Your Frequently Asked Questions List
Your guests will ask a lot of questions.
All they have to make the decision to part with their hard-earned vacation savings is a web listing. Some of these have limited text, ambiguous amenity lists, and confusing rates so it’s no surprise that travellers get frustrated.
They resort to writing a single email with all the questions they want answers for then copy and paste it into each enquiry. To them it saves time combing through the listing looking to see if their criteria are met – to us as owners it can be irritating when we know we’ve covered everything in the listing.
It can be tempting to respond with a terse reply and refer them back to the listing – after all, you know that the answers are there – but you risk losing the opportunity to engage with the site visitor, and convert the curiosity into a confirmed booking.
A better way to handle this is to create a PDF list of frequently asked questions and additional information, and send that, along with a friendly note.
Create a structured FAQ with a list of categories so the answers can be found easily. The following are ideas for headings and the types of question you can include within each one.
Booking systems – Include questions that may be asked on every aspect of your booking system. This is where you need to created confidence your property actually exists and that their money is protected.
- How much is the deposit?
- When do I make the final payment?
- Do you take credit cards?
- Can I pay cash on arrival?
- What is your damage deposit/security deposit and when do I get it back?
- What is your cancellation policy?
Booking information – this category covers questions on your general policies that could influence a booking decision
- Do you have restrictions on pets (note which pets you do or do not allow)
- Can I smoke at your property
- Do I have to clean the property before we leave?
- Do we have to recycle?
- What happens if there is a power outage?
What is included in the rental – telling guests what you provide shows them how well stocked your property is and what cleaning supplies they need is important.
- What do I have to bring?Example: We provide a ‘starter pack’ that includes a 6-pack of toilet paper, kitchen paper, dishwasher tablets, dish soap, hand soap. When you book we’ll send you a complete list of what we supply and what you need to bring with you.
- Are cleaning supplies included?
- Do you have books and games?
- Do you have a blender/toaster oven/slow cooker
- Is wood supplied for the wood stove/firepit
- What size life jackets do you have?
- Is there a first aid kit?
- How many pillows are there on each bed?
- Do your mattresses have hypo-allergenic covers?
- Is the water drinkable?
Facilities and Features
- What type of internet connection do you have?Example: We have a satellite internet connection with slower download speed than you would expect from wireless, but sufficient for checking emails and general web surfing. You will not be able to watch streaming video.
- Are there any iPod docking stations?
- What laundry facilities do you have?
- Can I bring my Wii/Playstation/Xbox?
The Local Area
- How far is the nearest vet/general store/gas station/hospital/walk-in clinic
- Where is the nearest ski hill/cross country ski trail/hiking trails
- How far is the closest restaurant?
- Is there a McDonalds nearby?
- Where can I play golf?
- General Information
- What fish can I catch?
- What is the waterfront like?
- Can I dive off the end of the dock?
- Do I need a fishing licence?
- Are there any wild animals in the area?
Finally, add a title header and a footer with the date you create the document, and convert it to a PDF. Word comes with a variety of themes you can use to make the document look attractive and appealing. Remember that your response to a question list will be compared to others the prospective guest is receiving, so think about ways of making yours stand out from your competition.
Send the list along with a friendly note to say you appreciate they have a lot of questions prior to making an important vacation decision, and you have attached your FAQ list. You do not want them to feel as though you have just replied to their standard enquiry with a standard response so personalize your covering note in such a way to recognize their specific needs. For example:
“Thank you for enquiring about our cottage. We’re so glad you are considering it because it’s clear you love fishing, and there are some good fishing spots around the property. We supply some basic fishing equipment and there is a great bait shop nearby.
It’s available for the dates you require and the rate is $_____.
Understandably you have a lot of questions, many of which have been asked before, so I’m attaching our document that covers all of the ones you have asked and a lot you may not have thought about yet.
We’d love to tell you more, so please call or email if we can help your decide our cottage is the one for you!
If you just want to go ahead and book online (give the booking information).
We’ll look forward to welcoming you at _____ Cottage.”
Update your FAQs regularly and remember to change the date on your footer each time you do.