Post by High Priestess on Apr 9, 2016 16:33:06 GMT
I just found a significant weakness in the new system Airbnb has set up for the message thread. It used to be that if I got a message from an old guest, someone who had stayed with me in the past, they did not have to send a new inquiry, they could just say what they wanted and I had the option all the time to send a special offer to anyone thru the message page. Now, that is removed. You can't send a special offer to someone if they have not sent you a recent inquiry. So if it is an old guest contacting you thru the old message thread, as happened to me today, she says in the message what dates she wants, but she didn't send a new inquiry, she just used the old message thread and so the contact came across as "message" not "inquiry." And there is NO Option to send a preapproval or special offer. So now I have to ask her to send me an inquiry. I don't like that -- it requires the guest to complete an extra step.
Post by Maria Lurdes (Milu) on Apr 9, 2016 21:17:57 GMT
Isn't that the oddest thing - I was just coming in to post the exact situation!
I received a message from a guest who stayed in 2012. The message looked new because he noted coming to NY in July with his family. But when I looked at the date of the message, it said October 2012, his original stay date. I wasn't sure what was going on so I replied back to ask him if this was an error, or if he was coming back. I thought that maybe it was a bug in the system that maybe the user logged in after years of dormancy, and a pending previously unsent message was suddenly shot into space. That was not the case.
He is in fact coming back and was looking for accommodations. I did the same thing Deborah, I went to see how I could send him a special offer. I wanted to waive the cleaning fee because last time they were so tidy and perfect guests. No way to do it! It's like all the historical information, including which listing he stayed at, is wiped clean. English is a bit of a challenge for him so while I'm sure he'll get it if I tell him that he has to submit a new inquiry, it would be so much easier if I could help him getting to YES (I read an article about this today) without making him do the work.
I was at Home Depot earlier today buying some gardening supplies. One of the small pots didn't have a sticker. The cashier told me that I could go get another pot and bring it back. Since the garden center was clear across the other way and I was feeling lazy and incredibly entitled, I asked her if she couldn't call someone in the garden center for a price check. After a heave of her shoulders and a loud sigh, she picks up the phone. Nobody answers, so she tells me that I can either go and get the plant myself, or I can not buy it. I smiled, said "ok then" and left my cart full of things there. I walked away. I'll go to a small nursery where they will provide me with better service. I also walked up to customer service and told them that they could find a suspended transaction cart at check out 4 because if they could not make it easy to pay, I didn't want to shop. Like I said, incredibly entitled and I felt like a massive bitch, but I was irked.
I thought about my Home Depot experience when I was answering this gentleman and wondered if he might feel the same way - don't I want his business? Why can't I make it easy for him to spend his money?
Post by High Priestess on Apr 10, 2016 0:16:06 GMT
I"m actually wondering if Airbnb did this change intentionally or if this was an oversight, that this option to send another special offer got lopped off. It would make sense as you say that you want to make everything as easy as possible for someone to book, which to me means, I would love to be able to send someone a special offer if I can. Particularly if they want to do as this woman did, which is to stay in 2 different rooms consecutively, .....when it gets complicated I like to help the guest.
It seems to be the case that once someone departs and their reservation ends, there is a limited amount of time where you can still send them a special offer. I have that option for someone who stayed a month ago, but not for someone who stayed in early February -- I see the option is lost on that message thread.
THis is something to bring up with Airbnb.
On the new Community Center, there MIGHT be a new section of the CC where we hosts will have the chance to give feedback directly to Airbnb -- this is not clear yet as all is still in the works -- but if they have that feature, then it will be easier to bring up these kinds of things with the company, they won't all have to go in as Customer service calls to people who all too often don't know enough to help answer the question or channel our feedback to the right department.
I had the same annoying experience with booking a repeat guest from Asia... I had to ask her to send me an booking inquiry so I could give her a special offer. Depending on the number of nights and travel season, I try to give 10% discount or waive the cleaning fee for returning guests (especially low maintenance independent guests!)
Shortly afterwards I sent the special offer, she asked to change the dates and add an extra night. So I removed the special offer and tried to make a another special offer with the new dates. Didn't work! Guest message me that the new dates didn't change, only the discount was removed. I couldn't figure out how to streamline the process from my end, and minimize work for the guest to submit a new inquiry.
Anyway, not sure what happened but the next day (after 24 hours from her original inquiry, maybe?), I was able to revise the dates and send her a new Special Offer.