One-way communication with guests, and reduced rating for staff?
I'm one-person private enterpreneur, so I do all kind of work related to bookings - from communication via email/whatsapp/chat to ordering transfers, cleaning, repairs, maintenance. I'm very polite person, and always welcome my guests with kind words.
I faced this situation few times with guests from foreign countries. I had one-way communication with these guests. I'm sending them all information, regarding how to find property, how to check-in and check-out.
They never say a word in response, no thank you, nothing. I'm not sure, if they read this information at all.
But they do read, because we have self-checkin. Im not physically presenting at the property, and rarely see guests. After succesful booking I send them passcode from the entrance door, and from locker with the keys.
And finally, they give me marks, like "7,5" for staff, while 9-10 for the rest (cleanness, comfort, facilities).
I do not understand , what i'm doing wrong as a host? What can I improve, and what was wrong with the staff, if they even didn't say a word to me? im not good with English, maybe that is the reason.
But I never left answers not responded. My husband assists me as translator and communication proxy in tricky cases :-)
What if they wanted to see you in person? I was also surprised that some guests really wanted to see me especially after good communication.
Make some follow up messages. You can send them during stay or after, not just welcome message.
If you can, meet the guests personally. I have noticed that none of my guests left me a bad review, even if something went wrong. However, I have many properties, so meeting everyone is simply impossible.
Add to your welcome message "please reply, so I will know that you are really coming" and they will reply :)
On the guest side a 7.5 is a "good". Therefore, you have made good impression by remote control, just think what you could do in person!
Most guests DO like to meet their hosts and it adds a welcome and homely touch that they remember and subsequently mark you up for. If humanly possible, make it happen.
Guests highly appreciate when hosts welcome them personally and "by name" as Grega mentioned.
If that is not possible maybe you could meet them and welcome them sometime during their stay before departure, or maybe you can inform them that due to last minute obligation you cannot meet them.
I get this sometimes and it puzzles me too! And I am here to let people in!!
It's frustrating when you've maybe had a good rapport with people and they still leave this rating....it's hard not to but you can't take it personally.
Your English is very good so I wouldn't worry about being lost in translation! And yes guests don't always offer a response or thanks for instructions, sometimes it can be because they are 'on the road' and not necessarily being in places that offer Wifi/transmitter connectivity, othertimes it can be construed as being rude by you whereas they may think you are just giving them the relevant information they need.
As far as your not being there to greet people is concerned many hosts use this system without issue so maybe in your initial welcoming of guests by email/text or whatever means of communication you use you could say that you use the self check-in system due to the distance between where you are based and the property but you are around most days and will be sure to greet them if you see them...that way you are not committing to be there if it's not convenient to you but you have graciously given a reason why.
Then maybe follow up after they have left with a message hoping they enjoyed their visit and apologise for not seeing them as they didn't seem to be around when you were (again this way you've kind of fibbed you were there even if you were not)
Hope this helps!
I really don’t understand why guests don’t respond to our emails. It is very frustrating when you can’t communicate with guests in head of time. I think sometimes guests have problems with the language and don’t have any trust in translation apps.
Keep well my friends...
One of the reasons they are not answering you is that your welcome message looks like automatic response or a bit official. Try to change it to a very personal feel and make some motivation in it for them to answer.
Hi. Privet :)
My name is Superhost and I am the owner of the apartment. All concerns regarding the amenities and reservations should be addressed to me. Add me on Viber, WhatsApp #
Superhost's helper is the one who will meet you and give you the keys. She is also responsible for cleaning. Please don't miss your keys, add her too #
Kindly answer this message, so we know you are really coming. Please, message us the full name of all guests we need them for authorization with security.
I can communicate in eight languages, I always write a personalised message, I always write to them as soon as they make the reservation, and I always remind them to get in touch before travelling so I can give them directions to the property. In spite of all this, many do not react to my messages. There has been cases when they arrive, get lost trying to find the property and then complain! I don't know...
M, as for translation... Today I got a Booking from Korean, who said "I don't know English", so he forced me to use translator.
That's very normal behavior for Korean as they don't intervene at all with other cultures.
Another culture that thinks we must answer to them in their own language are French. Despite reservations they love to write me long emails, so again I am back to translator, though I can understand some French.
