Using the downtime to plant seeds of reciprocity for future bookings
Below are some ideal outcomes we've encountered based on a generous and empathy-based response.
Case #1: Free Pizza for Life
Jodi and her family own a pizza restaurant near San Antonio. They are part of my Coconuts Club and took advantage of an open weekend at their discounted rate. Well, the Covid sh#t hit the fan while they were staying at my place. Their restaurant was closed. They asked if they could extend their stay...Absolutely! Ultimately, they stayed for 10 Days...and I never charged them for the extra days. You can't buy that goodwill for twice the cost..and restaurant owners tend to be marketing mavens. It was a good "word of mouth" investment....Oh and I get free pizza for life!
Case #2: Back for Summer. Yes!
The Botte family had just moved to Texas from Ohio and were off on a mission to explore Texas during Spring Break...which included a couple of days on the Redneck Riviera at Crafty's. They too found themselves on the road during the big "lockdown" and found the rest of their travel plans go up in smoke. So, to show them how we roll in Texas...I offered to let them hunker down as long as they needed to. They stayed a week...and have already booked for summer....Cha Ching.
Case #3: BYOTP
Leanne (another Coconut) is scheduled to arrive next week, with her girls group...most of which are immediate family. She called me the other day and I told her that she could cancel or change her reservation any time she wanted. Yesterday, she called me back...with what I was sure was the cancellation...but instead, she changed her reservation...from 2 days to 7 days....with an option for 3 more...and from one condo to two. As long as they were hunkering down...they decided to hunker down at the beach...and they'd bring their own TP!
This one from Eric Bay on Alliance for Neighborhood Prosperity in New Orleans:
As I’ve spent literally more time managing my business in the last two weeks than any time prior, with the onset of our epidemic at our historic highs in tourism for March and April and May, I’ve intentionally focused on two things..
First: Now is the opportunity to earn customers for life.
Unable to control anything in their personal lives, and faced with some sort of financial uncertainty-the ability to have someone with human compassion override “policy” in an event that can’t be defined by policy-my travelers are overwhelmed with gratitude with full refunds (if I can’t get them to simply change reservation dates)...
They are reaching out after and connecting in truly personal ways with praise thanks and a connection that did not exist based simply on one or two emails from time of booking until this event....
Captured a missed opportunity that may not even have presented itself if they actually completed their future visit...
Second....after being cooped up, stressed out, And having a vacation postponed....our global appetite for a much needed unwind vacation travel experience grows every hour!!
Only the strong will survive this. Yes, the lows we will feel. But the highs soon to come will be unlike none ever we have experienced in a typically dead summer and bumper crop fall and winter season leading well into next spring. And, we will have made customers for life (of course I’ve promised each one to have a refrigerator stocked with iced cold Coronas waiting!!)