So Your Vacation Rental Got a Bad Review?
The vast majority of internet users in the United States check online reviews before making decisions on just about anything. In the vacation rental home game, the volume and quality of your property’s reviews can boost it closer to the “top of the list” on your rental platform, too, increasing your rental potential!
So That Happened…Don’t Panic!
The bad review…No matter how hard you try if you’re operating a vacation rental home, it’s bound to happen at some point. Bad reviews can seem like personal attacks, even if that wasn’t the intent of the reviewer. And feeling personally attacked can cause all sorts of things to come out of our mouths – or our fingertips to our keyboards – that we wouldn’t say under normal circumstances.
DO NOT IGNORE IT, but don’t panic, either. Take a breath…or six dozen. It may take a bit before you’re able to objectively look at the situation from all angles. It is important that you address the review online, but only after you’ve had a chance to compose yourself enough to compose an appropriate response.
Acknowledge and Apologize
When crafting a reply to the bad review, do your best to sound professional, but keep it real. No one likes a “canned” response to a complaint – they want a person, not a spokesperson. Simply apologize for the bad experience they had and express your desire, as the owner of the vacation rental home, to “make it right,” and offer your contact info for follow up.
Once you’ve done this, you’ve very effectively put the ball in their court – and that should be the end of any online interaction on the matter. Any further communication on the matter should be done person-to-person, not in a public forum. NO ONE wins in a cyber-fight.
What Will Make It Right?
Put yourself in the role of the disgruntled guest writing the bad review. If whatever happened to them happened to you, what would YOU be comfortable asking for, to “make it right”? If and when the guest contacts you for follow up, ask them directly what THEY feel would make it right?
Hopefully, the two of you aren’t terribly far apart in what you think is a fair resolution. By the way, it’s quite possible that your guest was a little bit hotter under the collar when they wrote the review than they will be after a little sincere and positive interaction with you. If it turns out the guest is actually demanding less than what you had in mind to “fix this,” offering a little bit more may even cause your guest to remove or edit their review in your favor – especially if they had a very valid complaint.
What Did We Learn?
Always let the experience of dealing with a bad review be a learning experience. What exactly went wrong at your vacation rental home that led to the bad review? Whatever it was, if the complaint was valid, it’s now your job to figure out how to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Sure, there will always be the occasional guest who’s nit-picking or looking for way more of a settlement than seems fair. Some guests even make a habit of it, unfortunately. It’s okay to wave them off once you’ve done your part in trying to make things right by offering a reasonable solution.
Moxie Girl Can Help!
Operating a successful vacation rental home can be stressful! Putting the Moxie Girl team in charge of your between-guest turns is a great way to reclaim some of your time as a vacation rental homeowner. Click here for a FREE CONSULTATION!