How can we ensure we maximise bookings in France’s very competitive Gite and Holiday Home market?
Each year there seems to be some new advice. Once access to broadband became more available there was a huge interest in owners wanting/needing a good web site to promote the uniqueness of their property. Since then things have moved on with access to reliable broadband in holiday properties now an essential requirement for many.
Sending postcards that arrive after your holiday is over cannot compete with Facetime and Skype instant messaging and the ability to continue to use your favourite devices like iPads and Kindles, whilst sending photos from mobiles using the wifi so preserving data allowances is now expected.
The large investment being made in the French telecom network is bringing better broadband to more holiday properties and is reflected in the way properties are marketed. But with most change-over dates being a Saturday any problems visitors have in connecting to the service is complicated by offices being closed and engineers only working from Monday to Friday. Add to this situations where many property owners may not be on hand to assist can result in the holiday getting off to a poor start for those affected.
Repeat bookings and recommendations can be affected by such difficulties. Here is what you can do to get visitors’ holidays off to the best start.
Prepare a separate page in your information pack so you can give more detail than just the wifi code. You can be sure that as soon as they unpack they will want to let everybody know they have arrived safely and show them photos of them in their holiday home! Any problems getting connected will create a poor first impression.
Make sure you include the name of the network and the wifi code. Remind them that wifi codes are case sensitive and often simply mistaking a numeral 0 for a letter o can result in no connection. If they still have problems, which is unusual but important if experienced, they will expect help but this may not be so easy if you are not nearby or have little technical experience in this area.
There is a small number of companies that offer a bilingual French/English speaking service that you might prefer. Also consider a company that will suspend your service when the property is not occupied to make savings.
If you provide the contact details for your broadband supplier and the phone number and your account number they can get help directly. Do remember that if the problem cannot be resolved remotely you will need to provide the details for yourself or a contact person that can meet an engineer that will go to your property to investigate further. Your guests will not want to wait in for the engineer visit whilst they should be enjoying their holiday.
A simple addition to your ‘change-over tick list’ to check that the wifi connection is working and the provision of a ‘help’ sheet including the broadband service name and wifi code together with the help number will be appreciated if ever needed. Whilst things can go wrong, most problems are fixed painlessly and quickly.
Commercial Director, UKTelecom Ltd