Research might sound like something that is difficult and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be hard. There are several ways that you can do basic research—no fancy tools required! You’ll soon be on your way to discovering helpful insights and making your experience even better.
Put your best foot forward on your experience page
Your experience page is your guests’ first point of contact with you, so it should be both interesting and easy to understand. One way to put it to the test is to print out your listing and ask another person to respond to it.
To print your listing, instead of struggling with multiple screenshots of your page, try a full page screen capture tool on your browser. One option that’s currently available is the Full Page Screen Capture plug-in, which can be installed on Google Chrome. Once you install the plug-in, you can go to your experience page in Chrome and click on the Full Page Screen Capture plug-in. From there, you can download a JPEG or PDF of your page to print.
Next, find a friend who has never seen your page before and get their feedback by having them write directly on your print-out. Ask about their general emotional reactions to the page, but also if the wording sounds natural—like something that you would write. Here are a few questions to ask:
- Is this an experience you would like to book? If so, what about the listing makes it seem appealing?
- Are there words or phrases that seem out of place or don’t make sense?
- Do you think I give enough context so it’s not confusing to someone who isn’t familiar with this area or activity?
- Does the writing sound like me?
Interview your guests for fresh feedback
Airbnb researchers use interviews to understand guest perspectives, and you can do this too. Take advantage of the opportunity to receive real-time feedback by asking your guests to stay a few minutes after to chat about how it went. You could say something like “I’m always trying to learn and improve my experience. Would you mind staying a few minutes longer to share some quick feedback with me?”
If guests are willing to stay, here are some questions that can get you started:
- What was your favorite part of the experience? You’ll probably begin to notice some patterns in this answer as you ask more guests.
- What would you change about the experience?
- If my experience was shorter/longer, what would you cut/add? This can help you determine what the essential parts of your experience are, along with which parts are not as necessary.
- How would you describe my experience to your friends? Pay attention to the words that they use to verbally convey value. You can incorporate these into your listing!
- Was today what you were expecting? Answers to this question will show you what kind of expectation your listing is setting and how it might differ from guests’ perceptions.
Connect with your ideal guests
Potential guests can be a great source of feedback. But first, ask yourself some questions to figure out who your ideal guest is. Are they a traveler, or are a local? How old are they? What’s the purpose of their travel? What are they interested in? Once you have decided on who your ideal guest is, find them! Search through your contacts, or ask people you know if they can think of someone similar to your ideal guest.
Once you’ve found someone, you can show them print-outs of your listing and ask them questions about how they understand the page. This can be especially useful if they’re unfamiliar with your region or with the activity that you’re hosting.
If you’re sharing your listing with potential guests on a computer, here’s a trick for hiding the price to learn what potential guests see in your experience without the distraction of cost. Copy and paste the tag ?hidePrice=true to the end of your listing’s URL and ask for their thoughts, including how much they would pay for the experience. This can give you a better idea of where to set your price to appeal to a particular type of guest.
These are just a few strategies that you can use to start doing your very own research. By getting early feedback on your experience page, interviewing your guests for real-time reactions, and connecting with the right type of travelers for you, you’ll generate ideas for how to make your experience stand out to the people you’re hoping to reach.