Respond to the bad review.
While you can’t remove a bad review, you can respond to it. By responding, you show the reviewer and future guests reading reviews that you’re a conscientious host. The sooner you respond to the review, the better; responding ASAP shows that you take guest feedback seriously and want to provide an excellent experience for guests.
If there are specific action items for improvement (like cleanliness), address these in your response and let the reviewer know what steps you’ve taken to improve them (like hiring a professional cleaning service). It’s also helpful to apologize for any inconvenience that the guest experienced if this is appropriate. If applicable, offer the guest compensation or credit toward another stay at your property; this shows good faith and sincerity about improving their experience. In some cases, even offering a refund may be appropriate, especially if safety or structural integrity was compromised during their stay.
Figure out how to respond gracefully.
The most important thing you can do is respond in a professional, friendly way. As tempting as it may be to defend yourself, your responses must show the guest and future guests that you are gracious and humble.
- If a guest is totally unreasonable or gives you a bad review for something beyond your control (such as the weather), acknowledge them politely and firmly move on. Try not to get defensive, even if the guest is being unkind.
- Be responsive, but don’t feel like you have to respond instantaneously. If you need time to think about an appropriate response, take it.
- Avoid getting too formal or writing essays—guests want quick answers from real people with real feelings, not corporate robots!
- It’s okay to admit that something went wrong and that you’re sorry about it; guests value honesty (and sometimes even appreciate when things go wrong). They won’t hold it against you if their stay was still enjoyable overall!
- You don’t need to address every point they raise; pick out the most relevant points and respond to those.
Follow your own advice.
- Be honest and respectful.
- Empathize with their experience.
- Try to understand why they were disappointed.
- Assure them you’ll work on the issue.
- Give them a refund if possible.
- Ask them to reconsider the review.
- Thank them for their time, and wish them luck in future Airbnb experiences.
Don’t forget about your other reviews.
We get it. You’ve worked really hard to create a welcoming and unique space for your guests. You’ve put time and energy into making sure that every detail of your home is absolutely perfect, and you’re excited to share it with the Airbnb community. But then you receive a bad review, and everything comes crashing down around you. We understand how frustrating that can be but remember: don’t let it overwhelm you! A bad review does not define who you are as a person or an Airbnb host! Just remember: that one bad review represents only one guest’s experience out of all the amazing experiences other guests have had in your space! Don’t let one negative review ruin your day or overshadow all the positive reviews you have received in the past or will receive in the future.
Learn from your mistake and improve.
In addition to figuring out what you’re going to do with the bad review, think about whether or not there’s anything you can learn from it! It may be hard, but try to take a step back and view the situation objectively—is there anything in the review that rings true? Is there any way that you could prevent a similar situation from happening in the future? That’s not to say that every negative review is fair; sometimes people just have a bad day and decide they want someone else’s life to be miserable. But if there is some validity to it, it may be worth checking out your listing through their eyes. How well does your description match up with reality? Is there something about your house rules that might be unclear for first-time guests? As we mentioned above, if an issue has been raised several times by different guests, it may deserve your attention.
Taking this approach will help you assess where potential weaknesses lie within your Airbnb listing and allow you to improve its performance. You’ll also gain a deeper understanding of how guests perceive your listing (and hosting style). Eventually, this will help make sure all future reviews are positive ones!
You will get a bad review and you can use it to improve your business.
A bad review can be a huge blow for your reputation as an Airbnb host. You’re not just trying to garner positive feedback from your guests; you want them to give you glowing reviews so that you get more bookings in the future. The key is to make sure that any negative feedback has a silver lining, and essentially become the better version of yourself by responding appropriately and learning from it. An easy way to do this is by making sure the person who left a bad review understands how you can improve things on your listing going forward. It’s important to be patient with people when they’re taking the time to leave a message like that; they likely need some reassurances and understanding as much as you do.