How to avoid negative comments?

21/01/2020

Summary

Negative comments under your vacation rental ads: Why do you have them? How to avoid them ? How to react ?

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I'm not telling you anything, if your tenants leave you a negative opinionThe reason for this is that their experience has not lived up to their expectations. And that's common, we are more likely to publish a negative review when we are disappointed or dissatisfied than when we are happy. In concrete terms, when you are frustrated with the experience provided by a restaurant, a service, an activity, etc., you want everyone to know about it. So we publish an abominable, even abusive comment.

To avoid this type of situation and avoid negative commentsYou have to do everything you can to meet and exceed your customers' expectations.

Why are you receiving negative feedback?

Unfortunately, there are many reasons to receive complaints. The accommodation was not perfect, not bright enough, there were no sockets next to the bed, it was badly placed... In short. There is always something to complain about.

Lack of detail in the description

Your ad is ready, with photos, description and availability. You claim to be renting this accommodation for 4 people, you specify that it sleeps 4, and you post photos with a double bed and a sofa bed. So far, no problems. Your tenants arrive in your accommodation late at night, and just want to get into bed to start the next day. And when they arrive, they come across the sofa bed, but not unfolded. Logical for you... Dramatic for them! In the photos, the sofa bed was unfolded. And here, it is not.

This is a simple example, but if you had specified in your ad that the sofa bed was to be unfolded by oneselfYour tenants would have known about it beforehand, would not have been disappointed, and would perhaps not have left a negative comment.

Lack of cleanliness

Whether you do the cleaning yourself, by an outside company or by a professional, your requirements must be very high. It may seem logical, but maintaining your accommodations is a real workload and should not be taken lightly. Position yourself as a hotel. After each departure, the room is cleaned from top to bottom to ensure that it is perfectly clean. If you use a cleaning company, make sure that the cleaning staff respects strict specifications for every home. Whether it's dust, which accumulates very quickly, small stains on the furniture, or a hair lying around in the bathtub, you have to be very careful. Be i-rre-pro-chable on cleanliness!

Inconvenient way of taking bail

Your tenants have booked your accommodation for 2 weeks. Everything is going well, you have explained to them the arrival process, the formalities, theonline check-inetc. Then comes the question of the deposit. You offer them to deposit their deposit either by cheque or by pre-authorization using a virtual TPE (if they wish to check-in online). On the contrary, it turns out that they prefer to be hosted by the host, but they are Spanish, so they don't have a checkbook. So you take the deposit with a virtual TPE: will the pre-authorization work? (Phew, the bank card used was not a Visa Electron or a Maestro).

But what your tenants didn't know, is that this pre-authorization was going to block their credit card limit. Nice to find themselves with an unusable bank card for their stay in Paris... You get the picture?

So you end up with tenants that you thought were satisfied, who did not report anything during their stayand yet they post a comment with a terrible title, like Stay spoiled because of the deposit "

Whether it's a check, pre-auto, wire transfer, or cash, the taking of security is, in 90% of cases, problematic. To avoid all these constraints, why not try Swikly? Swikly allows you to ask for deposits from your tenants, online, without debit or impact on their credit card limitfor a period of one day to several months.

Lack of responsiveness in communication

Your next tenants are Polish. They speak fluent English, no problem communicating, but know absolutely nothing about the city. You gave them a number to call in case of problems or requests for information.

The day before, they call you to prepare their arrivalYou can also contact us to get their flight schedule and to ask some questions. But you don't answer. This Polish couple booked several months ago and this trip means a lot to them. They are very stressed about staying in an apartment instead of a hotel, so they need attention. They call you back once they are there, but you still don't answer...

There are many such situations, but the most important thing to remember is that you should always respond to your tenants. At a time when scams on AirBnb and Booking.com are rife, they need to be reassured and stay in constant communication with them, if they need it. Even more so the day before and the day of arrival! Otherwise, even if you have called them back, apologized etc, your tenants start their stay with unnecessary stress and a bad image of their host.

Confusing photos

You wanted to maximize your bookings by adding as many photos as possible, of the accommodation, but also photos of the city. So you published photos the surrounding lakes, the city's largest beach, nearby shops, etc. Except you didn't specifyThe description of the property stated that the lake was 15 minutes away by car and that the beach was 40 minutes away by foot...! Your description mentioning "Shops and activities nearby", your tenants are legitimate to think that the published photos are places that are close to your accommodation. Imagine their disappointment... All the more reason to post a negative comment.

How to limit them?

After identifying all the possible causes of bad reviews, here are some tips to limit them.

Analyze your tenants

As soon as you make a reservation, you have the possibility to communicate with your future tenants. After having confirmed their reservation, you can, at first, be interested in them What is the reason for their stay? do they have a particular event? what are their needs? etc. This helps to build a relationship of trust between you and your tenants. After this information session, your tenants are at ease and do not hesitate to ask you questions.

If you have the opportunity to welcome your guests and make the arrival togetherBe warm and attentive. If you feel that they are a little tired or annoyed, ask them if the trip went well, if everything is to their liking, if the accommodation meets their expectations... Chou-chou-tez-them!

Do a general check of your home

Once again, if you take care of your own housing, do a general check of the dwelling before the arrival of your travellers. Cleaning, but also equipment, heating, electricity, possible leaks or other problems... You never know!

Ask them for their opinion live

Once the stay is over, check in with your tenants ! As departures are usually done independently, leaving the keys in the mailbox, you don't have the opportunity to thank and greet your tenants. After they leave, send them a message and ask them if their stay went wellWhat was their favorite place, if they plan to come back, etc. In short, be friendly and listen to them! This will be much appreciated by your tenants and may avoid an unnecessary reproach in a comment on Booking.com.

How to react?

Whatever happens, out of the tens, hundreds, even thousands of tenants you have welcomed since the beginning of your activity, you will always have very demanding and therefore... dissatisfied customers (for reasons that are not always justified, we agree!). So you have to deal with it and know how to react in the best way possible.

First of all, don't be offended. Don't take things personally. As I said, you will always find people who are upset, with different opinions from yours. Tastes and colors are not debatable...

Next, analyze it and be objective. Why did your tenant post this comment? Is it really justified? Is this the first time you have received a comment like this? Always try to challenge yourself on the service you provide.

Take a deep breath, swallow your pride and answer.

To write a good answer, keep your tone friendly and politeand start with thank your tenant for his return. Then take the time to tell him that you understood his feedback and that you take it into account for the future. If you agree with them and have taken corrective action, mention this as well. If you are not, calmly explain your personal point of view. (It is important to know how to defend yourself when the comment is not at all justified). Then, end your email by saying that you remain available to discuss and resolve the problem.

Never forget to focus on your customers' experience !

Octave PAVIET-SALOMON

Octave PAVIET-SALOMON

Marketing & Communication Manager for Swikly. I regularly write educational and informative articles and documents for rental professionals.
A broken coffee pot, stains on the sofa, a smell of cigarette... Damage happens faster than you think! How can you prevent it? Find 6 simple tips to protect yourself from damage!

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