When Caroline Nolder, owner of the Turks Hall Bed and Breakfast in Bruton, Somerset, first opened her business, she had a "very basic website." However, it soon became clear that she would need to update her website.
"I needed to be able to communicate with my guests and provide an experience that would feel just as smooth and personalized as when they stayed at a larger hotel chain," Nolder said. "I also wanted a website that reflected the same commitment to comfort and design as my B&B."
However, Nolder faced the problem that many smaller, independent hotels face when it comes to competing with larger hotel chains: a small budget for technology investments. Additionally, she didn't want to hire a full-time web designer or be restricted from making edits to the website herself.
That's when her web advisor recommended Nolder look into Wix.com, a cloud-based do-it-yourself web building company. Wix recently debuted a new product called Ascend, a suite of tools specifically designed for small businesses.
Having used other website providers in the past, Nolder said she was impressed by the clarity and precision of the interface.
"Ascend by Wix enables me to do things like create forms so guests can leave online testimonials, personalize emails to lists of contacts and track guests who have booked a room at Turks Hall before — without a complicated technical backend," she explained. "Overall, the simplicity of using dashboards while still having access to powerful business tools is what drove me to use Ascend."
Ascend met her criteria of being budget friendly, easy to use, and it allows Nolder to change the website whenever she wants without being "blocked by a lack of technical ability." According to Nolder, the Ascend product makes her feel as if she has an entire IT team supporting her website when, in fact, it is easily managed by one or two people.
Since implementing her new website, Nolder has seen a marked increase in web traffic which she credits to the high number of touchpoints Wix allows her to have with guests.
"My customers feel cared for after having a smooth and personalized experience, and the professional look-and-feel of my website encourages them to consider it for their stay," she notes. "The first impression that customers have of my B&B is through the website, so it’s crucial the first impression is a positive one.
Caroline Nolder owns Turks Hall B&B in Bruton, Somerset, which she opened with her husband David in 2013. In her other role as the B&B Doctor Caroline shares the benefit of her experience with others who are contemplating starting a similar venture or experiencing challenges in their own B&B business.