The Guest Review System
There is a problem with the design of the Guest Review questionnaire .
This is important because if a Partner receives a low score unfairly, it can impact their reputation and livelihood.
I have 2 examples (there could be more)
Example 1) There have been occasions where I have been given a Low score for Location.
My description clearly states where I am located
There is a map that shows where I'm located
I don't claim to be somewhere I'm not, so every guest knows exactly where I'm located before they book.
So I presume when they choose to book they are happy with the location
On that basis, if they turn up to find I am where I said, all other things being equal I should be scored a 10, not a 2 because they would prefer to be in the centre of town.
That 2 has a disproportionate and unreasonable impact my overall satisfaction rating which is crazy
The questionnaire is just badly designed and needs to be refined.
Example 2) I had a weekend where I had 4 sets of guests. 3 gave me a rating of 10, 1 gave me a rating of 2.2. Everything was pretty much equal, and I got a 10 from the people who were in that room before them. Clearly my place was not for that couple which is fine. (and sometimes people are just happier complaining, which is also fine).
However to receive a score that is such an anomaly can have a big impact on my overall satisfaction averages and is misleading for future guests considering booking with me. I'm sure this isn't a major issue for Bookng.com in the scheme of things, but as a small business who wants to protect it reputation it's a big thing for me. Getting a 2 is like someone sticking a thumb in my eye especially if its not fair.
I understand that Booking.com has a review system of some sort, which is involved and arbitrary.
A simple solution that would enable a more accurate reflection of the experience at a property might be automatically to take off both the lowest score and the highest score over a given period, (period to be determined) treating both as anomolies. (There may well be a simpler solution, but this one would save everyone time and effort)
This will leave you with a more accurate reflection of the experience someone will receive whilst retaining in place the integrity and purpose of the review system .
The review system is completely unfair and unreasonable, but we know that Booking.com do not care about hosts, so they're unlikely to change anything to make it fair for us.
An unusual low score will show as anamoly. Anyone making booking decisions based on reviews will notice this. In time, you'll have considerably more good reviews than bad, so the occasional bad review won't hurt so much.
Try using multiple online booking sites including AirBnB and TripAdvisor. You'll get exactly the same problems on all booking sites, but you'll spread things out and if reviews negatively affect bookings on one site, you'll get bookings from the others.
Consider leaving "Please review us" with guidance, especially with regard to location ....