How to Manage Guest Feedback
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly!
Who benefits from guest feedback?
All guests are entitled to leave honest and open feedback about the property they have stayed in. This is such an imperative part of this industry.
All reviews give potential new customers a great opportunity to learn more about the property, before they book it, from the eyes of another guest who has already experienced what you have to offer.
When the reviews are good, this has an excellent ongoing impact on your business reputation, however, when the reviews fall short of the mark, they can have the opposite effect on things.
Reviews and feedback always give us the opportunity to make improvements to the service that we are offering. Even if the reviews are consistently good, you must remember to keep your eye on the ball and maintain the standards you’ve achieved to date. This is equally important for those owners who live far away from the property and manage things remotely, and to those who live locally.
Whatever the level of feedback is for your property, don’t let the negative reviews dishearten you and try not to become complacent if they are always 5 stars.
Can we please everyone, all of the time?
Absolutely not – this is simply not possible. Even if you have a place of impeccable luxury, it’s important to remember that there are millions of people on the planet, all with different views, needs and opinions.
Whilst we cannot please everyone at every single moment in time, we can endeavour to do our absolute best to cover as many eventualities as is humanly possible to ensure that guests do have the best experience possible. Do your best, your best is enough.
The glowing reviews
“Loved everything about this property, had the most relaxing break and there was everything we needed and more! We will be back!”
When a review comes in which is of a very high standard, probably matching the high standards that you set for yourself when going into business, the feeling is like no other! You’ve done what you set out to achieve; invested in a property, turned it into self-catering holiday accommodation in an area that is desirable for tourists and then kitted it out to cater for every scenario you can possibly imagine!
However, it is very important to remember that there is scope for improvement at all stages of the journey, whether that is in the form of updating or upgrading fixtures and fittings, redecorating or changing furniture.
If there is one thing we have learnt on our journey as hosts, it is to replace & update before things fall into disrepair or become outdated. This means that you can keep on top of your glowing reputation and guests will arrive knowing that what they have read in the reviews is entirely accurate, there will be no disappointment, and this always starts the holiday off on the right footing.
Reply to these reviews with thanks and gratitude for the kind words. It is so important for a guest to realise that the person behind the business is genuine and appreciative for this kind of feedback.
The “middle of the road” reviews
“The property was nice and clean but the décor wasn’t really for us. It would have been nice to have a more generous Welcome pack and to have some communication from the owner before arrival” 3/5
The middle of the road reviews are probably the most useful reviews we can receive as owners, they keep us on our toes! They give us both positive and negative feedback about the overall guest experiences and we have the chance to make the necessary improvements. Read these reviews with your business head on, not from your personal perspective and gratefully accept any constructive feedback and act upon it.
Wherever possible, reply to these reviews publicly. This gives future potential customers the faith and knowledge that you will act on improvement suggestions wherever possible.
There are always things that are subjective, like décor for example, and this is something that you cannot amend to suit every guest that comes and goes from the property. Try not to take these things personally, it is one person’s opinion. As long as your photographs on your property listing currently reflect the current décor, fixtures and fittings within the property then there is nothing more that can be done on this front. These reviews are our saving grace and [put us back on the track to the 5/5 we were personally striving to maintain!
The “requires improvement” reviews
“Very busy main road right outside the property which meant that we didn’t get a proper night’s sleep for the week that we were in the property. The property could have been cleaner, and the kitchen was missing some essential utensils. The closest pub served terrible food and wasn’t very welcoming”
These reviews are the most disheartening reviews to receive, and it is incredibly hard not to take them personally. They can come as a shock, after a perfect run of glowing reviews for months, or you may experience them more regularly, the most important thing to do is act wherever possible. This kind of review does take time to recover from, but as long you do everything you can then it won’t happen again.
If you have been scored down on cleanliness for example, it is key to speak with your housekeeper, or make changes yourself to how you are cleaning and maintaining the property. It has obviously always been important to present an impeccably clean holiday let to guests, but it is even more so in the current pandemic climate. Rightfully so, people are expecting no stone unturned in the properties that they stay in. Make tweaks to the cleaning routine. If this has come as total shock out of the blue for you and you are an owner operating remotely, create a checklist for your housekeeper. Obviously, we are all human at the end of the day and errors do happen, things get missed but act immediately and then maintain the new standards. Reply to these reviews concisely and professionally. By doing so, you show future guests that you’re committed to making changes to enhance guest experiences and that you take things seriously.
How can we help you maintain good feedback levels?
As part of the package, Go Visitant offers a unique positive feedback platform for guests to review the property that they have just stayed at. The feedback is then sent to the owner for approval, and once approved, the feedback is moved to your Virtual Guestbook for future guests to read when they receive the Guestbook link. We have taken the step to name the Review tab Highlights, this will encourage people to always look for the positives in your property, instead of finding fault. There is a separate space within the Guestbook for guests to log maintenance issues for you to respond to and act upon, this keeps the Highlight section exclusively for positive feedback, and as the saying goes, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!
Go Visitant also has two other key features which will help you to maintain high guest feedback levels. The What 3 Words capability will help to eliminate problems that we have no control over – like the main road next to the property. This will be clearly visible to guests before they arrive and won’t come as an unpleasant surprise during that first night in bed! The next feature is the ability to make personal recommendations on the map. This prevents guests from checking out the slightly unsavoury pub or eatery down the road and encourages them to visit places you can personally vouch for from a quality and customer service perspective. Thus improving the overall guest experience while they are in the local area!