How to Manage Reviews on Booking.com
Reviews can make or break your listing’s success on Booking.com because they are one of the most universally reliable sources of information on your property. They can be a godsend when they illuminate brilliant aspects of your property that you might have overlooked when developing your listing’s profile page, but they can also cast your listing asunder if they are brutally honest or overly critical.
Managing Reviews on Booking.com
Keeping up a steady stream of bookings means having strong reviews available for potential renters to reference, but as the property owner, how can you keep track of what past renters are posting? Booking.com offers hosts the opportunity to track these ratings in one consolidated space within the extranet. If you click on the “Analytics” tab, you will find a subsection entitled “Guest review scores,” which synthesizes your scores and comments across renters so that you can get a snapshot of your property’s performance. It also tracks your reviews over time, so you can assess long-term how your property is faring.
If the data presented in the “Analytics” tab looks different than that you see when you look at your own properties on the Booking.com website, don’t be alarmed: Booking.com’s analysis includes all reviews – even those not yet approved and those missing from no-show bookings – so the numbers might be a bit different.
How to Get Good Reviews on Booking.com
When you launch your property on Booking.com, you hope that positive reviews are just around the corner, but sometimes it can be daunting to get those good reviews to rack up in your favor. There is no guaranteed recipe to garner a good review, as there are so many factors that can influence a traveler’s experience. For example, you can offer the most spectacular rental property, but if your guests come down with food poisoning or are not happy with their traveling companions this can end up reflecting negatively on their reaction to your space.
Nevertheless, these tips might increase your odds for a positive review:
- Cash in customer service: Make sure that your renters feel that you are always available for them. Respond as quickly as you can if they ask questions, and try to accommodate them whenever possible (and within reason). You shouldn’t feel the need to bend over backward for them, but by going the extra mile to make sure they feel they are being catered to can count a lot when it comes to reviewing time.
- Add the extra touches: It is amazing how influential a little something special can be when it comes to property reviews. A handwritten note or a small welcome pack with restaurant recommendations or top local tours can make guests sense that you genuinely want them to feel at home. The more comfortable they are in your space, the more likely they will be to remember their stay warmly.
- Don’t fear following up: when it comes time to check out, reach out to your guests either in person or over the Booking.com extranet message tool and ask them how their stay was. This emphasizes your desire to be accommodating and it also is a great moment for reminding them how helpful a positive review would be.
Dealing with Negative Reviews on Booking.com
There are few things more disheartening than a negative review for your property on Booking.com, particularly when that review is derived from elements out of your control (for example, a guest complaining that it rained for the entire week that they booked your beachside villa, or a guest who reports a plumbing issue only after they check out). When these less-than-flattering reviews come in, there is no need to despair: they happen to everyone, and they cannot be avoided. As we mentioned earlier, it is impossible to predict exactly how guests will respond to your property, so it is not worth it to stress over negative press.
When you get a negative review, one of the best first steps is to respond back to them. If you visit the “Guest Reviews” tab within Booking.com’s extranet, you can reply directly to any approved review posted for your property. Try to keep these responses positive – remember, that guest’s critique is of your property, not you – and express your genuine desire to learn from their comments. Remember that potential renters searching Booking.com will see your responses to these negative reviews, so you can think of it as an opportunity to further reinforce your desires for customer satisfaction.
You should keep in mind, though, that you can only respond to reviews that include a comment, and any response you post will also be reviewed by the internal Booking.com team to make sure it is acceptable. This means you should review your response before you submit to eliminate problematic elements such as foul language, personal information, promotion of other OTA platforms, or offers to discount future stays.
How to Remove a Review with Booking.com
The support team at Booking.com devotes a good portion of time to reviewing guest reviews and filtering out those that are inappropriate, offensive, or otherwise violate aspects of Booking.com’s terms of service in some way. Sometimes, though, a negative review comes in that sneaks past Booking.com’s review team and might be misleading about your property or Booking.com’s services. These can include instances where a guest:
- Canceled a booking but somehow still wrote a review of the property
- Reviewed the wrong property
- Posts a fraudulent review to discredit the property owner or the Booking.com brand
- Uses inappropriate or threatening language
- Shares personal information
If you happen to discover a guest review that meets one or more of these criteria, reach out to the Booking.com team via the extranet messaging system and share the review at issue. To expedite your request, you can label your message to the team “Reviews”.