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28 Apr
OTA knowledge, Travel management

Tips to respond reviews to OTA channel like Airbnb

Despite being launched in the same year as the original iPhone, Airbnb remains an entirely unique online travel agency (OTA). Where more traditional OTAs like Expedia and booking.com work to facilitate transactions between consumer (guest) and business (hotel), Airbnb has always taken a more personal approach, seeing each member of the community as an individual.

The upshot is that reviews – whether Airbnb reviews for guests or Airbnb reviews for hosts – are more important on this platform than almost any other. And how you respond to your Airbnb reviews can have an outsized effect on your success on the platform.

In this article we’ll look at how to respond to your Airbnb reviews as a host in the most effective and beneficial way possible: one that minimises negatives and maximises positives.

Eng Otavn Otavietnam Tip To Respond Review To Ota Channel Like Airbnb 1

Eng Otavn Otavietnam Tip To Respond Review To Ota Channel Like Airbnb 1

Why are Airbnb reviews important?

From the very beginning, Airbnb was a platform built on reviews. With anyone able to invite anyone to stay in their home, Airbnb’s founders identified the need to build a trusted community of users. Reviews soon formed the foundation of this community – guests would review hosts, hosts would review guests, and those who didn’t meet expectations would struggle to attract guests and book stays.

Where other OTAs will offer up a hotel star rating for each listing that is awarded by an independent organisation, on Airbnb the guest rating is the only number that gives users a sense of the quality of the stay.

Airbnb also has rather high standards in comparison to other OTAs. To be a Superhost you need to achieve a rating of over 4.8 stars, and the average Airbnb rating is 4.7. This means that a property with a rating lower than 4.5 stars – an amazing score on any other platform – can ring alarm bells with some users.

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There’s simply no way to understate the importance of reviews on Airbnb, which is why your response to a review, particularly one that is mixed or outright negative, can have a huge impact on your success on the platform.

Eng Otavn Otavietnam Tip To Respond Review To Ota Channel Like Airbnb 2

Eng Otavn Otavietnam Tip To Respond Review To Ota Channel Like Airbnb 2

Why should you respond to Airbnb reviews?

By responding to your reviews, whether positive, negative or mixed, you better establish yourself within the Airbnb community. On top of granting you the right of reply, a response gives users real insight into who you are and how you treat your guests.

Imagine reading a negative review that seems to raise fair criticisms, only to see an Airbnb host review response that is defensive or outright aggressive. It would lead you to question both the quality of the stay and the attitude of the owner.

Now imagine reading a similarly negative guest review with a reply that thanked the reviewer, apologised where appropriate, offered a solution and invited the guest back. This sort of review shows maturity, a desire for growth and genuine care for guests, and can lead to more bookings despite the negativity of the review.

Responding to reviews is also just good for business. A study by TripAdvisor found that hotels are 21% more likely to receive booking inquiries when they respond to reviews, and that the more review responses a hotel offered up, the higher its rating tended to be, and the more bookings it received as a result.

How do you respond to Airbnb reviews?

How to respond to negative feedback

Responses to negative reviews, or mixed reviews with negative elements, should always be prioritised over responses to positive reviews. But how? The following template can prove helpful.

  1. Thank the reviewer for taking the time to provide feedback.
  2. Highlight any positives that the reviewer may have mentioned.
  3. Address the negatives in a calm and objective way. If you’re at fault, accept responsibility, apologise, and follow up with either a solution or a request for more information. If you don’t feel you’re at fault, consider apologising that the guest feels that way, ask for more info, and explain your side in a humble, level-headed manner.
  4. Return to a positive where possible.
  5. Invite the guest back to demonstrate you’ve taken their feedback on board, and leave a name to show an individual has taken responsibility.
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How to respond to positive feedback

It’s less critical to respond to positive reviews, but if the review is particularly glowing or personalised it’s certainly worth doing. When responding to positive reviews:

  • Make each review unique, as guests can easily identify cookie cutter responses, which can do your brand more harm than good. Refer to the guest by name, and note a few things they mentioned in their review.
  • Where you should use ‘I’ when responding to negative reviews, as it shows an individual has taken responsibility, use ‘we’ in positive reviews, as it shows that this awesome stay was a team effort.
  • Thank the guest for their review.

The process of responding to an Airbnb review

What is the process of responding to a review? In line with its focus on community, Airbnb makes reviewing and responding to reviews perfectly simple.

Both host and guest will be prompted to review one another three separate times in the fortnight following a stay. Once both parties have completed a review, or one party completes a review and that fortnight elapses, the reviews are published.

To reply to a review simply:

  1. Navigate to your Hosting page and click on Insights > Reviews
  1. Scroll down to the relevant review and click “Read full review”
  1. Click on “Reply to [GUEST]”
  1. Write your response in the text box that appears below the review and click “Submit”

A better way to manage feedback

Airbnb is just one of many OTAs that a modern hotel is wise to list on, and each has its own review function. What’s more, generalised platforms like Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor also host reviews.

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Responding to all these reviews across all these platforms can therefore be a rather overwhelming task for hoteliers who already have plenty on their plate. But there is a better way to manage review responses, while also gaining control over all your booking channels through a single, simple portal.

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