Mitigate Challenges and Seize Opportunities Amid Coronavirus
This is a guest post from our partners at Wishbox.
By now, it’s clear that the travel and hospitality industries have been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, with many uncertainties ahead. For hosts and property managers, now is the time to reflect on the shifts to make as well as the tools and tech to adopt to ensure a smooth transition as travel recovers and to reduce vulnerability in years to come.
In order to successfully mitigate the challenges of COVID-19 and to seize the opportunities it presents, we’re sharing the top tools and strategies property management companies should be thinking about now.
Stay on Top of Social Distancing With Self Check-In
Property managers should be looking to automate their check-in process, allowing guests to check-in independently and eliminating the need to sign forms, complete payment or provide documents in person. By using automated tools, you can collect all the details you need from your guests, including digital signatures, security deposits, arrival time, check-in method, etc.
Offering self check-in means that hosts not only save time, but they also gain operational flexibility and increase efficiency. Plus, guests are reassured that everything possible is being done to keep physical contact at a minimum while maintaining a high standard of service.
Be Smart About Guest Communication
Efficient communication is more important than ever, and hosts need to keep in touch with guests both ahead of their arrival and during their stay in order to convey important information. In light of COVID-19, you should be reassuring both current and future guests that you are following all health and safety regulations and that your cleaning protocol is up to the highest standards. You may also choose to remind future guests of your cancellation policy — particularly if you’ve adjusted it to be more lenient — to encourage them to keep their bookings.
During your guests’ stay, you can use messaging to offer additional services that might be especially valuable during these times, such as taxi pick-ups, grocery and restaurant deliveries or safe, recommended activities.
Don’t forget about timing: Make sure the auto-messages you implement are sent to guests via email, SMS or WhatsApp at just the right time to increase engagement. Using digital solutions to schedule these messages in advance allows you to ensure they are customized by arrival time, rental, booking source and booking status. You can also further personalize these messages by auto-translating them to your guests’ native language.
Offer More Value With Upsells
Offering guests additional services is a key way to improve guest experience. For example, vacation rental guests often book accommodation seeking to immerse themselves in the local scene and become familiar with their destination. While that has become increasingly difficult due to coronavirus, you still have the opportunity to partner with local service providers to offer safe experiences, such as restaurant delivery, online or contact-free shopping with local boutiques and online cultural events and classes. As restrictions ease, you’ll be well-prepared to turn these virtual partnerships into physical ones. Hosts that are able to offer their guests these curated experiences not only earn 5-star reviews, but they also open up additional revenue streams via these partnerships.
As our industry braces for more change and awaits a speedy recovery, the property management companies that will come out ahead are the ones investing in contact-free and safe experiences, personalized communication and dynamic service offerings. The key is to adapt and use new technologies to offer guests a secure and memorable stay.
Wishbox is a guest experience platform for end-to-end guest communication, online check-in, upsells, guest app, review optimization and much more. Wishbox offers smart and flexible tools that allow hosts to tap into the true potential of guest communication and generate more revenue at scale.