Reviews are the lifeblood of every Airbnb host's success story. Before locking in a stay, savvy guests turn to reviews for the inside scoop, gaining precious insights into the property.
Despite a host's all-out efforts to keep guests grinning, the ghost of an unfair, emotion-packed negative review is always lurking. The big question: How can you go through this review maze and come out unharmed?
As hosts, we've all encountered situations where guests might express dissatisfaction, whether justified or not. Recognizing the impact that negative reviews can have on future bookings, it becomes essential to explore strategies to prevent or address them.
While it's a challenging task, there are steps you can take to minimize the likelihood of receiving an unfavorable review that may later be deemed unfair or driven by emotion.
Now, let's dive into the nitty-gritty:
If you find yourself dealing with a negative review on Airbnb without specific details about the issue or responsible party, the chances of removing the review are slim. Airbnb's policy doesn't allow hosts to delete critical reviews submitted by guests.
Hosts do have the option to request the removal of a review, but Airbnb will only take action if the review violates their policies. It's important to note that hosts have a 30-day window to respond to a review, presenting their perspective and addressing any inaccuracies to warn potential future guests.
Additionally, Airbnb introduced a policy to remove retaliatory reviews. This means that if guests seriously violate policies, such as overstaying, property damage, breaking house rules, or unauthorized parties, hosts can contest the review, regardless of when it was posted.
While there's no guarantee that a review will be removed, Airbnb may request supporting documents from the host. This could include photos or conversation threads that demonstrate a significant breach of policy and how the host's enforcement of rules led to the retaliatory review.
Airbnb will only take into account the removal of a negative review if it breaches the policy as well must address one or more of the following issues mentioned below:
Sometimes, a host is forced to accept negative feedback from guests. However, as long as the host can provide proof, they shouldn't have any issue getting Airbnb to delete a review if a guest threatens to leave negative reviews or asks for a discount in exchange for favorable ratings.
Reviews that include identifiable information about the host or the property, such as the host's name, phone number, address, or any other oblique references to such information, may be removed.
The host can provide proof that the guest who left a review never actually stayed at the property and instead booked it for someone else, they might be able to persuade Airbnb to take it down. But bear in mind that it can be difficult to prove this.
If the guest suggests or even requests a refund in the review and indicates that an Airbnb investigation is currently underway, this review can be subjected to removal.
The majority of bad reviews may be found here, but it's also the hardest to justify. Airbnb could be able to remove the review if the host can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the guest is dishonest. But keep in mind that the decision is entirely up to the Airbnb case manager. So make sure to treat him or her with additional courtesy.
It's simple for hosts to ask Airbnb to remove from the platform any guest reviews that criticize someone's morals or political views.
Negative reviews from guests that are not out of the Airbnb host's control, such as those about a flight, a restaurant, etc., may be removed after mediation with Airbnb, as these occurrences are typically unconnected and shouldn't be the foundation for a bad review.
Hosts have the option to reach out to Airbnb if they encounter misleading or fabricated reviews about their property, even though once an Airbnb review is posted, it's irreversible.
It is important to grasp that for a review to be removed from the site, it must explicitly breach Airbnb's review policy.
Here's a straightforward guide on how to request the removal of fake Airbnb reviews:
Step 1- After signing in, go to your Airbnb profile Step 2- At the bottom of the page, go to the “Help” section Step 3- Select "Report a New Issue" under "Contact Us" to send us a message. Step 4- There is a space you’ll notice where you can mention a detailed justification for why the review should be taken down.
Regrettably, if your plea to remove an Airbnb review faces rejection, even after reaching out to customer support multiple times, it marks the final verdict.
Nevertheless, it's crucial to take charge of negative reviews by flipping them in a positive light and responding publicly, irrespective of the underlying circumstances.
When addressing a less-than-favorable review, consider the following:
It's common for hosts to take feedback personally and respond defensively, impacting the tone of their replies. However, it's crucial to recognize that a negative review doesn't necessarily reflect on your character.
Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, spend time carefully analyzing negative reviews to glean insights for improvement. Focus on actionable changes that can lead to future 5-star reviews.
Misunderstandings often fuel unfavorable reviews, serving as the root cause of dissatisfaction. It is advisable for hosts to reach out to guests in such situations, seeking clarification on the aspects that led to their dissatisfaction. Express gratitude for their feedback, reassuring them that their opinions are valued and will be carefully considered.
This approach not only maintains a professional tone but also fosters a more intimate connection with guests. While it's unrealistic to expect the guest to remove the review, treating it as a learning opportunity is key. Use this experience to enhance future guest experiences, identifying potential areas of misinterpretation in your Airbnb listing.
Acknowledge faults with an open heart when you think something could have been done better on your end.
"Customers are always right" is the core value of the hospitality sector which is also applicable to running an Airbnb business. Therefore, even if you think the guest's review was unjust, you should always sincerely apologize to them for their bad experience.
More importantly, don't completely ignore reviews; instead, show that you are aware of the problem and are fully understanding it from their perspective.
Recognize the permanence of reviews and responses. Regardless of the situation, remain respectful, preventing emotional outbursts. Respond promptly, emphasizing positives and addressing concerns in a calm and collected manner.
Don't simply apologize; explain the steps taken to address the problem. Future guests are interested in understanding how issues were handled and whether they've been resolved.
Always give the guest a sincere thank you for their opinions. It can be very effective to start with a simple "Thank you for taking the opportunity to bring this to our attention" or "I appreciate your comments, it really helps me grow as a host".
Being fully aware of the entire review process and criteria is crucial for any host in preventing negative reviews. Remember that occasionally, failing to meet the expectations of the guests may result in poor reviews.
In light of that, the following tips can assist you in avoiding negative Airbnb reviews:
Receiving a negative review doesn't have to be the end of the world. No matter what the review says, reply positively and make the most of it.
Additionally, every time you have a guest, seize the opportunity to brush up on your hospitality skills and offer guests top-notch service and experience.