The guest experience starts long before check-in. The ease in which they’re able to navigate your web site and reservation system creates an expectation and anticipation of what their experience will be like when they visit your inn.
It’s especially critical for innkeepers to make first-time guests feel welcome. Travel reviews from first-time B&B guests inevitably start out with “We weren’t sure what to expect”. You can set those expectations by adding a guest welcoming strategy to your booking process. Here are three ways to do that:
- 1. Turn your booking confirmation email into a ‘welcome to the family’ email. Make it personal. Instead of simply confirming the logistics, let them know how delighted you are that they have chosen your property. Include a quote from a recent guest which highlights an amenity they loved. Include a fun activity that they might want to make time for during their visit.
- 2. Give them the inside scoop on living like a local. Include a calendar of events, a list of recommended restaurants or shops that are frequented by locals, not just the high profile tourist spots. Model the excellent United Airlines’ Three Perfect Days and create your own version – perhaps starting with just one sample day. Post the itinerary on your website and include a link in your welcome email.
- 3. Speaking of links: invite them to stay connected with you by including a link to your Facebook page, your blog, and your website.
Done right, your welcome email will pay off in guests who will be excitedly anticipating their visit.
If you have an interesting way of making guests feel welcome before their visit, please share by making a comment below.
By Linda Griffin