When you last went to respond to an Airbnb review, how much thought did you put into it? If a guest devotes the time and energy to leaving a review for you, it’s only polite to respond in kind. The way you respond to your guest reviews, positive or negative, demonstrates a lot about who you are as a host. It’s important to think through your responses to your guests in order to get them just right.
Responding to Positive Reviews
When a guest leaves a positive review, you might not think a response is necessary. However, it’s good practice to respond to every review you receive, no matter how simple. This shows potential future guests that you’re active, responsive, and care about feedback, which are all marks of a good host.
If someone leaves you a nice review, it’s also polite to thank them. If you’d like, you can go a step further and post a kind comment about how much you enjoyed hosting them as well. Your response doesn’t have to be too long (and, in fact, it shouldn’t be!) but something short and sweet is more than enough to show you care.
Responding to Negative Reviews
While a negative review is any vacation rental host’s nightmare, it happens to the best of us from time to time. The important thing to do is respond gracefully, address concerns, and try your best to make it right for your guest. The right response can change someone’s opinion of you and make them feel better about a bad experience.
For example, if a guest’s complaint is a minor issue that can be easily fixed, mention the steps you’ve taken to ensure no other guest has that problem in the future. This is especially important if you’ve gotten the same feedback from multiple guests. At that point, fixing the problem will be less expensive than missing out on future bookings because of it.
You could even go as far as thanking the guest for bringing the “issue” to your attention so you could ensure it got handled swiftly. By doing so, you show your guests that you genuinely care about all aspects of their stay and you address any problems head-on and in a hurry.
Of course, if a bad review is completely unfounded, it’s important to make that clear as well. Sometimes guests can have unreasonable expectations or cause problems for you with their behavior. Be polite but firm in telling your side of the story so future guests will have the complete picture before making any decisions.
You have 14 days to respond to a negative review, so use that to your advantage. Don’t reply in the heat of the moment when you might not be as mindful of your language. Take some time to craft a mature response that addresses any complaints in full. It’s important to acknowledge where you might have missed the mark and take responsibility if you dropped the ball.
At the end of the day, responding to a review – positive or negative – is a great way to round out your guests’ experience. Touching base to thank them or clear the air will end their trip on a positive note and it gives you one last chance to go above and beyond. Your gracious responses can go a long way towards making a good first impression on future guests.
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