This episode is about buyer’s remorse. Buyer’s remorse happens when you’ve done all the hard work, your property has stood out, the guest has decided yours is the place they want to book, they’ve submitted their card details, and they’ve booked with you…and then they cancel. Statistically, a whopping 30% of bookings made through an OTA are cancelled. Buyer’s remorse is the culprit. How can you thwart this tendency to cancel?
The first thing you can do is easy: 24 hours to 72 hours after a guest has booked on your property, send them an email or a text message. Make sure to give it a personal touch. They will get an automatic confirmation email from the OTA, but you should also send them a personal one. You can use this opportunity to give them specific information about your property, your facilities, or parking. It doesn’t really matter what you send, as long as it’s personalised. A lot of people think they need to manually message their guests and that this is very time-consuming, but there are many easy-to-use and good automated features out there that can help you stay in contact with guests.
When a guest reserves a room at your property, you need to get in contact with that guest right away to prevent them from cancelling. One reason that they might back out is that they feel no connection to the property. If people come and stay, they might love you, but before that, they simply might not know enough to like you. That’s why you need to let them know how great you are. You could also message them about special events coming up in your area, or show them a link to your social media page. This is also a good way to get customers onto your social media, where they can start interacting with you. Interaction is the best way to retain your guests.
Another really effective way to stop buyer’s remorse is to send your guest something. This could be something as simple as money-off vouchers for a local bar or facility. Go out and build relationships with local businesses. Tell them you want to recommend spots for your guests to visit and ask for special incentive offers. For example, can a local cinema offer a 10% off voucher or free admission? Go out and work with a local business, and then send these vouchers to a guest either by email or text. By doing this, you’ll stand out from the big chain hotels. This is why people choose to stay with independent businesses. If you add these personal touches, then there will be fewer cancellations.