[Case Study] How Airbnb Hosts Turn Negative Reviews Into Positive Reviews With Proper In-house Feedback | Cape Town Airbnb Management Agency
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[Case Study] How Airbnb Hosts Turn Negative Reviews Into Positive Reviews With Proper In-house Feedback

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[Case Study] Let Us Turn Airbnb Negative Reviews Into Positive Reviews With Proper In-house Feedback

Airbnb postive reviews vs negative reviews fixed with in house feedback system

We want positive reviews. Our Airbnb success is directly related to the quality of reviews. Consistent excellent reviews guarantee high income, while regular poor reviews ensure you’ll drag along. The problem is the dice do not always fall as we expect it.

Today, we’ll look at two guests sharing their experiences using Airbnb’s review process, and the frustrations experienced with it. Secondly, we’ll look at an example where a host used our internal feedback system to intervene to turn a negative guest score into a positive review.

Background To The Airbnb Review System

Let me say, the Airbnb review system is not bad but far from ideal. Because of this and our constant striving for (only) 5-star reviews, we remind guests, many times during and after their stay, to please give us 5 stars.

However, I believe, Airbnb hosts can beg and beg guests to share 5 stars, it’s no guarantee. You’ll see that guests use the Airbnb review tool for various unintended purposes.

We have seen, many times, that there is no relation between the apparent guest experience and the final review score, especially with regard to subcategories. Unfortunately, the host gets penalised for these unexpected (unintended) negatives. The worst is not the negative score but the lack of explanation and therefore the inability to address the issue.

Airbnb and hosts expect 5-star reviews. (You can read more here. Basically, a 5-star is Yes (👍). Anything less means No (👎). The article also explains how we are getting in-house feedback today).

The Frustration of Depending On the Airbnb Review System Alone For Positive Reviews

Let’s have a look at this odd Airbnb review score by one of our guests.

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I did not show the fact that she gave the host 5 out of 5 overall. But the guest decided to penalise the host for subcategories. A score of 4 👎 for cleanliness and accuracy. Odd.

Why would this guest say she loved the stay, she would recommend it, and visit again while the cleanliness was not on par? Who in their right mind would recommend a dirty place? Or did she mean something else?

The hosts have no clue. The guest is gone. And we can do nothing about it. Really? We can do something about it. We can prevent future misunderstandings. But we need to think out of the box.

Out Of The Box Inhouse Feedback Stops Negative Feedback

Have you read our alternative in-house review system? Well, we are using it. Not all of the hosts but those who really care.

Let’s have a look at this case of a host using our Thumbs up Thumbs Down feedback system. The guest was asked to complete the thumbs UP Thumbs Down before departure:

Airbnb in house feedback system to get positive reviews

The guest gave us a thumbs-up for “Overall” but, initially, a thumbs-down for cleanliness. Because this feedback was in-house, the host asked the guest to explain the thumbs down.

The guest explained she would have liked more cleaning. She did not mean the place was dirty. (See how a guest uses reviews for highlighting frustrations. But she did not explain it initially).

Because there was not enough cleaning included we got a thumbs down. (BTW: Our rules say there’s only cleaning after 7 nights. She may not have read our rules).

Unfortunately, the Airbnb review tool does not ask for details, thus leaving the hosts frustrated.

Why frustrated? Hosts cannot correct the situation. And future guests, what do they read in a low cleanliness score?

Our host told them they could have asked for more cleaning before arrival and we could have considered it. The guest then changed the thumbs down to thumbs up.

Will It Pull Through To The Airbnb Review?

We’ll know soon. But I am confident it will. Reading the previous article on the introduction of the internal feedback system, you’ll read about the physiological principle of consistency. Will she be consistent?

Update From Airbnb

Airbnb in house review tool to get positive reviews

The Airbnb review came through; the guest gave us 5 stars overall and 5 for each subcategory. Are you surprised? You should not be. And if you are, then read Robert Cialdini’s The Psychology Influence of Persuasion.

What did we learn from the above?

  • Guests expected more cleaning. Right or wrong; we did not address the guest’s expectations. Although we had the 7-day cleaning rule they missed it. Did the host explain that we don’t have regular cleaning? Should she remind them again? If you want to be right you can say no. But if you want 5-star reviews you can remind them again.
  • The Airbnb feedback system is great but not perfect. Or too complicated. Hosts cannot really tell why subcategories are scored below par. There’s a lack of details.
  • Future guests will not understand that the reason for the low score may not be directly related to the category (for example wishing for more cleaning).
  • The Thumbs up Thumbs Down feedback is starting to provide the feedback we (some) of us were expecting; hosts can turn potentially dodgy reviews into favourable reviews using the in-house feedback form.

Proud Hosts Expect Positive Reviews: 5 Stars “Every Time”.

In general, we know that the accumulated review score over many reviews should and will wash these odd ones out. But tell this to a host who knows 5 stars are good and anything else bad. Tell them their place scored less than good for cleanliness after a guest departed. No. Proud hosts expect 5 stars every time.

We have a way to limit these miss understandings. We will use them and learn.

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