Communications During a Guest's Stay
Throughout your guest’s stay, ensure that you remain both proactively and reactively communicative.
There’s no easier way of winning brownie points with guests than proactively checking in with them to ensure that everything is going well.
In almost all instances, everything will be fine, and they’ll appreciate you taking the time to have checked. Occasionally, there’ll be a small question at the back of their mind – where do you keep the extra towels? How do you work the television? Where’s the closest train station?
In both scenarios, taking the time to have checked in on them will not only pre-empt or resolve any issues, but will likely pay its dividends in positive reviews too.
Guests may occasionally get in touch to raise an issue or ask you a question. Sometimes these will be fair and understandable. Other times they may be petty, silly or obvious.
Regardless of your thoughts on the matter, do everything within your power to answer their question, remedy their issue or fulfill their request. Your default position should be a willingness to accommodate the wishes of your guests wherever reasonably practical.
In the eyes of your Airbnb guests, you are in the hospitality business. And within reason, the principle that the customer is always right still remains.
Most Airbnb guests are considerate and reasonable and will not require a disproportionate investment of your time to ensure you are left with a glowing review. Over-investing in the occasional ‘bad egg’ is a small price to pay to guarantee that your good reviews are maintained.
Take a big picture perspective, and see these ‘over-investments’ as being diluted amongst the vast majority of other trips you host that do not require such hands-on, time-intensive management.
In most instances, guests take issue not with the particular problem they may be having, but rather the lack of its acknowledgement or efforts to have it fixed. Simply acknowledging the guest’s issue and demonstrating a desire to get it resolved is normally more than enough to placate an otherwise problematic guest.
Many issues or problems that a guest will raise with you are also likely to be issues or problems that will resurface for future guests too. It is therefore in your interest to fix these for the guest that brings them to your attention with the view that this will benefit future guests and avoid foreseeable problems for you in the future too.
These ‘annoying guests’ will also provide an insight into the type of things that may be specifically important to your target guests, but have flown ‘under the radar’ up until then. They therefore represent big opportunities for continually improving your hospitality standards on Airbnb.
You may on occasion be requested or choose to issue a guest with a partial refund in lieu of an issue that a guest brings to your attention.
Use your discretion, but again, if the request is not unreasonable and the amount not too substantial, then consider paying it to make the problem disappear. Regardless of whether you’re technically obligated, this may represent a small price to pay to avoid a bad review and ensure your long-term Airbnb success.