How We Leveraged Technology To Provide Excellent Service During Covid-19

When Covid-19 hit the vacation rental market, no one was prepared for what would follow. As it became clear that the pandemic would have a long-term impact, RealTech had to figure out how to adapt and change not only within our office walls but also in the way we interact with our clients and meet their needs. By working together with our clients, we moved forward in the hope that things would get back to normal.

As we draw closer to the end of the calamity, we would like to look back on how we adapted and grew as a company throughout the pandemic. 

When Covid-19 Hit 

When state mandated quarantines hit the vacation rental industry, there was a collapse in bookings and revenue for our clients. Following this, the volume of Covid-19 related requests went through the roof, not only on our development side but also in advising our clients on how to navigate dealing with their guest bookings and overall operations. We found ourselves managing a variety of updates, including many clients with multiple daily requests,  while simultaneously making sure that our level of service never fell off. Our end goal was to maintain consistency in our response times, even if we were overwhelmed with client requests.  

tablet with lockdown written on it

No Additional Charges

RealTech chose not to charge any additional fees for any Covid-19 website adjustments that our clients needed. Many of our clients requested other forms of messaging on the homepage and/or the addition of a specific Covid-19 information page, and we were happy to integrate this messaging into their website. For example, pop-up messages were added to our client’s websites at the beginning of the pandemic. This meant that guests going to their websites would automatically be stopped by pop-up messaging addressing Covid-19 cancellations, bookings, worries, or new policies. This allowed for direct and immediate messaging from company to consumer and mitigated the number of direct calls to our clients during a busy and stressful time. 

pop up messaging

Greater Client Facing Interaction 

Moving on after the initial rush, we knew that things would never be the same in the way we interact with our clients.  We have taken intentional steps this year to be more forward-facing with our clients. Now, every meeting request is linked with a video call option where our clients and our team can speak face-to-face for all issues or updates. Being able to put a face to the name has changed the way we view our clients and has hopefully done the same for them. 

image of cartoon laptop and desktops

PCI and Accessibility Compliance 

accessibility menu

Lastly, one of the biggest things that RealTech Webmasters has been working on during this time is updating all of our hosted websites to be PCI compliant and completely accessible for a range of user disabilities. When referring to PCI compliance, we mean that we are completely up to code with the payment card industry (PCI) data security standard. So, what this really means is that our company has met the requirements intended to ensure that all companies that process, store, or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. 

For website accessibility, you will now notice that every RealTech hosted website comes equipped with an accessibility widget allowing the user to pick options such as highlighting links, bigger text or text spacing, ability to pause animations, a larger cursor option, and the ability to become dyslexia friendly. This makes the booking process a possibility for any guest regardless of a disability. You will find these features located by clicking on the wheelchair icon on the left bottom side of all of our websites.  

Overall, no one in the industry could have expected this event to hit their businesses so hard. It is because of that and our company standards that we spent the last year implementing all of these factors into our business operations. Here’s to hoping this doesn’t happen again, but if it does, we will be ready! 

About Michaela Herberg

Michaela is a marketing coordinator at RealTech Webmasters, and also a master's student through East Tennesse State University in Digital Marketing. In her spare time, she can be found hiking, kayaking, and exploring WNC with her two dogs Sophie and Fenway.