Think “easy” when starting your bed and breakfast

A lot of times bed and breakfast owners develop ways of running their B&B so that it is easy for them – and often forget about making things easy for their guests.  However, travellers also expect their journey to be easy – all the way from finding a place to stay, to making a booking to the actual stay itself.

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind when starting your bed and breakfast that will help make it “easy” to get the business:

 Make it easy to contact you

  • Have some type of print literature
  • List your web site where potential guests will be looking for it
  • Encourage people to ask questions
  • Make sure your information is easy to read on a variety of mobile devices
  • Have your contact information on every page of your web site
  • Include all your contact information on all your documents
  • Ensure your phone message clarifies when you will return calls
  • Check that your messages on your web site, phone and print materials are clear and concise

Make it easy to know what you offer – or don’t

  • Ensure your web site and print materials are easy to read
  • Make sure your web site is easy to navigate
  • Present key information first
  • Communicate your policies – especially your cancellation policy
  • Make it easy for people to ask questions
  • Respond to questions in a timely fashion

Make it easy for people to know you deliver what you promise

  • Ensure that you can deliver what you promise
  • Provide links to independent review sites
  • Respond quickly and professionally to complaints
  • Set up and participate in social media

Make it easy for people to book a room at your B&B

  • Be clear if you will accept walk-ins
  • Offer the ability to book on-line
  • Provide easy-to-read availability calendars
  • Make it easy to contact you
  • If you require a deposit make it easy to figure out what it is and how people can pay
  • Send a confirmation so guests are sure their booking is made

Make it easy for people to find your bed and breakfast property

  • Send directions or a downloadable map so people know how to find you
  • Provide information on a near-by cross-road or a description of landmarks on the journey
  • Ensure local people know are aware of your location so they can help with directions
  • Check that your signage is easy to see and read
  • Have parking available

Make it easy to pay you

  • Take major credit cards and/or debit cards
  • Ensure you have a secure way to process credit cards
  • Have a system in place for storing credit card information safely

Make sure you are easy to recommend

  • Ask guests to leave a review
  • Provide them with all the information they need to know for making a review
  • Thank them for their review
  • Deal with complaints/comments/feedback quickly and professionally
  • Let others know how you resolved guest issues.

What will you do to be easy?  If people can’t find out about your bed and breakfast, then you don’t exist.  If potential guests don’t understand what you are offering then they will move on to someone who provides the answers they are seeking.  Ignoring the importance of reviews that you deliver on what you promise makes travelers ignore you.  If you make them jump through hoops to pay you, they will find someone makes it easy.

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