user avatar image
4

Guest Review System (updates)

Dear partners,

Thank you again for all your comments and feedback on the new Guest Review System (GRS). You have once again amazed us with how quickly this community has grown into a channel through we which we can gain constructive product feedback. 

Any new review system can lead to a lot of questions and confusion. And that’s why we carefully read all the comments you post in the community. We would like to explain you more about several key points of the new review system.

A score gives you an idea of the guests’ experience

A score is a way guests share their feedback with other guests and partners. It helps them make a decision on what place to book. The review system is just a tool. It doesn’t give scores itself. It calculates guest feedback and uses scores as a type of visualisation. If you receive a lower score from a guest, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with your property. 

But if you consistently receive lower scores all the time, then probably there is a reason behind this. You might consider sharing this experience with fellow partners, so you can get useful advice. Even if you face a challenge like this, there are people in the community who can help you figure out a good solution.

How do we stop guests from mistaken scoring? 

When there is a difference of more than 5 points between the average of the subscores and the overall score, guests will receive an alert to warn them about this. By simply alerting them of this detail, we can avoid big discrepancies between the overall stay score and the average score of the 6 categories. This has drastically reduced the volume of such discrepancy cases. We are making more adjustments as well, with the goal of further reducing the chance of mis-interpretation or error on the part of a guest. 

New review system is in progress of implementation

The world is changing really fast, and it means we should improve and change our products promptly as well. The review system is currently in the process of implementation. As with any new feature, this particular release has its flaws, and we are grateful that you have helped us identify and address these issues quickly and in the best possible manner. We will continue to refine the new Guest Review System (GRS) and gather feedback from both guests and our partner communities around the world. 

 

This is not our last update on the subject. We will post again when we have further information. Meanwhile, please continue to share feedback here or directly through our help center. We keep reading, monitoring and sending your feedback to our production teams. Together, we can build the best products for both partners and guests. 

56 Replies

9
M Adamopoulou

Dear Sergei,

Thank you for this information in the sensitive topic of reviews.

Awaiting your further progress!!!

+5
18 days ago
7
Bandara Hotels…

Dear Mr. Sergei,

 

Thank you for update information. I am sure that Booking.com will continue do the best thing for both hotel and customer.

+1
17 days ago
8
pibomarco

"If you receive a lower score from a guest, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with your property. 

But if you consistently receive lower scores all the time, then probably there is a reason behind this."

 

A lot of hosts are triggered based on a "single" negative review/score and it's easy to blame the system instead understanding the human psychology behind it. The whole picture matters. As I said before if host is providing a good service there is no review system that can damage your reputation or overal business performance. Fortunately majority of people are positive and because of them overall score is high. Our overall score was 8,1 few years ago until we decided to provide better service and started to listen to the negative reviews and put our egos aside. Now our score is 9,4. 

-3
17 days ago
6
Isle of Wight …

It's not because of a "single negative review/score", it's because:

- the new system is worse than before

- the new system allows and encourages lower than expected scores

- the new system allows guests to post anonymously

- the new system allows guests to post scores without comments

- the new system can prevent hosts from responding to negative comments / reviews

As has been seen with screenshots of reviews, guests can score all elements as 10/10 but give an overall score of 2/10 - the new system allows this

Even if hosts provide excellent service at all times, the new system allows guests to unfairly / wrongly / mistakenly give low scores

And yes, hosts have kicked off after seeing a "single negative review/score", because we know and see that the new system is unfairly weighted against the hosts - the ongoing potential is not good for hosts

And luckily, we haven't had the "single negative review/score" yet - yesterday we got a 10/10 overall - but we have had anonymous reviews and reviews that we cannot reply to - and we know that overall, this new review system can only be negative .....

+10
16 days ago
8
pibomarco

I understand what you are saying, and basicly my original post is an answer to your "issues" that you just described. 

What is unfair / wrongly is a matter of perspective.

Guest mistakes are part of this business. Mistakes happened also under the old review system. As described in this thread they made a preventive measure to avoid such mistakes.

I personally don't have problems with reviews that are anonymous and scores without comments because of the reasons that I already mentioned.   

 

 

 

-4
16 days ago
6
Isle of Wight …

You don't have problems with the reviews ..... yet .....

With the new reviews / scoring system, it's only a matter of time until it does negatively affect you ....

+6
16 days ago
8
pibomarco

I kind of agree that with new review system our overall score could drop a bit (because I think we'll receive more 9s instead of 10s comparing to old system), but that just mean that new standard is set for all of us. Well, we will see "soon" the impact. I am not concered at all though. 

