Handling discount requests
In times of economic uncertainty, some guests will search for discounts to make their budget go further.
Whether you're able to offer a discount is for you to consider, but our tips can help you handle these kinds of enquiries and hopefully seal the deal either way:
First and foremost, don’t be offended. It’s now commonplace for consumers to ask for discounts, so it’s by no means a slur against your home or its value.
Think about your priorities. If revenue is more important than avoiding an empty property, work out the lowest price you can offer that covers costs and brings in a profit. This is especially relevant to last minute bookings or if you've had a cancellation.
If you are unable to offer the price requested, politely explain how you have come to this decision, and why this is the best price you can offer considering your home’s facilities and your overheads. If your rate is lower at certain times of the year, you could try to offer the guest one of these weeks instead. Many holidaymakers are flexible with their plans and may be willing to take their holiday at a different time.
If you don’t want to offer a discount, why not throw in some extras instead, such as a bottle of wine, voucher for a local cafe or restaurant or tickets for a local attraction in addition to your regular welcome hamper.
When a holidaymaker is looking to strike a deal, you might want to consider explaining to the holidaymaker that you are willing to offer the discount on condition that the booking contract and deposit are returned by a certain date. This is a great way to secure a booking quickly.
Confirm the details of the stay and confirm your offer in writing. This makes it clear to everyone involved and allows you to refer back to the terms if the situation or offer changes. Detail the agreed rate in your booking contract.
For more assistance when replying to guests who are asking for a discount, you may find our sample email responses useful.
Author: Jessica, customer service advisor
Date: January 2012