Guest reviews are the social ‘norm’ these days, but are yours helpful or harmful?
Guest reviews for short term accommodation rentals are essential for guests planning a potential trip. Reviews and feedback enable guests to make meaningful and informed choices. Naturally, these reviews should be honest and trustworthy and also nurture consumer trust.
As a property owner, you should have a system and best practices in place for getting and responding to guest reviews. In this guide, we will discuss important do’s and don’ts of guest reviews so property owners can use them to nurture the trust of potential guests.
Do View A Guest Complaint As A Gift
A good review best practice is to encourage guests to share what they liked and disliked about their stay. Successful property owners learn to view guest complaints as a gift in that; they get a chance to solve potential problems.
If dissatisfied guests are not given a forum to complain, they will not write positive reviews nor will they return to your property or recommend it to friends and family.
Do Train Your Employees
The best way to encourage guests to leave a feedback is to train your property manager and employees to constantly ask guests about their experience. Employees should also cheerfully listen to and respond to complaints.
Do Make It Easy For Guests To Review Your Property
You should make it very easy for guests to review and rate the property. You can, for example, encourage guests to fill a form before they check out.
Many short term accommodation property owners have a Guest Feedback book which is located in the premises for all guests to read. Likewise, you can provide them with online review portals or software tools that enable them to review their stay.
Don’t Just Publish Positive Reviews
A consumer survey recently showed that a majority of travellers was sceptical of properties having only positive reviews. Most people know that you cannot please everyone, so do not hesitate to publish even the not so positive reviews.
In fact; a few of these reviews give potential guests more reason to believe your good reviews.
Don’t Fail To Understand That Bad Is Good
How you choose to deal with a bad review can actually help your business. Bad reviews can be turned into assets by responding to them and telling your side of the story. A survey has shown that many travellers actually filter reviews to seek out the negative ones and read your response to them.
Do Understand Guests Perspectives About Reviews
Guests use reviews in the following ways:
Knowing negatives about the property helps them with the positives-Most people do not agree with all the negatives.
They see the reviews as a ‘whole’, and not in isolation. Simply explained, guests look at the ratio of good to bad feedback.
When they do not see any negative reviews, they actually tend to assume that the place has such bad ones that they have had to be censored.
To summarise, property owners must allow most reviews to be published on their listings. Owners must also take the time and make efforts to publically respond to both good and bad reviews.
They must plan in advance how to handle negative reviews and also have a validity period for the response. Both owners and guests of short term accommodation rentals must understand the importance of property reviews. We hope these do’s and don’ts of guest reviews help owners and guests get a perspective about them.