Accommodation: How important are guest reviews and how to manage comments?

What is the impact of guest ratings on accommodation reservations and how to get the most out of each guest comment? Should we encourage guests to comment on the accommodation and how to respond to a negative guest comment?

Guest reviews are one of the most important marketing tools in modern accommodation sales that rely on the internet and online accommodation advertisers. The good news is that with the help of guest comments, we can easily increase the number of reservations of our apartments, rooms, or holiday homes. The bad news is that comments on accommodations can just as easily make our business worse.

No comments, please!

Therefore, accommodation reviews are a double-edged sword, but if we just thought for a moment that it was better for our guests not to leave comments at all, we are completely wrong.

And not only that, in this case, more is more.

As many as 79% of tourists will read 6 to 12 comments of accommodation before deciding to book it, and almost all, 96% of respondents, consider comments important when choosing accommodation.

The end of the season is ideal to remind your guests to leave comments on the website of the online advertiser of the accommodation whose advertising services you use. We thank the guests for their stay, offer them some benefits in case of an earlier booking for next season and ask them to leave a comment (guest review )on our advertising pages.

Another bad news follows – the chances of getting a negative comment are very high. 100 people, 100 moods – 100 comments, 100 different experiences, desires, opinions and expectations. It is realistic to expect that at least one person will be found who will “look for hair in the egg” and turn the expression of his personal dissatisfaction into words that will roll through our profile or apartment ad.

Such words can sting us, embarrass us, hurt us, even make us angry. But we already know how to respond to the negative guest ratings and we know the answer is necessary.

As many as 87% of people will say they will be a careful response to a negative comment correct their impression of the host and her / his accommodation offer. Let us remind ourselves how to respond to negative guest comments and how to manage accommodation reviews.

9 Ways to manage guest comments

1. Let’s make sure our guests are well

The first and basic rule is – avoid bad guest comments by taking care of the guest and respecting his expectations and wishes (within reasonable limits, of course). According to most research, the most important things for guests are:

  • purity
  • kindness
  • WiFi access (more recently)
  • comfort
  • equipment

Let’s read the comments of our guests, find the time and read the comments that guests leave on the pages of similar accommodation in similar destinations. This way we will find out what guests want and how we can raise the quality of service. A satisfied guest is the best way to succeed in tourism and the only recommendation of our accommodation offer that should be important to us.

An agency that studies ways to build online trust, claims that with just one negative review, we can lose 22% of potential guests. Provided that we do not respond to such a negative comment.

2. Quick response to a negative comment

An answer to any negative comment is necessary. One survey shows that only 32% of hotels respond to guest comments, be they positive or negative. But those who respond to comments, especially negative ones, have a higher occupancy rate than those who ignore their guests ’comments.

3. Let’s sleep through the negative comment

A quick response does not mean that the reaction to a comment should be immediate. Especially if the negative remark of the guest angered us or we encounter criticism for the first time at the expense of our accommodation offer. In that case, the best thing we can do is postpone the answer and sleep over. This does not mean that we will forget everything tomorrow and that we will not answer. We will not respond angrily to negative comments!

4. Keep the kindness of the host in a kind tone of response

Let our impressions subside and consider how to turn a negative comment into a positive story. Some believe that a negative comment can be more valuable to our reputation than a positive one. We should never respond by insulting, opposing, or completely denying everything stated in a comment. Let’s stay calm and kind.

5. Responding to a negative comment is an opportunity to build trust

From the reaction of the person to whom the criticism is directed, we often find it easier to draw conclusions about the nature of that person. The host is someone the guests want to trust. Our attitude towards criticism can help us establish a relationship of trust with a potential guest – a person who reads comments and our answers when searching for accommodation.

Moreover, numerous surveys show that guests are not inclined to book accommodation that has only high ratings and positive comments. Most believe that such comments are false and that not everything can be perfect. Therefore, we accept a negative comment as an opportunity to establish a sincere and credible relationship with guests.

6. Avoid formal answers

The answer must be polite but not formal. Let’s respond friendly, on a human level, the way we would talk to a guest face to face.

Precisely because of the humanity and reality of the guests’ comments, the value of the reviews has risen sharply in recent years.

Humanity, personality, and honesty are the greatest values ​​of family accommodation and what make tourists decide to stay with the host. Let’s be the hosts and always address the guest directly, not forgetting to talk to the man behind that negative comment, who is not happy and whose satisfaction we can directly influence. 

7. Let’s admit our mistakes and correct them

Let’s accept the criticism that is justified and admit if it’s in place. Sometimes a bad guest rating can help us see the mistakes we are making and correct them. Raising the quality of accommodation services is based on the wishes of guests and their comments.

Let’s find a way to correct any mistake and offer the guest satisfaction.

8. Respond occasionally to positive comments

While negative comments always need to be answered, a response to every positive comment is not necessary. Nevertheless, we occasionally thank the guest for the kind words and express our desire to see each other again next year.

9. Let’s choose our partners carefully

According to statistics transmitted by Repub, pages internet accommodation advertisers who allow guest comments on accommodation and host responses, have 200% more visits than those who do not offer such opportunities. It’s the same if we don’t have reviews of our apartment, room, or vacation home at all.

If we adhere to the above suggestions, we have no reason to fear guest comments. Accommodation reviews increase the visibility of our offer in the online tourism market and allow us to establish trust in our relationship with our guests, even before direct contact. We use the comments to build a brand of accommodation offer and our good reputation.

However, we must be aware that there will always be negative remarks and low ratings. The dissatisfaction of the guest can also be triggered by external influences, such as the rain that suddenly showered him on the beach or the crowd in which he got stuck on the way to the apartment. Comments often contain such remarks that we can in no way influence. Let the satisfaction of the guest be important to us, but we will not be burdened if we fail to please just about every one of them.

It is quite certain that the worst criticism we can get is the one related to the hygienic conditions in our accommodation units. To such a negative guest remark, it would be difficult to respond wisely and turn it to your advantage. Therefore, let’s make sure that the apartment, room, or house we rent is perfectly clean, and remember – he was not born yet, which would please everyone.