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Advice on how to diplomatically respond to a review

Hi All,

Just wondering how best to respond to a guests review, when they focus on a negative point.

Basically i take pride in my listings and care for guests. I had a gentleman stay his review is good however he does point out his dislike about the location, not even the town the property is in, but the part of London.

His review is:

XX made me feel very welcome and really helped me out with a couple of things making my stay comfortable and settled. However, whilst his listing is accurate reflecting the property and its cleanliness, quietness etc I personally don’t feel I can recommend the area simply because I don’t like East London and staying there confirmed that for me. This is not to put off other people from the area because I know many will love the vibe there but for me as an honest customer being asked to write an honest review, unless I was there for business I would not want to return as it is too removed from nature and the energy feels too hectic and contractive, for me anyway.

What stands out here is that the gentleman doesn’t like this part of London. He told me he left London for the countryside for the quality of life.

This review read by a would be guest could be deemed as negative, however i’m sure there is a way to turn the negative in to a positive. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I’m a SH and i’ve not had anyone question the location before.

I don’t think I’d worry about this review, or respond to it in any way.

I read it as though I were considering your property and this is what I came away with. You were an awesome, welcoming host, and your space was clean and comfortable. The gentleman writing the review should stay in the country if he doesn’t like the city! Idiot. He chose your space, knowing full well where it was. Most normal people reading that review will come to a similar conclusion, I hope.

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I think it’s a fair review. It doesn’t speak bad against you as a host, but it does speak to people who are considering different locations. It does stink as a host, but I don’t think it would turn off most air guests.

If you do typically respond to reviews, you could say something like: “thank you for your stay, I’m sorry that you don’t like this part of London. I’m glad that I made your stay enjoyable otherwise.” But most people will be able to read into the review that he’s just picky and it will do more harm to him with future hosts who go and read reviews he’s left. I think a non-response is the best way to go.

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@Chloe Thanks for your response. That’s the thing i didn’t force him to stay there and he contacted me about the property not the other way round.

@Sarah_Warren Thanks for the response. I was thinking something along the lines of what you mentioned to back up the service i gave.

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I know it stings to be told that someone doesn’t like where you live, but I would not respond to this review if I were you. I think that it is a good thing when guests point out aspects of your home. This is because we know that potential guests don’t read what you’ve written in the listing, but they read the reviews. This review will serve the purpose of attracting people who enjoy a city experience and repelling people who won’t like your place. Also, I think he was polite in making it all about him and his taste, not saying it was too loud, you should have planted more plants, etc.

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Definitely do not respond. Don’t even think about it.

Agreed. Not worth responding to. He left a good review in regards to you and at worst case he has let would be guests who may feel the same about the area aware. He’s weeded out other potential same reviews already!

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Please don’t say a single word. It will only draw attention to the negative nit pick and make you look defensive. Remember it expands your entire response, so it’s presented fully drawn out.

If he doesn’t like the location it’s on him. Even a yank tourist knows the difference between East and West London. :smile:

I really hate it when guests do that. It’s all over my listing where my location is but they always seem to crab about that and don’t understand. It’s so unfair to pick at you in a review for location that is disclosed. Thankfully the majority of my guests are good and appreciate what I have to offer. If you want an overpriced Disneyland, tourist laden experience, by all means book the Hilton!

I’ve had good luck in getting guests to change their reviews. They can do it with Air approval. It’s worth a try to ask.

Dear Guest, thanks for the mostly kind words. I wonder if you might be open to editing the negative words about the London location as I make it clear in my listing exactly where it is. It’s patently unfair to critique my listing for something that is clearly disclosed and that you accepted at the time of booking. It may deter other guests from booking. Thank you for anything you can do. I believe Air will allow you to edit with their approval.

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Hi @zeeris,

What star ratings did this guest leave?

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Agreed - do not respond. Most guests will look at the first sentence and move on, anyway. It will be to difficult to keep it civil and sweet - your irritation is sure to show and that will reflect poorly on you more than the review will.

Move along…

It is my goal as a host to always be honest, and then strive to meet and exceed guest expectations.
I am happy that you felt welcome and helped out, and that your stay was comfortable and settled. And I appreciate that you acknowledge the listing is accurate, and our place is clean and quiet. I hope our future guests appreciate our location, as well as our professionalism.

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Faheem,

From my understanding he left 1 for location and 4 to 5 stars for everything else.

Thanks for your reply.

I don’t think i will ask him to reconsider his review on this occasion however it’s good to know this can be done.

This gentleman told me his life story in the first 30 mins of meeting him which gave some insight to his character. So I’d rather not provoke a further review from him.

I should note, hearing a guests life story is never a bad thing. Communication of guests and host is what makes airbnb so great and personal!!

Many thanks for all your responses :slight_smile:

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I hear you! I had a local book my place - who knows the area backwards and forwards - and she dinged me on location. huh?? It’s the only review I’ve ever had that did that. Probably says more about renting to locals than anything else. But I digress…I agree with the others here. Don’t give this review another thought. I didn’t read anything negative about you or your listing in it.

1 for location is really not very nice. Just because he doesn’t like your area?

Hi @SuiteRetreat,

I consider renting to locals problematic. I’ve had a few requests. If they don’t have a good reason (and mostly they don’t) I say no.

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Yes apparently so.

I had a chat with airbnb who ran through the details and said it was a 1 star.

That said, if i had not spoken to airbnb how could i accurately tell how many stars a guests leave? I only see a summary of ratings under stats.

Ah, this came up in a different thread. You can find a total count per category by clicking on the individual categories under stats. If you record those every time someone leaves a review, then you can figure out the individual stars. Airbnb really should just show the individual stars per review and make it easier for everyone.

Comes down to two options:

1.Ignore, especially because he didn’t say anything negative about you, just that HE doesn’t like that part of London, which he didn’t already so why did he book a place there?
2. ~IF~ I was to respond, I would be singing the virtues of your area and how so many find it so exiting, treating him as a bystander.

Vote for option #1 for me also. Oh btw, I never say I am sorry too automatically, he knows the reality of the area, he chose it and then whines about it. His problem.

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