What’s the difference?
What are the major differences between a Guest Welcome app and an E-concierge app? And which should you use for your vacation rental business?
On the surface, they seem identical. A digital guide to help your guests navigate through through your property and uncover a few hidden gems in the area. Both are a time-saving device, to cut out paper guides and help you send your own insider knowledge to your guests.
But, there are some major differences between the two. For property managers looking to modernize their guides and guest experience offerings, it is crucial to know which is the right solution for your business.
We’ve outlined the differences between the two, some great examples of both, and how to tell which option is right for your business.
Guest welcome apps have taken over the traditional paper welcome book. They can be sent to every guest, copied and distributed. The content contains links, searchable information, and new ways to reach your hosts.
They help you collate the best local guides, add your own local expertise, link to social media accounts and give our guests and guided tour of your property.
But to understand the differences that define an E-concierge app – we need to clarify what we mean by ‘concierge’.
Speaking in an interview in Conde Nast Traveller, Frank Laino, the Executive Concierge at the Stafford London and ‘World’s Best Concierge’, tells us exactly what a great concierge should have:
An ability to listen and have empathy with the guests. Guests often do not know what they want; they might be jet-lagged and stressed. Be resourceful, which requires a good network and a determination not to take no for an answer. Be a rounded, balanced person—never stop learning. Have the ability to engage clients in intelligent and informed conversation. But never be opinionated.
This is a great definition of what makes a concierge a unique position in the accommodation industry. It’s something malleable, being able to have the solution for your guests in any scenario. Nothing should be beyond the remit of a good concierge.
A guest welcome app is exactly that – a perfect way to welcome new guests to your home and help them feel welcome and at home right away. It serves a useful purpose but doesn’t go any further than that. An E-concierge app is like having a guide, an assistant, and a local expert with you at all times.
Here’s how they do it:
Dynamic and booking specific
Guest welcome apps are designed around a specific property. E-concierge apps are created around the booking and the property together. They can be automated to be sent based on the property booked, the time it was booked, and the guest that made the booking.
This means that your guests are sent the basic information about their booking in the app. A true E-concierge should be the go-to point for your guests from the moment they book to when they check-out.
Simple details such as the property address, the check-in time and date, and a way to contact you are all important for your guests to have easy access to. Booking confirmation, billing details, outstanding payments to be made will also be some of the first things your guests check.
Your guests now have everything they need to feel confident and assured after booking. All the key information they will ever need is already in one simple place. They can now relax and start to anticipate the more interesting parts of their trip.
The person that books your property is not the only person you need to impress. An E-concierge app will also take your co-guests’ preferences into account.
A perfect example of this would be if your guest is traveling with young children. Having a check-in option not only allows you to register your guest details, in your database, and with the local authorities, if required. It gives you vital information about your guests before they arrive, allowing you to plan ahead and help your guests curate their trip.
Even if you know the details of the person that booked, if they are traveling with a group, you are still basically operating blindly.
Welcome apps will give your guests a chance to find information that interests them. E-concierge apps encourage interaction and change based on the information they receive.
Interactive and personalized
Know your guests have entered some information about themselves, an e-concierge app will adapt to their interests.
To use the example of a guest with a young family, your app can promote activities aimed at families. An interactive guide will modify the content it displays based on the preferences of the user. A guest welcome app is static and doesn’t optimise the content it displays.
An interactive E-concierge will change the content it displays to real-time changes. It’s raining? Check your app and find out the best indoor activities in your area. Major sports event in your area? You guide will inform you the congested travel spots to avoid.
One-click payment options
The ability to book and pay for the services is a key difference between a welcome app and an e-concierge app.
They are seamless. There is no need to flick between apps, enter card details multiple times, or hunt down the vendor website.
Where a guest welcome app may be filled with great suggestions, you have to close the app and find a way to contact the business directly. Not only are you making your guests work harder and complete more transactions, you are also missing out on being recognized for directing your guests to another business.
Using Guest Apps
Guest apps are lead by design. They’re built look great. Because the structure and content don’t change, you can invest more time and effort into your design and user experience. You can design a slick and professional guide to your home, that you can continually add to.
It’s a modern and paper-less time-saving tool that you can send and forget. They are the ideal solution for managers looking for a quick way to modernize their business and share their knowledge. They keep your workload down, are easy to setup and maintain.
If you just want a simple guide to your property, that looks great and requires little to no work to maintain, a guest welcome app will be the tool for you.
Using an E-concierge
E-concierge apps are for the hands-on manager that wants to enhance the guest experience and develop their business. They are led by the ability to be dynamic and multi-functional.
E-concierge apps allow your guests to personalize their trips, book services, make payments and interact with you. A great hotel concierge is renowned for their knowledge, their ability to solve problems and absorb any inconvenience for their guests. Using an E-concierge distills this principle of flawless, yet understated, service into an app that can be used anywhere.
Automation helps vacation rental managers manage the logistics, but using an E-concierge app over a Guest Welcome App can be a daunting prospect. You need to be on hand to answer questions. You need to have connections with local services in your area, and a system to manage and delegate staff,
If you want to see how you can add your very own E-concierge app to every property you manage, and use Vreasy’s managed and an accredited network of service providers, click here.