Airbnb complaints happen to even the best hosts. For whatever reason; whether you didn’t see eye to eye, something went wrong or the guest’s expectations were not in sync with yours, a complaint can happen from time to time. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad Airbnb host or that you have to hang up your hosting hat. Far from it! Airbnb complaints can actually be a great learning experience.
Expectations Might Not Always Be Aligned
Why do complaints happen? Expectations might not always be aligned. Sadly, one of the biggest reasons why people complain is that certain elements are really subjective. One person’s “centrally located apartment” might be another’s “far from everything I want to see”. Elements like “quiet”, “noisy” vary largely from person to person. If someone comes to your Airbnb with a certain set of expectations that are not met, you might be in line for a complaint.
How do you handle this? Simply be as transparent as possible
- You should underpromise and overdeliver.
- Make sure everything is spelled out online.
- Talk to the guests prior to having them stay with you. What are their concerns? Can you head off a complaint or adjust expectations early on?
Airbnb Complaints Are More Common Than You Think
Whether you’re hosting or staying as a guest at an Airbnb there are plenty of things that can go wrong in a minute. What happens if your friendly lab suddenly gets a little food aggressive? How about the air conditioning suddenly stops in the middle of a sweltering 90-degree day? Some things are totally out of your control, which is why complaints are very common.
The important thing to do is not to beat yourself up about a complaint that comes in. Use it as a learning opportunity. If you live in a hot climate don’t get trapped in a situation where a fickle air conditioning unit can completely ruin your guest’s stay. Have some backup fans just in case. Similarly, make sure that you greet the guests with your furry friends to make sure that everyone gets along. Also, always let people know if there are pets on the premises.
If you don’t like smoking anywhere on the grounds, make sure that people are aware that your house, balcony and outside space are all smoke-free zones. If there are any new inconveniences, like road closures or construction, make sure that you update Airbnb’s listing with any new information that will help people best understand what they are in for when they visit you.
By doing these few things and learning from your mistakes, you’ll benefit from fewer complaints and might even pick up a few referrals along the way!
Be Professional And Courteous
What happens if you get a complaint? The best thing that you can do is be professional, courteous and completely pleasant even if you think that the customer is in the wrong. Always offer out an olive branch to try to fix the situation. Offer them a discount on their next stay, send a coupon for a local restaurant or coffee-shop and simply apologize for the misunderstanding. You will be surprised by how far a sincere apology will go in making amends.
If you get a complaint, make sure that you communicate with the disgruntled customer often. Immediately respond to a bad review by explaining your side of the story in a polite fashion. Reach out to the customer and ask what can be done to make the situation better. Above all, listen to what he or she has to say. Use this experience as a valuable way to get insight into how you can improve your business and be more successful in the future.
Never let a bad review or complaint go without responding to it. It might be unpleasant to have to talk to the guest but you will gain nothing by burying your head in the sand. The worst thing that you can do is get into a public fight with your guest. Even if they are totally in the wrong or resort to insulting you online, always take the high road. You’ll look better to other potential customers and you’ll avoid sparking even more outrage from the guest. Remember, people tend to gossip about bad experiences more than good ones, and you don’t want to give your guest any reason to talk about their bad experience!
Even the best Airbnb hosts get complaints or bad reviews some time. It’s bound to happen eventually. When it does, don’t panic and don’t get mad. Taking the time to form a proper response is very important and will make you sound professional. When you do respond, always apologize and cite a specific course of action. For example, if your water heater broke when a guest was staying, apologize for the inconvenience and let them know that it has already been replaced. This may not make up for the fact that they had to take cold showers, but it does resolve the issue for anyone else that may want to stay at your property.
Pro tip: Most guests complaints come from slow response on the part of host or lack of information. If you’re having trouble keeping up with your guest communications, try Hosty’s Airbnb management software with AutoReply feature. Our professional property management tools are here to help you keep your guests as happy as they can be.
Airbnb complaints are hard to deal with. But, as long as you’re learning from them and responding to them properly, they’ll disappear and turn into 5-star reviews sooner than you think.