Creating the right first impression will go a long way to building trust, creating loyalty, generating good feedback leading to repeat bookings. In this article I will set out some of the key ways to create the best first impression to ensure your holidaymaker becomes a great advocate for your property.
Before their holiday
We ask guests to make contact with the appointed representative prior to their arrival, this is your first opportunity to create a great first impression. It will give you or your housekeeper the opportunity to have a chat with the guest, ask them about their trip, provide them with some reassurance, give them some local knowledge and what to expect when they arrive. Make sure the access instructions are clear and the guest knows that either you or the housekeeper are at the end of a phone should they get lost or have difficulty getting into the property. You want your guest to feel reassured and excited about their holiday.
Many guests will have travelled a long way and at some point in their journey taken a wrong turn or been stuck in traffic, this is your second opportunity to create a great first impression. To ensure a smooth arrival for them make sure the parking area is clearly marked, the access is tidy and well lit and, if you or your representative is not meeting the guests in person, the key has been left in a key safe which is easy to operate.
A key safe will ensure you or your housekeeper can prepare the property for the guests arrival, leave the key and not have to wait around for them to arrive. The guest will appreciate the convenience and if they have had a bad journey will not have additional worry of being late and making you or your housekeeper wait around.
Having parked easily, found the front door and opened the key safe your guest will be looking forward to opening the door and seeing what’s inside, this is your third opportunity of creating a great first impression.
The smell of a clean house provides a lot of reassurance. Leave the lights on and make sure the property is warm, if you have a woodburner or open fire make sure this is lit. A well laid out welcome folder with up to date relevant information will help them make the most of the facilities you are providing.
A personalised note from you to them with a warm welcome and some personal recommendations on things to do, places to see and where to eat will go a long way, and a welcome hamper of some description will just reinforce in the guests mind that you really do care about them and want them to enjoy their holiday and your property.
This is your fourth opportunity to make a good first impression. You have already reassured them before their holiday, on arrival and in the welcome and your guests will already be thinking favourably about you, your property and their holiday. A call or visit 24 hours after their arrival just to see how they are getting on will be much appreciated. This is also an opportunity for you to reassure them that you or your housekeeper are at the end of the phone should they encounter any issues.