If you’re able to talk to your potential vacationer over the phone, its easier –it’s better, faster, more personal and you get to better understand your customers needs and answer all their concerns (and all the evidence points to more bookings by responding by ‘phone). But we can’t always do this, and some vacation home owners feel distinctly uncomfortable about this approach. There’s another factor – the majority of enquiries land on your email system or mobile at night time – its just too late to call. So it’s likely most of your customer communication has to happen online.
Use some simple guidelines to avoid this. DON’T USE CAPS. Customers will wonder WHY YOU’RE YELLING AT THEM. They may be easier to read, but they grab attention for the wrong reasons. CAPITAL LETTERS gives a tone of frustration or condescension that you want to avoid.
Splell chuck. Spiell check. Spell chock. (You get the point?) Here are some examples: We are perfectionists and rarely if if ever forget details. Dear Madman Here’s a grief overview of the facilities Hope to hear from you shorty We welcome about 30 groups anally Best Retards
DO (yes, I’m SHOUTING) use the auto-correction tool in Microsoft Word or Outlook or whatever you use.
It very is difficult for people to read long run-on sentences with no commas or transitions and short fragments that don’t thoroughly answer their questions and just seem to go and on without taking a pause for breath …….. you understand my point. Your MS Word or equivalent can check for you – make it a habit. Your customer will retain more of what they read, then.
Read your email back to yourself – out loud. You’ll develop different ways of writing that sounds more relaxed, professional and confident.
loads of exclamation points about your fabulous views!!!!!! and your SPECIAL off-season discount!!!!! and the colour of your free offer doesn’t make the sentence any more exciting. Stick to the basics and let your words paint the picture.
Add spacing (unlike most listing sites who stop us doing that on their adverts). Write in as little as one or two sentences each time. When sending detailed information to your renters
- use bulleted lists
- and multiple paragraphs
- and white space makes for easier reading
Please don’t use emoticons (I’d show you one if I had them on my pc but I hate them).These are the little smiley faces you see in e-mails and instant messages or are sometimes just displayed using keyboard symbols 🙂 It does depend on the relationship you have with your potential renters, but remember that you are ultimately conducting a business.
Don’t abuse the ‘high priority’ option on your email system. (Some e-mail services offers the option to send their e-mail as “high priority” so the receiver will be aware of its importance) You’re better off saving “high priority” for any real emergency – and if you need to get in touch with a customer fast, better to call them.
Depending on where you are at in the relationship with your customer you may want to consider using the e-mail trail. In your e-mail system you can choose to delete the message thread or not when responding to a message. If your customer is likely to be receiving many emails from many owners about an enquiry, use it – they will appreciate it, especially if you refer them to the trail. If you’re in a constant string of communications going back and forth via e-mail, it’s even more helpful to have the past conversations for reference – especially if you’re working out price or date details, for example. Make it easy for your customer.
Use recognisable subject lines. This not only avoids the risk of getting your email trashed before its read, your customer may be trying to keep track of which property is which, and a blank e-mail or a generic subject line like “’Rental’ won’t do them much good. I always make the subject line something like: Re your holiday enquiry through (HR, HL, OD or whatever).
Don’t spam. When a prospect sends you an inquiry, you now have a new e-mail address you can mail to in the future. The legal position differs from country to country, but the general rule is you can only e-mail a customer or someone who specifically opts-in to receive messages from you. That means you shouldn’t keep sending emails and newsletters and updates to people who have only enquired . Once is fine, if you clearly give them the opportunity to opt-out with the click of the mouse button.
Be savvy. You may not get the booking, but you may make a great impression, something remembered that makes the holidaymaker think of you next time around.
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