As for Chinese it's 50/50. Some of them send messages in Chinese, some in English.
My guests told me yesterday that I do a lot for other people, as I help with all immigration concerns. They said they will never bother to do that.
So, today I was at immigration office and Chinese people asked me to help them on how to pay. They tried to talk to me in English and when they ran out of English they used Google translator on their phones. They are not my guests, they are strangers who approached me because I am approachable :)
Their heartful "thank you" (they were looking like happy kids) was a powerful energy exchange that made me think that all my efforts are multiplied towards my positive attitude and ageless looks.
Katerinka12 you might be right although my answers are very friendly but I like the idea of giving a motivation for responses. Your welcome message example is very professional and friendly and I am going to use it.... copy...paste...
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences... I really thought that our welcome message should be very short...
Thanks again for your kind support Katerinka12 and have a nice day...
I agree with you Mikhaylovan82, sometimes the ratings are very confusing. I think you must concentrate on your overall score and accept that everybody is different. It is very hard for people to give anyone full marks for everything. I get the same thing with the "Location" score. Everybody can see where I am before they book ... located in the middle of the town, with busy traffic and sometimes lots of pedestrians, I'm not on a farm or a beach or in the mountains, and it is obvious from my pictures, and yet I get 10 for everything and 7.5 for location :-/
I can communicate in several languages too, but... I am not that diplomatic person to quote what etiquette is saying about what la should be used on what territory.
My personal opinion is that the official language of the country must be used, meaning to say if you visit Chad don't expect them to know Japanese.
When I travel, I do my best to communicate in local language or at least to appreciate the effort of talking to me in English, when it's not an official language of that country.
I honestly don't understand why one person left us a review that the staff was speaking "bad English". You should be proud of yourself that you are British and be a high level, blue blood, when you travel to the countries where British English is as far away as Mars.
Also, I am just physically tired not because I have to translate and do what's comfortable for the guest, who doesn't care about the efforts of the hosts and that the host is answering him not in his official language... But because many guests think "the host MUST".
I couldn't remember even one guest who apologized for not speaking the language of the country where he is going to. Nowadays people love to save on translator. Even if they have to deal with government officials. The Korean guest today wrote "I don't speak English". No sorry, no thank. Swallow, the host! I deal with such people almost every day
Imagine, same here ha ha what else I can say. I haven't seen yet the country which provides the walking distance straight from the airport to apartment through brand new, posh, fully air-conditioned and guarded walkalator, yet we receive good, but no excellent score on location.
I guess many things are just coming through age and experience. I had so many bad experiences as a guest in 5 stars and 6 stars hotels (or even higher in Dubai) , but I never left a bad review. In such situations these problems should be solved by the General Managers, but even them are just human beings, with all consequences.
I know for sure that it's better not to deal with people who think that waitresses, flight attendants, hosts :) etc are " must, must and a must".
Katerinka12 you are very approachable indeed, that’s why I admire you and love you without knowing you...
As I understand most guests think that we should be there for them ready to please them as they like...
They forget that they have to be respective so they can be respected...
I love French but they get in my nerves when they insist on speaking French even though many of them speak English.
Translators are saving us from so many troubles.
Katerinka12 don’t worry, don’t forget that drinking a glass of champagne makes swallowing easier...
My welcome message is very long. After warm greetings I have the long message about transportation and location.
The reason I am doing that is in case of "misunderstanding", dispute I have a good record. Also, time is important. I have studied that good response rate for private property owners should be no longer than 4 hours. That's why I personally monitor and answer all reservations, because I know my staff will take more time. I got reviews like "she is answering very fast" he he
M, From my guests. Bubbles will come out of my ears soon :) Small bottle of champagne in between.
How do I contact you, if your internet connection is limited?
Katerinka12, I also answer almost immediately unless I have missed a message but I think that booking.com recommends hosts to be short in messages since some guests use mobiles for reservations!!! Your explanation is very thoughtful and again copy...paste...
I love bubbles everywhere... in bottles...in glasses...in bathtubs...
You can send me a friend request in fb. Maria Adamopoulou.... I love drinking coffee, wine, ouzo, champagne.... so I am always out near WiFi!!!!
So there everything is settled...