-3
16 days ago
1
Lindores Guesthouse

I am so de-moralised by what has been going on recently that I have decided to close earlier than normal!  As to whether we will use Booking.Com next season depends on how they rectify this poor situation. They need to stop taking their partners for granted.

+3
1 day ago
1
Robin Sherwood

The new score system absolutely sucks and really is a bad move. My property has a 9.7 overall score, something we've worked really hard to achieve. I just got a 10 across the board and a score of 6. It's just wrong on all levels. When I contacted the guest why the six overall. "Because it was raining" WFT, none of us have any control over the weather. When I contacted booking.com their attitude was basically "tough you're all in the same boat" I'm watching very closely as to how it will all pan out and if I think it's ultimately damaging my business I will find other booking agents to work with me. Booking.com need to be reminded quite strongly it's us who pay them and not the guests

+3
1 day ago
2
Ferienwohnung …

The problem is that the 5 or even more MILLIONS of booking . com partners worldwide are not interested in this new problem - except the few people here. And so booking. com believe that they have done us a great favour with their new system.

+2
1 day ago
9
M Adamopoulou

pibomarco I agree with you 100%.

I believe that if we hosts provide our best service with nice positive attitude guests will probably be satisfied and give us the desired review.

Sometimes guests dont understand exactly how tthe review system works. As I understand BDC is already taking measures to eliminate mis-interpretation or errors.

This Summer two of my guests although they were amazed with my Studio and had told me that they would leave me an excellent review their review was not excellent!!!

Since we already had become friends I called them and asked them very politely if they had made some mistake in their review. They thought they had left me an excellent review and  apologized  for their mistake. Afterwards they called BDC and asked them to send them again a second email because they had made a mistake in their review....and wow!!! I got my excellent reviews.

Treating people with kindness is a reward for us.

-4
16 days ago
6
Isle of Wight …

" If you receive a lower score from a guest, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with your property.  "

When bookers are looking at properties and see a review of 2/10, do they think "it doesn't necessarily mean there is something wrong with that property"??? Or do they think "skip that one, 2/10 is rubbish"?

 

So you're telling us to calm down about the new, unfair reviews system, but you're not doing anything to assure potential guests that low scoring reviews are a complete *** ....

 

 

+6
16 days ago
8
pibomarco

Yeah if the property has mostly scores from 2 - 7 in average, then they will probably skip this property and search for a better option. A negative score won't have an impact on a high rated property. For the potential guest is a bigger "turn off" if the host is replying to negative reviews in a "defensive/agressive" manner which is quite common sadly.

-4
16 days ago
6
Isle of Wight …

" When there is a difference of more than 5 points between the average of the subscores and the overall score, guests will receive an alert to warn them about this. By simply alerting them of this detail, we can avoid big discrepancies between the overall stay score and the average score of the 6 categories. This has drastically reduced the volume of such discrepancy cases. We are making more adjustments as well "

 

"making more adjustments" = ***

 

Instead of "alerting" guests, you should be preventing them from posting overall scores that do not reflect the average of the subscores. Or even better, as you're still calculating the average of the subscores, use it instead of allowing them to post a nonsense overall score.

+7
16 days ago
3
Jennifer and A…

"As with any new feature, this particular release has its flaws, and we are grateful that you have helped us identify and address these issues quickly"

Thank you for admitting there is a problem and you are welcome. Our effort won't stop until a reconciliation is found.

Unfortunately this message is not telling us about any mayor improvement or quick resolution of the conflict between BDC and 99% of its partners. 

The review system is not just "a type of visualisation", but one of the core reasons people choose the place they choose.

"5 points difference between the average of the scores and the arbitrary score" is way to big and again, arbitrary. The entire problem can be solved with an automatic average score. It's modern and the best rating system conceived.  We hope future updates about this litigation will take less than a month, so we can move forward and find an agreement before the high season starts. Thank you for taking this matter seriously.

+5
16 days ago
2
Ferienwohnung …

Yesterday a guest review with the new system: All elements 10/10 but overall score 9/ 10. Fortunately not even less - what can happen quickly. So: Good luck for all the hosts who believe that this new review system is fair. 

+3
13 days ago
8
pibomarco

It would be fairer if subcategories would be also rated 1 - 10 instead with emojis, because in this case the guest would not rate all elements 10/10.. most likely. 

-2
13 days ago
2
Ferienwohnung …

In my opinion are all these emojis cute for Kindergarten- kids but not for guest reviews   

-1
13 days ago
8
pibomarco

We could say that.. I would call it a scoring system for dummies.

