooner or later.
- Convert lookers into bookers by implementing a seamless, well-functioning booking engine to your website and make clear calls to actions to stimulate booking.
- Incentivise direct bookings on your website. Exclusive discounts stimulate booking dramatically.
– Communications. Retain.
- Include #bookdirect details and benefits in all emails. Make one footer including your website link, phone number, and a brief list of the advantages of direct booking for all your emails.
- Be the starter of proactive communications. Provide solutions to common problems of guests and improve your margin.
- Speedy replies reinforce positive feelings. Be quick to reply to all enquiries and requests.
Step 2: Build Customer Loyalty
– Before Guests’ Stay
- Publish clear and accurate information including property description, house rules, and financial information.
- Make sure guests receive timely check-in details which explain the process of check-in as well as your expectations. To be clear, prepare detailed instructions.
- Collect guest details and preferences. Email addresses are gold but make sure to obtain GDPR marketing consent for future email marketing campaigns. Enquire the guests regarding special requirements.
– During Guests’ Stay
- Ensure your guests are happy. You could contact them the following check-in. Clarify for them how to contact you and contact them before check-out.
- Provide useful information like the house manual, local guide, and vouchers for local businesses.
- Resolve issues promptly.
– After Guests’ Stay
- Collect feedback. Do the follow-up by phone in case of negative experiences. Log your learnings and put processes in place and request positive reviews to be left on third party sites.
- Make your guests feel appreciated. Engage on a human level through your communications. Let them know once you’ve acted on feedback. Send a promotion for their birthday.
- Engage with exclusive promotions through email campaigns and social media. Identify repeat bookers and follow up closely.
The Final One Among the Steps to Know Your Guests Online:
Build Up Evangelists
– Why #bookdirect?
- Position it as a “cause.”
“A product or service, no matter how great, is a collection of parts or snippets of code. A “cause,” by contrast, changes lives. It’s not enough to make a great product or service—you also need to position it and explain it as a way to improve lives. Evangelists need to seize the moral high ground and transcend the exchange of money for goods and services.”
- Explain the advantages of #bookdirect to guests.
Direct contact with the host makes it easier to make amendments. By having direct contact with the host, guests can receive prompt replies to questions and be informed of the future discounts by exchanging direct contact details. Apart from better rates, guests can get the advantage of exclusive availability.
- There are effective advantages to hosts, which are higher profit margins, more time to focus on customer service, and more money to reinvest in facilities.
– What is their role?
- Equip them with knowledge.
- Provide referral cards.
- Offer an advantage for direct referrals.
– How to #bookdirect
- Check on free listings sites: Google Maps, Houfy, Zeevou Direct.
- Check on OTAs.
- Contact the property directly.
Zeevou, the pioneer of The Direct Booking Revolution!, is here to decrease your dependency on OTAs. Taking steps to know your guests online is one of the suggestions. As more and more short term rental owners asked for an opportunity to join The Direct Booking Revolution!, Zeevou decided to give away the bulk of its direct booking technology without charging a dime. We listened and launched Zeevou’s Evangelist Plan, which is totally free. To join Zeevou’s Evangelist Plan, please click here.