Locked-down locals might be very excited to get out of their houses, but there is an understandable sense of apprehension too. As a property you might have some ground to cover to boost the trust and confidence of guests thinking about a visit.
Soft-sell the total experience.
Your marketing efforts should focus on telling stories at this stage. This will set you apart from those only doing hard-selling. People are in a planning and dreaming phase so give them something to plan and dream about!
The photographs of the recent snowfall or cosy fireplaces are what we are all looking for. We need a change of scenery. A place where we will still feel as safe as we do at home. Show off your room-delivered comfort food and the bottle of wine ready to open on arrival. Paint the picture of the experience waiting on the other side of a short drive.
But — keep the safety reassurance in mind. Don’t ask staff to remove protective gear for photographs, and don’t move the sanitiser out of the frame when you take a shot. Guests will pick up on these little hints at your safety plan.
Be open to new ways to communicate.
Your guests are likely to have more questions than those who stayed with you before lockdown. Be ready to chat to them on the platform they prefer. Touchless communication is the way forward, so be available on WhatsApp or Messenger throughout the stay. Make it as easy as possible for your guest to access the information they need. Send informational PDFs directly to their phones and encorporate online check-in/check-out and payment procedures.
The local focus — on all fronts.
Help to kickstart the industry by supporting local in every sense of the word. The pandemic affected all industries. Think about ways in which you can work together with businesses around you in terms of what you offer. You might find a wonderful supplier of fresh produce right on your doorstep.
You are looking for local support, so set the example by supporting local too. This is also a wonderful marketing tool. Introduce your guests to the little gems your area has to offer to make it worthwhile for them to return again down the line.
Show your commitment to industry guidelines.
While you are probably a bit exhausted of all the talk around protocols, reality is that guests need to feel reassured that you are going the extra mile to look after their health.
- Make sure you know which guidelines are required by industry. By taking a common-sense approach to these, you can have a basic health plan in place before guest arrival.
- Get a NightsBridge SafeStays badge on your booking form and website to have a visual way of showing your commitment.
- Communicate all of your efforts to your guests. It’s important for them to know (and see when they arrive) that you are serious about the measures you take.
If you have a Springnest website you can pick from many COVID-19 website tools to get your message across. You can, for example, easily add a Health and Safety page to your site with the SafeStays badge on it. Or explain your measures in a pop-up along with any special offers you are running to encourage business.
Build up ‘fresh’ reviews.
Once you hosted guests under your new approach, make sure to ask them to review your property. These reviews will build up trust with potential guests searching for new options. Build the review gathering into your check-out process and specifically ask for comments on your cleanliness and safety measures.
A traveller scanning through should see solid social proof that they will be well looked after. Get in touch with NightsBridge about our automated review requests for TripAdvisor.
Consider less restrictive cancellation policies.
With a lot of people losing money due to cancelled travel plans, they might be cautious to commit to new ones. Take a look at your existing cancellation policy, and think of ways in which you can soften your regulations slightly, even just for the short term. Giving your clients some peace of mind about their finances if restrictions kick in again might be the only encouragement they need to make the booking.