Hey there Hosts,
When a guest writes a review about their stay, the host can always reply to it. Do you often reply to your guest’s review? If you do, do you have your own personal guidelines on how you reply?
What are your top tips?
I prefer to let Reviews speak for themselves.
Hence from over 300 Reviews I've only replied to about 20.
These are more or less divided between necessary corrections of important factual details or useful explanations, (i.e. location of underground & explanations about parking) what I term positive input; and conversely, responses to very few negative or intended harmful reviews that require a detailed response.
In a few of the latter cases, I've asked Airbnb to intervene and have the Reviews deleted. CS saw eye-to-eye with me a few times to delete certain Reviews.
Otherwise, in perusal of other Hosts' Responses, I must confess that I am perplexed by those who are in the habit to use Response to further thank Guests or say how wonderful they were, etc. I really don't see what it adds to the Guests' Review, especially when Response is predominantly for one's own audience (i.e. prospective future guests). In short it seems a bit redundant and syrupy.
Thanks for sharing your experience @Alon1
Further to your comment regarding replying with factual details etc, do you find this sort of information also valuable to add to your listing, hopefully lessening the chance of it being mentioning in a guest review again?
I do like your term "syrupy"!
The 'factual details' are noted in Descriptions to my listings, House Rules, etc. Yet...
The most recent example from last July, by a very nice lady from Hong Kong who spent a week with her kids. Her Review noted:
Thus I was obliged to respond:
'I need only clarify the nearest underground & bus stations at Swiss Cottage are NOT "5 to 7 minutes walk". They are only 2 minutes, 200 meters round the corner from the house and Hampstead Theatre . It's vital to make this distinction because some people consider 5-7 minutes walk too far to reach public transport. It's why it's noted at the top of all my listings Description: ' 2 minutes walk from Swiss Cottage station.'
I could expand on this subject. However, suffice to say, since I don't do Instant Book, most of the particular details required by any Guest are normally dealt with in Inquiry.
I don't reply to reviews because it just clutters up the review page and the good reviews to speak for themselves. I don't think there's any benefit to potential guests reading me replying, "Thank you" or "You were a great guest!"
If I enjoyed the guest, I've already given them private feedback.
The only exception would be if I were to receive a negative review. I would definitely reply to any negative review.
Ah @Suzanne302 so it's public reply to counter negative reviews, private for thanks you's etc.
I understand where you're coming from, and there are many different host styles that are all perfectly executable. I wonder, do you think something light hearted like thanking guests from the perpsective of your pup, might endear guests to re-book? Or you have that down already with top notch hosting ;)
Sadly I lost one of my pups last September, and my other pup (in my profile pic) just a couple weeks ago. But that is certainly something that might be fun in the future as I will definitely be adopting another dog.
I have a guest book in the room where guests can comment on their stay and several have mentioned how much they loved my dogs!
@Suzanne302 I'm so sorry to hear about the pooches. I lost one of the lads last September too, his brother is hanging on. The pain is horrendous. They're running across rainbow bridge now.
Glad to hear you'll be having paws in your pad again soon - make sure you give yourself time to grieve first.
I have a guest book in my home as well. It allows the guest to give me suggestions on what I can do to make their stay better as well as what I have done differently from other hosts. I love reading the feedback that they have left and it helps me to know what I need to change and what I am doing right.
@Stephanie I don't respond to reviews & see no point in thanking the guest - I tend to do this in the private feedback to them. If I had a negative review or needed to clarify something that a guest had written then I may respond to the public review.
@Stephanie , this is a good topic. Sometimes I will reply to a review to add emphasize to a comment. Like "I love the location too! It's so convenient." Or "X is about 1 hour away but it's an easy drive." But most times I just let my good reviews stand alone as they are.
It is one of my biggest pet peeves when I see listings where hosts have responded to the review mentioning the private feedback. This draws attention to issues or concerns that nobody ever would have known about. The feedback is private for a reason! One thing the experienced hosts of this forum have drilled into my head is that ALL REPONSES SHOULD SPEAK TO PROSPECTIVE GUESTS. If it doesn’t help to clarify a comment or sell the space to a potential renter, then let it be.