5 Tips For Adapting To Changing Customer Expectations As a Host

Sarah Hofmann

Guest experience expert at Wishbox
Providing great customer experiences is essential for success in hospitality. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions in the industry and shifted traditional customer expectations in the process. Airbnb hosts and property managers will need to adjust to this new reality or risk losing customers.

The following post provides 5 useful tips that will help Airbnb hosts adapt to changing customer expectations.

#1 Health & Safety Above All Else

Sanitation and cleanliness, more than anything else, will influence customer decision-making in a post-COVID-19 world. As a result, Airbnb hosts will need to place extra emphasis on this aspect to minimize the risk for guests and increase interest in their properties. This can be achieved by:

  • Using more disposable items to diminish any potential transfer of the virus.
  • Displaying proof and frequency of cleaning and sanitization for customer reassurance.
  • Adding more sanitization products to the accommodation for guest use.

#2 Minimize Personal Contact

It goes without saying that the standard handshake and highly interactive welcoming process will need to change because of the pandemic. Customers will still expect good customer service but without unnecessary personal contact. As such, if there are any processes that you can move online, you should do so. Any other non-essential interactions in the flesh must be put on hold for the foreseeable future.

#3 Over-Communicate Virtually

While we all have an obligation to follow social distancing rules and minimize personal contact, there are other ways to provide a level of care that will give customers confidence. 

Use virtual ID screening services and guest verification services to avoid physical contact with guests.

Maintain constant communication with guests virtually before and during their stay to ensure they have everything they need for an enjoyable, stress-free break. A key part of your correspondence should be informed about your health, hygiene, and safety measures for their additional peace of mind.

#4 Offer Complimentary Services

With many restrictions still in place, your guests won’t have the same freedoms as they normally would under normal circumstances. You should make every effort to provide complementary services and travel incentives to make your guests feel as comfortable as possible during their visit.

You can get in touch with local food delivery companies such as Deliveroo and UberEATS to offer quality on-premise dining for your customers. You might offer luggage storage services such as BagsAway before check-in or after checkout from an AirBNB for the added convenience of your guests. Small details like these enhance the customer experience, lead to more recommendations, and often result in a greater number of guests returning again in the future.

#5 Be Prepared For Anything

The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic means that most establishments are figuring out ways to keep operations up and running on the fly. For this reason, it is important to approach your customer service processes with an open mind. At times, it will require out-of-the-box thinking to cater to the needs of your guests, but it will be worth your while to meet new customer expectations.

That being said, there will be instances where it isn’t possible to fulfill some requests. Make sure you do everything possible to manage expectations before the fact so that guests don’t get their hopes up and then leave feeling disgruntled.

Adjust To The New Normal

Adjusting your standard operations to the new way of life will be critical to creating or maintaining a competitive advantage as the world slowly recovers from the pandemic. You can achieve this by placing extra emphasis on your health and safety protocol, cutting out all non-essential personal interactions, maintaining customer communication online, offering additional services for the benefit of guests, and showing the flexibility to handle unique requests that may arise in the unfamiliar circumstances.

About the Author

About BagsAway

BagsAway is the leading luggage storage and bag storage company, operating in 40+ cities with over 1000 locations. We partner with local shops & hotels to offer the most secure, and convenient storage.

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