From the practical view the difference is that with emojis we as hosts received more 10s and some 7,5s. With 1-10 scoring system less 10s and more 7, 8, 9s.

-4
13 days ago
2
Ferienwohnung …

hahaha.... you want more from 7 points? Take care - you know the self- fulfilling prophecy ? 

+5
12 days ago
8
pibomarco

Nah, I "want" old review system (kindergarten) back because I was doing very well with this system. I have a solid 9,4. Why would I want to switch to a different review system? Will my score magicly rise to 9,9 because of the change? 

 

I still receive a lot of reviews using the old system, so I can't tell how the new system will really effect my property. I assume I will receive more 9s instead of 10s. But time will tell. 

-3
12 days ago
2
Ferienwohnung …

oh bravissimo... " a lot of reviews..."  I am one of the smallest fishes in the great pool of booking and so I know it already that this new system will damage my overall score.This overall score is the first import thing what people are looking for and when there is now the possibility for people to split the elements from the overall result ... mamma mia   

+6
12 days ago
8
pibomarco

Well.. account manager told me that it's about 50:50. I also received quite some 10s so it may be that some of those are under the new system, I can't tell. But I stil receive "a lot" of reviews 8,8; 9,2; 9,6,... And with the new system I received only two ratings "9" and "8" that were both higher then the elements combined, which is a positive side of the new system. 

-4
12 days ago
8
pibomarco

Well I don’t really care because we’re all on the same boat and I know that I will perform well on any system. Lets not forget that many hosts (small fishes in the pool) that had a property score 9,6+ or let’s say above 9, wanted a new scoring system. Many of them thought 1-10 system will be better and farier. Even you said that emojis are for kindergarten and not suitable for guest reviews although you have 9,7? Which system would beat the old system?

-4
12 days ago
2
Ferienwohnung …

9,7? not me. Whatever- the sword of Damocles is always hanging over me and a lot of other hosts and I can see that with the new system it's coming nearer. ciao  

+5
12 days ago
8
pibomarco

Uops I thaught you mentioned that but it was someone else. We shall survive, you do not worry. Good luck! 

-3
12 days ago
1
Le Marina B&B

Like Ferienwohnung we also received a 10/10 for all the elements but received a 9/10 overall rating. Over time this is going to negatively affect our ratings and as has been said before, people make their decisions on where to stay based on the overall rating.  

Our establishment is currently rated as 9.7. If this rating system is continued, we will never, ever improve our rating! Psychologically, I think that people are reluctant to give an overall score of 10.

+5
12 days ago
2
Ferienwohnung …

Over time this is going to negatively affect our ratings ...... yes- for100 %  

+4
12 days ago
8
pibomarco

If hosts are going to "force" also the elements/sections to be scored as 1-10 (replacing the emojis), I am pretty sure you won't see that many 10s as everyone is showing in their current review examples. 

-2
12 days ago
7
Bandara Hotels…

From what I understand is Overall score it does not calculate from each section. Guest can give Overall score separately.

 

Which for me, I think it quiet fair, because there are only some section that guest can mention. Maybe they love all mention section, but other part they may not like which make them feel Overall experience is not 10/10.

 

Please see example our review as below.

-2
12 days ago
7
Bandara Hotels…

This review we received all section for 10/10 but Overall only 09/10. Maybe they does not like about our room, restaurant, food etc. ***

-1
12 days ago
7
Bandara Hotels…

This Review they give us overall score for 10/10, But they does not like our Coffee. ***

 

 

12 days ago
3
Jennifer and A…

For the record, coffee didn't count on the average calculation, sou you would have 10/10 on that review anyway. Interesting thought though.

+2
12 days ago
2
Ferienwohnung …

lol - same here... perhaps it is tooo difficult to add 6 x 10 points haha

+2
12 days ago
2
Ferienwohnung …

somehow paradoxical, either it's ALL great - 10 points for everything - or not.

12 days ago
8
pibomarco

When guest scored with emoji ":D" You received a score 10 (this is a range between 8 and 10 with the new system). 

 

With other words if overall score would be rated with emoji, the score would be 10 and not a 9. 

 

That's why I was against the 1 - 10 score in any form, because the "issue" was predictable.  

 

+1
12 days ago
9
M Adamopoulou

So many negative reviews for the review system!!!

Most of our guests give very high attention to what other guests like or dislike about our properties.  Some don’t even bother to read for details about the property...they only read reviews....

Since GRS is still is in the process of implementation we have to wait and see the outcome.

