Needy clients

in
Seattle, WA
Level 1
366 Views

How do you deal with needy clients? I have helped them in the past,but it always ends up being a hassle. They ask questions like

Should I take a bus or an uber downtown

what bus number

what should I pack

what is the weather that time of year

is it safe

do you have security

how far are you from this that and the other

what channels do you get

etc etc etc

I don't wanna be rude, but I don't have time to plan your trip for you

9 Replies

Re: Needy clients

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Suzanne751 If you are not willing to help guests then perhaps you should run an impersonal hotel rather than an Airbnb.

Re: Needy clients

in
Adelaide, Australia
Level 10

@Mike-And-Jane0 In fact, while they may be impersonal, hotel's do have concierge desks to help guests plan their trip - and they pay the additional hotel fee for the extra attention.

 

A guest would not expect to be able to contact a concierge with multiple questions prior to their arrival, they would have that conversation at the desk after they have arrived.

 

If guests want a concierge service, they should book a hotel, not vice-versa.

 

I have an extensive guide book on my listing, brochures of local sight to see in the studio and share my knowledge of my city with guests if they ask.  It should not be necessary for me to plan their sightseeing and I would hesitate to do so anyway in the fear of the almighty  'review'.  If they don't like what you have organised who knows how a guest would score....

 

Having said that, if I could add a sightseeing itinerary by asking questions of the guest regarding their interests, reason for visiting  etc, as an additional service for my hosting in the same vein as an 'experience' I would jump at the chance - sadly I tried and it is not possible. 

Re: Needy clients

in
Greenville, SC
Level 10

Agree with @Mike-And-Jane0 to a certain extent, but there are things you can do to lighten your load, like use the template feature of Airbnb to compose answers to common questions. Airbnb also has Guide Book feature you can use to compose a guide book containing photos, things to do and helpful tips. You can casually point your guests to the Guide Book in your “Thanks for your booking” message, or while you are chatting with them.

 

Helping guests get the most out of their stay is something I enjoy, although I appreciate that sometimes when you give an inch, guests take a mile. I find that subtly shortening my answers to each successive question often helps guests get the message that they may benefit from making friends with Google. 🙂 

Re: Needy clients

in
Sollentuna, Sweden
Level 10

@Pat271 :😂 Making friends with Google, I love that! I’m with you - I enjoy helping. But like you say, some guests might need some  subtle hints - I will now start ”shortening my answers”.

Re: Needy clients

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

one of our guests, an elderly woman, a solo traveler, asked a lot of questions before her arrival. I mean A LOT! They just keep coming ... I patiently answered all of them just for curiosity to see how much more questions she will ask 🙂 In the end, she was a great guest, left everything very tidy, no problems at all.  But yes, if I wouldn't have enough time, it would be exhausting

Re: Needy clients

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Hi everyone, I'd like to take a moment to ask you to be supportive of one another. Passing judgement to someone who logged in to ask for your advice doesn't really do anything to help this person.

 

Let's keep the conversation positive, constructive and respectful going forward, please.

 

Thank you

Re: Needy clients

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Suzanne751,

I think I understand what you mean about not planning a guest's trip for them in that you may be receiving a lot of detailed inquiries from people who've not yet booked with you, and they appear to be asking trip planning details that they could research on their own.  Only for them not to book with you after you've dropped a ton of knowledge on them

 

Whenever I receive inquiries asking how far my place is from XX, I refer the guest to Google Maps and tell them to enter Keep Cool Guesthouse and their destination place, plus select the mode of transportation to give them an estimated travel time.  I also refer them to online weather sites so they can review historical weather patterns, and are able to track the forecast during their stay (and plan their wardrobe accordingly).  

 

I do have a standard message that details the transportation methods (bus, taxi, rental car), costs and travel times for getting from airports and ferry wharfs to my place.  If a person is unsure of the available activities on island, I refer them to TripAdvisor and Epicurious travel pages regarding St. Lucia.  I've never had anyone ask about specific channels, but rather if they would be able to see certain sports matches.

 

 

 

 

 

Re: Needy clients

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Suzanne751 I almost never get questions like this. 

I had a look at your listing. Honestly, it is very scarce. I have questions myself after viewing it. 

If I were you, I would use this experience to beef up your listing details so many of these questions are already answered.

Re: Needy clients

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Suzanne751 We get the full gamut of guests-- from those who we never hear anything from to those who ask us questions every 5 minutes. One thing I have found that really helps is a house guide. We have a page titled "Where Is...?" which lists a whole lot of locations of commonly asked for items (extra blankets, batteries for the remote, etc.) That helps cut down on a lot of questions. And you can always tell who doesn't read that. Some guests just like a lot of attention. These are the folks who are usually best suited to a home stay where they can connect with their host directly. As off-site hosts it can sometimes be frustrating to have that type of guest.

 

If you have people asking for trip planning (one of our returning guests always asking things like where he might get his oil changed or if there is a dentist that does walk-ins nearby) we answer politely, but when it gets to be too much, I usually say something like "It sounds as though you have a lot of questions about the area. Have you visited here before? Do you have other plans during your stay? Would you like me to put you in touch with the visitor center for X city? That can be a great resource if you are looking for all kinds of information. We have a house guide that covers a lot of our personal recommendations (on the coffee table, you will see it as soon as you check in) but the folks at the visitor center are pros and have great insights into the area. Let me know and I can send the information. We look forward to hosting you!"

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