The Secret to Winning Guests From Your B&B’s Website

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The Secret to Winning Guests From Your B&B’s Website

 

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Ice
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Joey Camb's picture
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The trick to excellent marketing is this - you are not selling accommodation - you are actually selling -

(1) how much trouble are you in with the wife or husband? and we are the solution

(2) a hassel free place to stay near to XYZ so you will have a good hoilday or event

(3) worrining about finding somewhere for breakfast? - you don't need to with us

(4) - don't you have enough stress in your life? let us be the solution

(5) looking for new life experiences? we have them here

and so on its not about features its about what those features do for you ie jet tub - help you relax

parking - don't worrry about your car its all sorted and so on. Features are dull - experiences are not

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Highlands John's picture
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I'm going to re-jig our website this winter, I will certainly be following this principle.

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Proud Texan's picture
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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

The trick to excellent marketing is this - you are not selling accommodation - you are actually selling -

(1) how much trouble are you in with the wife or husband? and we are the solution

(2) a hassel free place to stay near to XYZ so you will have a good hoilday or event

(3) worrining about finding somewhere for breakfast? - you don't need to with us

(4) - don't you have enough stress in your life? let us be the solution

(5) looking for new life experiences? we have them here

and so on its not about features its about what those features do for you ie jet tub - help you relax

parking - don't worrry about your car its all sorted and so on. Features are dull - experiences are not

 I think you must have read our brochure.   We actually highlight several of the things you mentioned.  You're right.   You are selling an idea about how you can be the solution to their problem.

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 I know I know, I read the big secret: 

"You must read the minds of your website visitors."

and of course, yes yes yes!

I was just upstairs as a guest checked out and told me "the key was not working in the lock, we don't mind, but someone else might."  With key in hand I went right to the room, insert key, turn.  Take key out, insert key, turn. Hm. Worked like a dandy.

So all that to say, who the heck knows what is in the minds of some visitors. We do our best, anyway!

 

Madeleine's picture
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We get the key thing all the time. We have tried to find plugs to fit into the deadbolt lock because that is always the problem. I even do a little hand wiggle at check in, 'This is the key to your room. It only works in the doorknob to your room. (Wiggle hand like I'm opening a door.) There is no key for the deadbolt, this key only works in the doorknob to your room. The entry door (point to door behind them) has a code, there is no key for that door.'

How many guest then turn around and ask, 'This key works in that door?' and they point to the entry door. I need pictures. Or, I need to hand the key over when I show them the room. Maybe that's the solution. I'll try that next check-in.

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Hotel Propeller's picture
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Hi all - Thanks for reading my article, and Joey, thanks for sharing it 

I'm new to this forum, but glad I found it...

Madeleine wrote:

How many guest then turn around and ask, 'This key works in that door?' and they point to the entry door. I need pictures. Or, I need to hand the key over when I show them the room. Maybe that's the solution. I'll try that next check-in.

As a web designer, I can't help but relate to the similarities in what we do... A huge part of our job is to observe "user experience": finding those areas where people run into trouble, and figure out ways to make it easier, more obvious.  What seems crystal clear to us, isn't always that way to others.  It's all about watching people go through it, trying different solutions, and tweaking until "it just works".

I'm sure there are tons of little details that go into the guest's experience during the course of their stay... from making their way to their room, to knowing when and where breakfast is served...

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 I am not a web developer but a web designer. And boy do I hear you!  I do upkeep of our local chamber web site. We just had it redone...and obviously the developer was not paying attention or no one on the committee knew what to ask. We now have the most user unfriendly back end  CMS I could ever imagine. It makes me want to scream!!!  If they would have included me in the initial phases of the developement none of these problems would exist. Now I have to explain every detail to the programmer and hope they don' t charge us an arm and a leg to fix it all to the way it SHOULD be. Sad  Sorry I have to vent somewhere!

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 Oh no!  It's never fun (and rarely successful) to try and fix problems after the fact.  I hope it's not a custom-built CMS.  These days, there are so many great CMS options out there... the one I always use and recommend is WordPress of course Smiling

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 Wordpress for me as well. Yes it is a custom built CMS based on something from England. They / me are in for constant problems.  OH well.

Arks's picture
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Hotel Propeller wrote:

As a web designer, I can't help but relate to the similarities in what we do... A huge part of our job is to observe "user experience": finding those areas where people run into trouble, and figure out ways to make it easier, more obvious.  

Google Alerts strikes again! Welcome, Propeller!

I spent years as a software developer for Palm (poor Palm, creating apps and smartphones 6 years before people cared) and can't tell you how many times I created a perfect, beautiful user interface, then handed the Palm to my mother to try out. She'd tap all the wrong places, doing things I never dreamed a user would do, eventually, with only the best of intentions, locking up my app.

There's an adage among generals, that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. That's what we're up against, in software development, web design, and innkeeping. Things that are so clear and obvious to we who create them are never so clear to end users/guests.

We have to observe people interacting with our creation, and tweak tweak tweak. That's where those much-hated guest suggestion forms are so important. We just have to be thick-skinned, like Camberley who describes her hide as elephant-like, and read them even thought it hurts. There's GOLD (buried under some crap) in those comments!

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Hotel Propeller's picture
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 Ah yes... "the mother test".  That sends me back to the drawing board every time!

Believe it or not, I actually stumbled on this forum as I'm doing general research in this industry and was pleasantly surprised to see my article show up here.  Actually haven't set up Google Alerts (yet) for Hotel Propeller.  No, really Smiling

 

gillumhouse's picture
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Welcome.

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Madeleine wrote:

How many guest then turn around and ask, 'This key works in that door?' and they point to the entry door. I need pictures. Or, I need to hand the key over when I show them the room. Maybe that's the solution. I'll try that next check-in.

or they say after everything "So how do we get back in here?" I love that question. How did you get in here the first time? Oh yeah through the front door.

PS This is after they arrived at the front door, I give them the code and do the little song and dance, show them this is the door, this is your code, etc.

Madeleine's picture
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I have to say that I answer those questions either right on the home page or one click away on the rooms page. But I do not do it succinctly enough. Guest still call and ask:

  • How far are you from...
  • What rooms are available?
  • How much do the rooms cost?
  • Do the rooms have private baths?
  • Do you serve breakfast?
  • Is it continental?
  • What time is breakfast?

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