Do You Have a Refund Policy?
You should add there: “I do ask that you inform us of the situation when you check in or at least while the housekeeping staff are on the property. Please do not eat the steak and then ask for a refund.“
No matter what you do or how many pleased renters you do business with, you will always have a few unhappy customers. Dissatisfied people are unavoidable when working with the public, but keeping your rental in an immaculate condition with easy to follow rules and regulations will drastically reduce the amount of miserable patrons that visit your vacation rentals.
So, how do you handle these unhappy renters? Your first guess may be to provide them with a partial refund, but there are actually better, more cost effective ways to handle the situation. Below are a few of the routes you may choose to take when handling an angry vacation rental guest.
- Offer additional nights at no charge – If the problem was not related to the home itself, offer to extend the renter’s stay. Often, free services or items will have your irate customer feeling better. Getting an extra free night at your vacation rental may satisfy the unhappy visitor.
- Buy a restaurant gift certificate – Call a local restaurant near your vacation rental and purchase a meal voucher in the amount of anywhere from $25-$100 in your guests’ name. The dollar amount should reflect the menu pricing (the certificate should cover 50%-75% of the entire party’s meal) and should be purchased in accordance to the severity of the problem your guests faced.
- Give them a future week/weekend stay on you – This is another treat that should be offered due to how large the problem was. If your guests only visited your vacation rental for a weekend, you may give them a free weekend in return for their hassles. Don’t offer a time that falls in your peak season, even if that is when the disgruntled guests vacationed. Offer them a free stay during one of your slow seasons to reduce the money coming out of your pocket.
- Treat them to a free activity – Stock up on a few free passes to various local attractions, such as movie theatres, golf courses, go-kart tracks…whatever people find fun in your area. These can be used an incentive to book your vacation rental, and well as to calm an angry renter.
- Send gifts or treats – A fruit basket, box of chocolate cookies, or a full meal delivered right to their door may get you and your vacation rental back into good graces with your unhappy renters.
Be sure to handle each disappointed customer and their problems with care. Showing your concern for their troubles is very effective when trying to get them back into good spirits. A few angry renters may turn down all of your free and discounted offers, and will demand a refund. You should definitely consider giving them some money back on their stay. However, most guests will see the effort you placed into correcting their tribulations, and will be pleased with the goodies you offer.
Have you got a refund strategy for your vacation rental you would like to share as a business? Or perhaps you have seen a great on being offered. What’s your thoughts on refunds?