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Advice for the right mindset for dealing with negative reviews?

Hello there, all! 

I am a writer here at Booking, and I have been working on an article for the Partner Blog about dealing with negative guest reviews. This is obviously a topic that many people feel very strongly about. I've seen a lot of good ideas shared before on this subject in this community. I am not as interested in the processes or details of the platform. What I am curious about is if you folks with real-world experience have any advice on one very specific aspect of dealing with negative reviews: your mindset. 

So here are a few questions for you, which you are welcome to pick and choose from if you want to answer one or more of them: 

  • Do you have any advice that might help people get into the right mindset for answering a negative review? 
  • Do you have any mantras or things you tell yourself as a pep talk to help you summon the will to deal with a negative review? 
  • Do you have any rules you've created for yourself around responding to negative reviews? For example, do you have a rule for when to not respond?
  • Do you have any other rules of thumb you've created that you follow when responding to negative reviews? 


Eddy 4 years ago

Try the following method which I find works great

1. draft an email reply letting out everything you want to say. Don't hold back curse, defame, threaten violence etc. etc. but......don't ever press send. Actually it's much safer to add a fictitious email address just in case you get tempted to send it......then

2. Calm down and rewrite it removing all the steamy stuff. Admit anything that you feel the guest was right in complaining about and give precise details how you will correct these defects. Make sure you correct them for next time. Defend yourself in detail if they have lied about anything and remember very few reviews are actually removed by OTA's. Now the next very important thing to do is to take advantage of the exposure of the review, even though it may be bad those who read it will take note, so market your property in the same reply. Talk about positive attributes of your property and any special deals that you may be offering at the time. You are bound to come out winning as you've turned a negative situation into a positive one.

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M Adamopoulou 4 years ago

pibomarco thanks for sharing.... 

Your comments are always so helpful...with no unnecessary words....

Have a nice day.

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Eric Suesz - C… 4 years ago

Some of that advice seems on point, but I'm not sure I agree with the advice to compensate negative reviewers. They recommend, for example, offering 20% off future purchases for the person who complains. 

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pibomarco 4 years ago

Which is not the point since this advice was written in general not just for hosting. "20% off" make more sense for business-es such as online stores etc.. where returning customers are more important. But the rest of it is quite on point. 

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M Adamopoulou 4 years ago

Hi! Eric, nice to join us....

Negative reviews???

Who has negative reviews???

All hosts try to do their best so guests have unforgettable holidays....but sometimes mistakes and misunderstandings can happen...

Positive thinking is my moto and there is always a solution to problems!!!

Have a nice weekend!!!



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Don Burns 4 years ago

Among the 42 bookings my wife and I have hosted since June 2018, only one was extremely negative.


I believe some negative reviews are unavoidable; as a few guests had already arrived with a bad attitude and vented their personal frustrations through our hosting reviews.  Mostly, the negative comments are made by an accompanying friend of the person who booked their stay with us.


I am not the manager of a major hotel, who must report to a hotel corporation.  I am a private homeowner, who rents our downstairs guestroom suite at my pleasure.


Although my wife and I are extremely friendly, helpful and informative during each guest's stay, I refuse to be bullied by a rude guest with his/her untrue remarks.


I would rather have peace of mind standing-up to a rude guest and risking one bad review of the many excellent ones I have earned.  I can sleep better at night that way.

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Eric Suesz - C… 4 years ago

That is great to hear. Only one, huh? That's a great record.