Picture this scenario – A potential guest who is perfect for your bed and breakfast has decided to vacation in your home town. They check the internet for lodging suggestions and your B&B has been highly recommended. The guest clicks over to your website but ultimately, they don’t complete a booking. Why?
Reason #1 – Short Attention spans
The advent of smartphones and tablets have significantly shrunk the average adult’s attention span. Email alerts and text messages flash constantly making it very difficult to focus.
This is especially true as they begin their research for lodging options. If you attract a potential guest to your website, you only have a few seconds to catch their interest before they click over to another site. In fact, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span is just eight seconds – one second less than goldfish!
What to do about it:
Ensure that your website is attractive with distinctive photos that make the visitor stop, look, and hopefully book. When a prospective guest lands on your home page, what they find is the web equivalent of curb appeal. If it’s difficult to navigate your site, or if it doesn’t have an appealing look and feel, the guest will click over to the next property on their list. You have only 2-3 seconds to capture their attention and convince them to spend more time on your site. Your site should be consistent with your brand. If your inn is comfy and cozy, your web site should be the same. If your inn is modern and sophisticated, your web site should reflect that also.
You’ve checked off reason #1 because your website is perfect. Now let’s throw a wrench into the works. This particular prospective guest has never stayed at a bed and breakfast inn. They never even get to your website because….
Reason #2 – Jumping to conclusions
They jump to conclusions, even when they have no facts to back it up. You may have seen the commercial above for Silk almond milk. The brand’s spokesperson (an almond by the way) asks the potential consumer why he won’t try the milk. The consumer says “because I don’t know what it tastes like”. What he’s really saying is “I’ve decided that it doesn’t taste good, even though I’ve never tried it”. Your potential guest may be eliminating your inn as a lodging choice simply because they have pre-conceived notions about what a Bed and Breakfast inn is like.
What to do about it:
One way to combat the preconceived notions is to make your current guests brand ambassadors. Create a guest referral program and host periodic referral contests focused on getting bookings from first time B&B guests.
This post has touched on two reasons why guests don’t book your inn. We’ll cover other reasons in future posts. If you haven’t signed up for our mailing list, do it now, so that you can be notified whenever we add a new post.