Negative feedback can often show up as a binary emotion to a lot of hosts out there. Some people seem to just shrug it off without a second care, whilst others take it too hard on themselves as it could potentially cause reputational damage and negatively affect Airbnb pricing and future bookings.
In reality, a host must look to be taking accountability of the problem whilst also being responsible enough to fix it in the future. Without these two key ingredients, potential guests may have difficulty in choosing your listing in the future if it seems that you have done little to rectify a reoccurring issue.
The advice we have compiled below should help you keep your reputation intact and go some way to helping you turn a negative experience into a positive one.
It’s Not Personal
In the vast majority of cases, the guests will not personally know who you are and who they are dealing with.
Take a step back and think about why you are allowing yourself to get emotionally invested in the problem. When a guest leaves a bad review, you cannot take it as slight on you as a person as it is never a personal attack. Rather, the guest is informing the host of their perceived experience and how the listing lived up to their expectations.
Take the feedback on board and respond objectively.
Perspective is Everything
The guest is entitled to feel the way they do upon leaving your property. They are entitled to their perspective and you are entitled to yours. The difference is, is that they are your customer and, as such, are exchanging value (in the form of money) for a service you have provided.
Before blowing your fuse and responding in the heat of the moment, think about what you could have done better from your end to add value to the guest’s experience. Airbnb offers hosts the opportunity to take up to 14 days to respond to a review so be conscious of this whilst remembering that there is a fine line between showing customers you care and taking too long to reply to their grievances.
Much like in normal day to day life, we are all accountable to someone and responsible for something we value.
The old adage ‘the customer is always right’ is often misinterpreted but, in actuality, what it really means is that the customer wants to be treated right. The underlying message here is that the guest wants you to acknowledge their grievance, apologize for any inconvenience caused, and respect their perception of the situation.
Digging your heels in and standing your ground will only prolong the indictment and show them you are an unreasonable host. Either way, your goal is to turn the negative experience into a positive one.
Addressing the Issue
Apologizing is the first thing that guests want to hear but it isn’t the last.
Follow up your apology by explaining how you are addressing the issue they mentioned and break it down as to how you are going to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
Potential guests will see the grievance displayed and also want to know how you have rectified the problem. Sitting on your fingers and hoping the issue will go away is a recipe for disaster. You must be proactive in your communications to rebuild confidence in your listing.
For more information, read up on Crisis Management as a PR exercise and good practice.
Leaving on Good Terms
The main thing to remember is that you cannot control how your guest wishes to communicate the service they have received. What you can do is to try everything in your power to rectify the issue and leave the guest on good terms.
Remember that potential guests can see the reviews that have been posted by others so make a point of always addressing issues in a timely manner and portraying to potentials that you have done everything you can to solve it.
Leaving the guest on good terms means that you will have done everything you can to end the exchange on a positive note. The guest may not always respond positively, but you certainly can. In this way, potential guests will see the extent to which you care about their experience and see that you are trying to go above and beyond the conventional response.