It’s often said that communication is key. When your Turo guest first reaches out to you about renting your car, the method, tone, and urgency in which communicate with them will determine whether they want to book with you or not. It’s a crucial time to show off your guest communications skills. Successful ‘rentalpreneurs’ must be and prompt, polite and people-oriented.
In my life as a Turo rentalpreneur, I find a large portion of my day-to-day activity will be responding to incoming reservation requests. Due to the international reach of Turo, these requests will come at all times of the day and night. Be prepared to answer all incoming messages quickly. Responsiveness is critical to confirming reservations before they move on to the next host.
Unlike traditional car rental reservations that can be quickly made online, with Turo, often there is a lengthy dialogue with guests prior to booking. Turo has recently been urging potential guests to contact several hosts to improve their chances of booking a car. Responsiveness is—and always will be— the most effective way to confirm bookings.
How To Communicate With Guests to Maximize Guest Experience
- When receiving an inquiry, “get personal” with your response
They are communicating with a human after all, not a robot so if they mention they have kids, for example, speak directly about your car being child-friendly. Find common ground with your guests. One way to do that is to review the guest profile and highlight anything you may have in common in your email correspondence.
2. Close each deal quickly by creating a sense of urgency
A typical email you’ll receive is this: “Is your car still available?” A simple response of “Yes!” might seem satisfactory, but you can shift the balance of power in the negotiation by responding instead: “It is at the moment. I’ve been communicating with someone else today who is interested, but they haven’t confirmed the reservation yet.” Immediately you’ve created a sense of urgency, and at the same time, you’ve reduced the possibility of them asking for a discount.
3. Be clear in your car guidelines so there are no misunderstandings or false expectations
For example, guests are often annoyed when owners state they are pet-friendly or pets-considered, but after going through the trouble of contacting the owner, they find out that only certain pets or pet sizes are allowed. Be equally transparent and straightforward when you’re communicating about your total costs (ie. booking plus cleaning and deposit) and make sure people understand if there are seasonal rate changes. Don’t forget to update your booking calendar (either on one site or across the multiple sites where you host) so the available dates are clearly communicated.
4. During their trip, if any questions arise, answer them quickly and to the best of your ability
Feel free to be verbose and answer every question in detail. The guest will feel heard and appreciate that you’re going above and beyond to make them feel at ease and comfortable in their new surroundings. Make a list of all guest questions you receive and periodically update your listing guide to address them.
5. Contact guests immediately after pick up and drop off
Many guests experience easy to solve problems within the first hour of their trip. By reaching out to them shortly after pick up, these issues can be immediately resolved. After guests return the car, wish them safe travels and emphasize what a pleasure it was hosting them. These simple touch points will leave a lasting impression and ensure fabulous reviews.