With time and perspective, things begin to become more clear and make more sense to people. At the moment, we are just assuming change.
A crisis is a sort of quick and unexpected change, where a time to evaluate and react is crucial. The key is to see things coming in advance so that you can react positively to the change. In order to react, you have to get out of your comfort zone and adapt quickly to the situation.
So what are the KEY words in this new situation that make the market and customer profile change?
Trust – Hygiene – Disinfection – New Habits – New Laws – New Regulation – New Customer rules – Long Stay & Minimum Stay – Occupation Rules – Weekly Price – Activities and Options – Delivery – Internet Connection – Disease Certification – Electronic Lock – Video Welcome.
We have talked about hygiene and how to generate trust in our article about OZONE cleaning. Now is the time for new habits, new laws and restrictions, and new customer rules.
Offers must adapt to demand, especially if the criteria of the demand has changed radically, which is currently the case.
The market has changed and this is what it will look like in the near future.
There are already regulations, and there will be new regulations, that will forbid or limit gatherings. There will also be travel restrictions, especially International travel.
This may be mainly a European Problem, as in the US market the majority of travel is domestic. This will, however, even affect the price of traveling. When we hear that Delta has blocked the middle seat to guarantee security, we are assuming that plane tickets will cost more. Does this mean we have to say bye-bye to low-cost airfares?
Tourism is suffering an internal evolution, or a reversion to the past, similar to the way things were 10 to 15 years ago. Please allow me to make a joke… 2 to 3 years ago, property managers used to charge their guests for towels. What would the price of toilet paper be now? Would it be charged? Perhaps for $40 you can have toilet paper?
This also means we may see a return back to old occupation rules, vacations of longer periods, perhaps even for the price of one week currently. Time itself as a concept has changed. Vacationing will gain popularity once again, so get ready to have more activities and options available for tourists that will spend almost double the amount of time on your properties.
Do all of your properties have a good Internet connection which your guests can use to contact relatives or friends? Would your holiday or vacation rental homes be ready for remote workers? I bet you have already thought about this.
You may not have considered having a delivery team on board, but today, it is a must if you want to provide great service to your customers. If you decide not to have a delivery team, make sure there is a list of menus to nearby restaurants so your customers can order online or by phone. This could be the service you need to make your customers experience a fantastic one.
Last week, we talked about the OZONE cleaning of properties to ensure guest safety, as well as to earn trust and credibility. What about swimming pools, though? Have you already checked which products need to be used and how to clean and disinfect the area? Cleaning isn’t something that can be skimped on, especially now. Who will pay for these new expenses? Would they be included or would you charge certain customers?
Would you only accept people on your properties if they are certified free of infection, or would you be open to accepting anyone on your properties? Google and Apple are already working on APIs to connect their systems and be able to develop an APP that will potentially let you know who around you is infected. Sounds incredible, right? This is happening right now in China and perhaps will happen In the US and Europe as well. New legislation will allow this to happen and many privacy laws will change. If you were allowed to choose your customers according to this certificate, would you make that choice?
Last but not least, do you have electronic locks, or do you still provide the keys in hand? Almost 90% of the US market is self-check-in ready, but in Europe, the percentage is really low. It may be a good idea to get ready for this, as human interaction is now less appreciated than it used to be.
This will bring us to the next stage – the VIDEO welcome to your customers. There is nothing like a warm welcome. A video welcome is virtual, but don´t forget that we can use technology to provide the best service and build customer loyalty. By providing the best advice, as well as the best service, you can position your brand offering as an exclusive product. In the past, rental companies engaged in price wars as their properties were surrounded by thousands of other similar options in a sea of OTAs.
It is time for exclusivity and empathy with your customers with Direct Marketing.
In order to adapt to this new situation, you must change your position from DEFENSE to OFFENSE. The faster you move, the more likely you are to succeed.
If you want to keep your business running, you need to set customer loyalty as your main goal, and this may only be achieved with high-quality service adapted to these new times. Consider setting up a new loyalty program that will allow you to bring guests back several times, as well as to gain new customers with word of mouth. We will be writing a new article about that this week with a complete proposal for a good loyalty program full of ideas on how to attract new customers.