More and more the vacation rental industry is focusing on ways to improve the guest experience and offer better hospitality services. Indeed, the 2017 Report on Hospitality Trends in Vacation Rentals showed that 84% of vacation rental companies want to offer more hospitality services.
This trend toward the guest experience can be seen in the development of new vacation rental technology tools like digital guidebooks, and the improvement of experience options available to guests. Consider Airbnb’s recent push into the tour and experiences niche.
There’s also another trend at play, and many hospitality companies are responding to this emphasis on experiences with the creation of an entirely new profession: the Guest Experience Representative.
The role of the Guest Experience Representative
The new role the Guest Experience Representative is simple: provide efficient and exceptional services to guests on a daily basis. The primary goal of this new hospitality role is to leave guests feeling assured, occupied, and optimistic about their stay.
Alessandra Pérez-Cirera, owner of the chique La Palomilla Bed and Breakfast in Mexico City notes that “The role of a Guest Experience Representative is to make the stay as pleasant as they can, to make sure the guest will enjoy their time and be safe.”
The Guest Experience Representative focuses on welcoming new guests, interacting with potential guests, recognizing loyal customers, facilitate efficient check-ins and outs, provide local knowledge for activities, and communicate with guests during their stays.
The new emphasis is on providing guests with clear directions and recommendations for local points of interest, including restaurants, shopping, tourist sites, etc. The hospitality industry now understands the necessity of personalized local recommendations.
Alessandra furthers that “Now travelers want a personal experience during their travels. To facilitate this, we recommend restaurants, bars or tours that we use and like. If we like them, our guests will too.”
Although these activities are by no means new, the emphasis on the guest experience is. The role of the Guest Experience Representative is to understand the desires of the guest, and to find ways to ensure has a personalized experience.
This new industry emphasis is focused much less on processes, policies, and standardization, and more on the experiential demands of modern travelers. “Some guests like Mezcal Tasting, others prefer to fly on a hot air balloon over Teotihuacán. You must adapt the experience to the guest, and know that it’s not one-size-fits-all,” furthers Alessandra.
Do you want to become a Guest Experience Representative?
Alessandra has some great advice for anyone looking to become a Guest Experience Representative in the hospitality industry. She believes that:
“The first thing is to put yourself in your guests’ shoes. If the guest is really friendly, the representative should echo that level of friendliness, otherwise, it could be a bad experience for the guest. Guest Experience Representatives must also truly love and enjoy the area and the local business around. That authenticity shines through.
When a Guest Experience Representative recommends the best of the neighborhood and the guest sees their enthusiasm, guests will also more easily get in touch with the essence of the people, the culture, and the neighborhood. And finally, it takes effort. A Guest Experience Representative must do their best every day. When these three guidelines are followed, a Guest Experience Representative will achieve success.”
The rise of the Guest Experience Representative is unsurprising given the emphasis of the modern traveler on local experiences. Hospitality professionals and vacation rental managers must emphasis these experiences and local attractions more than ever, they’re businesses now depend on it!