Lu and Yi (2022) investigated customer satisfaction with homestays, and how value is created in this accommodation context. Homestay accommodation is developing rapidly and gaining in popularity around the world, and as a participant in such accommodation as both host and customer, I was very interested in the value that customers perceive through host–customer interactions.
The authors state, “Using a homestay, as compared with other types of accommodation, provides more interactive space and communicative opportunities for consumers, which directly affects the subsequent value perception, evaluation, and behavior tendencies of the guest.” It seems that in a homestay arrangement, the interactions customers have with their hosts are more important than might be standard with tourist accommodation. Ways customers participate include greetings between host and guest, chatting in a relaxed atmosphere with hosts, and talking about topics other than work.
The authors’ results indicate that a positive perception of the homestay experience was connected to host–customer interaction. This reflects my own experience of homestays. And I have also found the opposite to be true, that when host–customer interaction is lacking, the experience has not been perceived as positive.
Some suggested strategies for improving customer satisfaction include offering more information for customers to research before their visit and initiating friendly conversation with guests on arrival. It would also be good to see some industry standards around the service and quality of homestays so that customer satisfaction and continuity of service is achieved more consistently.
Suzi Brown | IT Manager
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal