There are few things that ruffle the feathers of vacation rental management companies more than a really bad review posted on social media. This is perfectly understandable, considering what the potential fallout.
In a social media-connected world, a bad online review is amplified exponentially as it reaches a global audience. Never before in history have reviews had such a powerful and long-reaching effect on a business as they do today.
Turn a negative review into a positive!
Why Reviews Matter
Reporting on a 2012 TripAdvisor study, the article "Reviews and Online Reputation Influence Booking" lists some statistics that highlight the major impact reviews make on booking decisions. The study reveals that 53 percent of respondents will not book a property that does not have posted reviews, and 87 percent of respondents believe that reviews help them feel more confident in their decisions. This is in harmony with consumer behavior in general.
The article "Ecommerce Consumer Reviews: Why You Need Them and How to Use Them" provides the following statistics to illustrate the consumer mindset about reviews:
- 63 percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site with user reviews.
- Consumer reviews are nearly 12 times more trusted than descriptions that come from the website.
- Reviews produce an average 18 percent uplift in sales.
Clearly, consumer opinions matter.
Good Vacation Rental Management Includes Handling Negative Reviews
Realistically speaking, your vacation rental property will, at one time or another, get a bad review. Things happen. Guests become dissatisfied for a variety of reasons, some of which are avoidable and others over which you have no control whatsoever. what you will do when it happens.
Here are some tips to help you navigate the choppy waters of bad reviews:
1) Take a breather.
Occasionally, a bad review will ignite a fire in your bones immediately. Perhaps it is unfair, unwarranted, or ridiculous in your estimation. Perhaps it is just stated rudely. Regardless of why the review raises your blood pressure, take some time to cool off before responding.
While the general rule for any guest correspondence is to answer quickly, this rule does not necessarily apply to responding to bad reviews. You need time and objectivity to appropriately address the issues of your unhappy guest. Do not wait forever to answer, but do wait until you can answer calmly and professionally.
2) Remember your goal.
Ideally, your overarching goal is to provide a pleasant guest experience in your vacation rental property. In dealing with negative reviews, however, other goals are also important. Here are some objectives that might come into play:
- Enhancing customer satisfaction
- Repairing any reputation damage to your brand
- Demonstrating your level of commitment to superior customer service
- Politely correcting misleading or erroneous information
3) Decide if, when, and how to respond.
Contrary to what may be your natural inclination, you do not necessarily have to respond to every negative review. Erin Colbert in "How to Respond to Negative Vacation Rental Guest Reviews" notes: "Feel free to disregard rude or irrational guest reviews - most people can see through these for what they are."
The article "The Do's and Don't's of Responding to Reviews" provides some guidance about when to respond and when to ignore a customer review. It is recommended that you always reply to a review when you are at fault. This shows that you are committed to guest satisfaction, and that you are willing to make changes where needed.
On the other hand, it is not necessary to respond to a negative review that is about something over which you have no reasonable control. For instance, if a guest complains that the weather was miserable during his or her stay, it is clear that you have no control over the weather. A reply is not necessary.
In some cases, your response should include an apology. In other instances, your response can simply include a clarification of some point, or an expression of sincere thanks for the feedback offered.
Vacation Rental Management Bonus Tip: The Best Answer to a Bad Review
The best answer to a bad review is one hundred good reviews. While it is important to handle bad reviews on an individual basis, soliciting good reviews will ultimately take the sting out of the occasional bad one.
Use Kigo's convenient email templates to remind guests to leave reviews.
Consistently providing a positive guest experience ensures that you will receive reviews that will increase bookings and garner repeat guests for your vacation rental properties. Kigo's vacation rental property management software includes a variety of features to help you improve the guest experience during booking and beyond.
Be sure to get even more great vacation rental marketing tips and news today.