by Neya Abdi
Got your sights set on that five-star rating?
It’s more attainable than you think.
It may not feel like the space between a four-star and five-star rating matters, but there’s a whole world of difference when it comes to your success on Turo.
A five-star rating leads to:
Think about the last time you booked an Airbnb or made a reservation at a restaurant. You probably checked the reviews to see whether it was worth your money.
Guests on Turo often look at the ratings and reviews to assess whether your listing will live up to their expectations. If it comes down to a choice between a four-star and five-star host, they’re more likely to choose the latter, even if there’s a slightly higher price.
Some of our most successful hosts have made the most earnings through repeat guests. These are guests who return to the same hosts over and over again, because they know their experience will be great.
This is a wonderful way to introduce recurring revenue, especially if you want to turn hosting into a steady stream of income. The best way to do this is by consistently delivering five-star experiences.
All-Star Host status
When over 90% of your trips have five-star ratings, you’re on your way to becoming an All-Star Host. All-Star Hosts receive exclusive perks including a special badge that boosts their visibility in guests’ search results, a priority queue when they call Customer Support, a travel credit bonus, and more.
How do you deliver a five-star guest experience?
The best way to set yourself up for success is to cover these five bases:
- Listing accuracy
Here’s how you can ace all five.
Nobody wants to step into a messy car or place their baggage in a dirty trunk.
Before sharing your car, make sure the interior is clean. Dirty seats or trash on the floor of the car or above the dashboard are all things that can create a negative guest experience.
Your vehicle should also be sanitary. The pandemic has made guests more aware of germs and the importance of preventative measures like frequently cleaning shared surfaces. So it’s important to ensure you follow our Enhanced cleaning and disinfection guide. Reiterate this in your listing and when communicating with your guests so that they have added reassurance.
Finally, remember that your guests are not responsible for taking your car to a car wash or having it detailed. Now, if your guests return your car with the smell of cigarette smoke or in a condition that requires excessive cleaning, then you can certainly request that Turo collect a fee. Otherwise, be mindful not to charge guests for expected dirt on the exterior of the car. Unexpected fees that guests consider unfair can lead to lower reviews and decrease your chances of repeat bookings.
One of the most common causes of poor reviews on Turo is maintenance issues like a “Check Engine” light or “Oil Change” signal on the dashboard.
Guests do not want to worry that the car they’ve booked is going to break down in the middle of their 48-hour road trip. It’s important to follow a regular maintenance schedule and ensure that your car is in good condition.
If you’re worried about a light unexpectedly flashing during a guest’s trip, an on-board diagnostics (OBD) device can help you detect a service light the moment it goes on so that you can message your guest and reassure them that the vehicle has gone through all relevant maintenance or walk them through any issues.
If you’re uncertain how often you should be conducting maintenance on your car, refer to the manual that came with your vehicle for the appropriate maintenance schedule.
Avoid any bait and switches or “catfishing” in your listing. If you promise something in your listing, like an aux cord or camping gear, make sure it’s actually there when your guest picks up the car.
If you wind up in a situation where the perk is no longer available (e.g. maybe the aux cord goes missing) let your guest know in advance and see if you can offer them something else as compensation.
Include clear photos in your listing as well. The more expensive a purchase online is, the more time you can expect consumers might spend examining photos, so you want to include high-resolution photos that provide an accurate representation of what the interior and exterior of your car looks like.
Remember: it’s better to under promise and over deliver than to over deliver and under promise. Before offering anything to your guests, ask yourself whether it’s feasible to honour that expectation.
Excellent communication is one of the main pillars of great customer service. Be sure to put your best customer service foot forward and communicate with your guests throughout the booking process. Here are a few communication touchpoints we recommend hitting:
- Welcome message: Send your guest a message confirming their booking and letting them know that their trip details will be sent either the night before the trip or the day of their trip.
- Pre-trip message: Give your guests all the details they need to have a successful and convenient trip. This includes letting them know where to meet, whether it’s a contactless delivery, what the lockbox code is (if needed), and an explanation on how the car works if it’s something some guests may be unfamiliar driving, like a Tesla. Ultimately, this message lets guests know what they should expect.
- During the trip: Make yourself available in case your guests need any assistance, if a warning light comes on, for example.
- Before the trip ends: The day before the trip ends, send your guests a reminder that they need to drop off the car on time, to request an extension if needed, and details on how and where they can drop off the car.
- Post-trip message: Once the car is returned, send your guests a message letting them know that you hope they enjoyed their trip and that you’d appreciate a review detailing their experience. This is also a chance for you to thank them for booking your vehicle and an opportunity to extend a discount on future trips in order to encourage a repeat booking, particularly if they were a respectful and responsible guest.
Being efficient and being responsive are not mutually exclusive things.
If you notice that guests often reach out with the same questions, or if you always send the same instructions, create pre-set messages that include these details such as reminders to ask for a trip extension if needed or to refuel the car before returning it. This can save you ample time without taking anything away from the guest experience.
Finally, the thing that guests crave the most is convenience. They do not want to be running around to find the information they need — or to find you and your car! — especially when they’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an easy commuting option for running errands.
If you can, offer to deliver your car to guests. This helps your listing stand out and even more so, makes your car sharing experience stand out from what rental car companies would offer, keeping you competitive within the marketplace.
And here’s the thing — you can absolutely charge for this! Most guests are happy to pay for convenience. They just want the option. Plus, this allows you to earn more per trip. In fact, hosts can now take home 90% of their delivery fees, making it even more lucrative to offer this perk.
Best practices + a great personality = a guaranteed five-star listing
Perhaps the most important part of sharing your car on Turo is offering a one-of-a-kind experience. A lot of people book cars on Turo because they like that they’re dealing with another human being instead of a rental car company.
If you follow these best practices while infusing your unique personality into your guest experience, you’ll be earning five-star ratings, scoring repeat bookings, and inching closer to All-Star Host status in no time!