What guests really want – our top five tips

Just as we actively seek feedback from our owners and property managers, we invite it from guests that book their holidays online via SuperControl too. This enables us to stay up-to-date with what works well and what could be improved, not only from the self-catering owner / manager’s perspective but also from the end-users’ point of view. Want to know what matters most on your website?

1. Hassle-free and simple online booking

In The Travel Buying Cycle. Stage #3: Booking we look at how important it is to make the experience as seamless and straightforward as possible. The good news is that guests definitely find online booking easy using SuperControl. Comments received include:

“Couldn’t be any easier and possibly the most user-friendly booking system I’ve used!”

“Why can’t all websites be like yours? I’ve spent hours and hours looking for what I want only to find that on other websites offer dates and prices are wrong or UNAVAILABLE. Thank you for making it easy.”

“I found it very easy and have ignored other websites because they were not as easy.”

Getting this right is key. If your guests find themselves bound into a time-consuming, inaccurate and complicated booking process it is very likely you will lose them.

2. Information, information, information

Your guests want important information clearly stated on your website. What facilities are included at your property? From what time can they arrive and when do they have to leave? Where is your property? Guests want a map so they can see how close the nearest amenities or public transport options are. (You can send a postcode, directions and key collection info once you have received a confirmed booking).

3. Different search options

Not everyone searches for their perfect holiday in the same way. Some like to search based on property criteria, some by date and some by location. Try to accommodate all of your potential guests by ensuring your website includes at least these three searchable options.

4. The option to pay online

More and more people want to be able to pay online. SuperControl links with a number of payment processors.

5. More photos

If you want to make your guests’ experience even better, what they want above all else is more photos. Cast a critical eye over your website. Does it show your property off to it’s full potential? Bear in mind these four photo factors:

  • Easy to find: Don’t bury your photos deep within the sub-headings. Photos are important to your guests so make it a cinch to see them.
  • Top quality: Take note of Christina’s comment in The gorgeous guide to getting noticed and hire a professional. It can make all the difference.
  • Big is better: The images should be large, no one wants to have to zoom in to be able to see your pics. Pop-ups are best, when your guest clicks on the image it opens up taking over the whole screen. Once you’ve paid for a professional photographer you might as well show those images off to their best.
  • Hand over control: Let your guests take the reins by making your photo gallery interactive. If your guest has control to click to view the next or previous picture they get to see what is important to them. Automatic slide-shows can be frustrating to viewers if they are unable to pause, go back or even skip to images they want to see.

Westward Living has a great gallery.

Paying attention to feedback at every stage of your guests’ Travel Buying Cycle pays off in the long term. Avoiding frustrations at this early stage can go some way to helping secure good reviews for future marketing.