Hopefully it won’t take long because both hosts and guests have to have a system that they can trust for the benefit of all parties involved.

 

+2
12 days ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Dear Bandara good morning!!!

Sostossss!!!

Is a Greek word meaning I fully agree with you!!!

Have a nice day!!!!

+2
11 days ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Dear Michael its a pleasure to have you here again!!!

Once upon a time, when I was very young working in a Bank, my manager had advised me...."Never forget to think pink"....no matter what the problem is....

Yamas!!!!!

 

-3
7 days ago
6
michael beeston

KATERINKA.....where are you.........................

-3
7 days ago
8
pibomarco

In another thread a host @Miranda Sea View Apartment suggested:

 

"Some thoughts: First you should put "Overall score of the accommodation" above the lever. Then you should move the Overall score lever each time they click on Location, Cleanliness, Comfort, Value, Facilities, and Staff to the average score they clicked on. e.g. if they click on 2x7.5 and 4x10 the lever would sit on 9. If they click on 10 for everything the lever sits on 10. If they decide to move the lever to a lower or higher score they can. This way the overall is more about the accommodation itself."

 

The only good suggestion of improvement that I've heard so far. 

 

-3
7 days ago
6
michael beeston

Thanks Maria...and Pibomarco ( I always enjoy your comments ..well done)

For me it is sometimes a bit hard to answer a lot of the questions about reviews................I am NOT BEING SMART But we have had at least 140 tens in a row and still today !!!!!..our  apartment is unique and in a wonderful location with  Furniture and Paintings from all over the World..some of the furniture is over 130 years old so it is certainly different. ......but very very luxurious and modern all at the same time.................We pride ourselves on the following:

1. The location is only 250 metres from the Beach and Restaurants/pubs...if you are a long way from anywhere unfortuneately sometimes you get a low review score for location ( very unfair)

2. We do the meet and greet ourselves and I tell the history of the Furniture and Painting, its damn interesting as I have lived in over 20 countries as an expat with a large World wide company and have many interesting stories to tell about the artifacts........one of the Chinese paintings is 250 years old !!!

3. The property is ALWAYS Spotless ( we have a professional cleaning team who go in after every guest and replace soaps/shampoos/coffee/tea ect.) We use satin/cotton striped sheets and pillowcases and the Towels are large and beautiful. (white) plus expensive toilet rolls (haha)

4.The apartment is in a complex with swimming pool/gym/bbq/Media room with 36 chairs and a 2 x 3 metres Screen as well as fab views heated swimming pool /sauna/spa/tennis court so if the guests don,t have a great time..what can we do.

5. We are so so fortunate that we are in a fabulous location and the apartment is very luxurious and superbly furnished..so we EXPECT a 10 review and give it everything we can to achieve that.....we rent the apartment ONLY for BUSINESS so therefore we have to make sure it is up to 110 % standard everytime to ensure the 10 review and continual business.

6. We ONLY cater for  MAX two people No children/No pets and so far (4 years) its been magic...and we only use Booking.com and of course direct bookings as well (amazing its full full always/weekends as well as weekdays)

 

I don't go on the partnership very much these days but see the problems some of you face ...difficult.......but try and smile and keep up the good work...........Very best Michael.

 

-2
6 days ago
8
pibomarco

Cheers Michael, the 10s are well deserved! Keep up the good work. 

-2
5 days ago
6
michael beeston

Pibomarco......Thanks and yes it is amazing BUT people are sometimes very finicky and I will get a lower score one day...................so be it !!! ,,BUT as I said we EXPECT 10 and nothing less.I sound a bit like Mohd Ali (hahaha).....thanks again and I must admit I very much enjoy your comments, they make total SENSE !! in a Mad World !!!!..well done Cheers...Michael.

-2
3 days ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Michael, your place must be a life dream that anyone would love to experience... I believe in dreams!!!

Even though, we are in a rural area, away from anything and everything...which means we are isolated...not good location for some... we don’t have expensive furniture and paintings, we don’t have a swimming pool, we don’t have Internet network, we cannot afford satin luxurious linen....

Luxury in simplicity!!!

Our first year review award is excellent 9.7...

Different places, different guests...

Michael, although we don’t do business and don’t have your enormous experience, I think we have one main thing in common...that brings us to success...

We both smile and we both do our best to keep our guests happy and have unforgettable experiences....and that takes a lot of work.

And above all, we enjoy life and that makes everybody happy!!!

Thanks again Michael for inspiring us!!!

 

 

 

-4
6 days ago