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Reviews - i think there is a better way...

So after trying really hard to get anyone to review me my first review was disappointing. I feel people who are happy just don’t bother to review yet anyone with the slightest niggle will review and mark you down. Would it be an idea to put all reviews through automatically as 10 until they review it themselves? Then booking.com could send an email saying we hope you enjoyed yiur stay and trust everything was as expected. To save you time we have submitted a top marks review but please feel free to adjust the ratings and / of add any comments within 7 days?

8 Replies

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Corinne Orde

My experience, both as a new B&B owner (with plenty of reviews coming in) and as a long-time user of hotels, is that people submit reviews when their experience is out of the ordinary — either very good or very bad. They don't bother to review what is middle of the road, bland, nothing special, just ordinary. Places like that are not worth the effort of reviewing, especially if I've been touring, stayed at many places and my email in-box is being bombarded with requests to submit reviews. When I've been really happy with a place I've stayed at, I wanted to reward the proprietor by sending a good review, so I made the effort to do so because that was a place that stood out from the crowd. Some places are so ordinary you forget what they're like as soon as you walk out of the door. How can you possibly review them if you can't even remember them? Similarly, I will remember a really bad place. However, if a place is bad, I often don't review it because I think, "where do I start?" And "Do I really want to hurt this person and create bad feeling?". Often a place is bad because the people who run it are unhelpful, so bad reviews often end up being unpleasant and personal. I don't like saying nasty things about people, so I often won't put in a bad review, unless it's something about noisy traffic, dirty premises or poor location rather than human failings. I'm more inclined to review the very good than the very bad. The English expression "nothing to write home about", is quite apt here. It's more trouble than it's worth to write a review, so I don't bother. The lesson to be learned here is that if you want reviews, you need to give people an experience to write home about.

1 year ago
7
fluff

I see your train of thought but what about a grotty place that no one could be bothered to review and ends up with a perfect 10?

1 year ago
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88clifdenglen

Thank you for your responses. I have to say though this is where I am confused. There are a lot of other houses like ours and they are very basic and don’t offer anywhere near as much or the quality as we do. We provide lots of extras and even left wine on many occasions. I have messaged all guests who have booked and responded to any queries within an hour. I have even done the tour round the meet and greet on a few yet nothing. Another site I use and most guests white a review and nearly all really positive so I just don’t understand why it is not the same for me on here.

1 year ago
3
Corinne Orde

I find it's not the extras that people want. It's the smile — as long as it's genuine of course!

1 year ago
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Corinne Orde

By a strange coincidence, I had a conversation this morning which confirms what I wrote above. After my guests finished breakfast, the man said that he'd stayed at hundreds of hotels all over the world, and this was the best place he'd ever been to, from the initial welcome through to the breakfast. I could hardly believe my ears when he then said "I never write reviews, but this time, I'm definitely going to write one, as this is a place I will never forget." No guest has ever said this to me before about writing reviews, and it had me wondering if he'd somehow managed to read this forum discussion! Or perhaps he is a psychic or mind reader! He wrote the same comments in my Visitors' Book, so I can send a photo of that page as evidence (in case you think I'm making this up).

So what's so special about my B&B? Why do I get these amazing reviews? To be honest, I don't know. Yes, it's in a great location, but it's just a moderately spacious house in an English country garden — there are no sea views, dramatic mountains or other fantastic scenery. My rooms are comfortable but not luxurious. No four-poster beds, etc. Only one of my rooms has an en-suite. I don't provide freebies or dinky toiletries or enormous fluffy bath sheets. Just basic liquid soap and shampoo in plastic dispensers and budget-range towels. My bed linen is cotton, but not more than 200 thread count.

My breakfasts are not gourmet and I don't do eggs benedict or other fancy stuff. Just ordinary, basic English breakfast with not much choice (apart from lots of different jams and spreads). I don't give baked beans, fried bread or hash browns. My bacon and sausages are ordinary supermarket ones. My eggs are from my chickens, but that's the only thing that's special, apart from my homemade bread and yoghurt. I do have nice table linen, though, as I hate paper napkins, and I do pay attention to decor, style and small details.

I feel the answer has to be in things that are not so tangible or materialistic. Care, kindness, attitude, a calm ambiance and a soothing atmosphere. Mostly, people want no hassle, no pressure, reassurance and making them feel relaxed and at ease. I am sure you do all these things, 88clifdenglen, and the good reviews will start to come soon.

1 year ago
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88clifdenglen

Thanks for your comments, unfortunately I am in a different boat to you. We don’t run a B and B. The house is a self catering so it is very different. I am glad you have such great reviews. Keep up the good work :)

1 year ago
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Corinne Orde

I suspect that's the problem. It's much more difficult to provide personal care and attention with self-catering, because guests have to do everything for themselves instead of being "pampered". That in itself prevents them from being able to let go of life's responsibilities, so they're never in a truly relaxed frame of mind. Difficult to have a great and memorable experience if you still have to do the shopping and the washing up!

1 year ago