Guest Services

Turn negative reviews into positive outcomes for your B&B

As you probably know, it’s important for your business to be on review sites, such as TripAdvisor. It’s a brilliant way of taking advantage of the reviews their 280 million unique visitors a month for free. A recent survey from TripAdvisor revealed that 89% of people are influenced by reviews. This means if your property cannot be found on a review site, you are missing out on hundreds of potential guests. And it’s not just the score that affects the customer’s decision; it’s the way in which the owner responds to negative reviews. 64% of people surveyed said that they would be put off booking if they saw a defensive or aggressive response.

We discovered that 79% of people agree with the manager’s response if a good response is made. Therefore, we have put together some best practices of how to deal with the good and the negative reviews, so you can manage your property’s reputation effectively.

The facts:

  • A third of people will post a review after travelling, so don’t ignore them.
  • 70% of people read the reviews and responses before booking.
  • The average UK B&B score is 4.1/5.

The first line of defence is to try and prevent bad reviews.

1. What websites can guests leave reviews on?

  • TripAdvisor – allows public responses and private messages.
  • Expedia – allows public responses and you can respond by email to Expedia.
  • – allows public responses and you can respond by email to
  • – allows hoteliers to contact the reviewer directly, it is not public.
  • Google+ local – allows for public responses only.
  • Travelocity – a comment button after each review allows management replies including photos and videos.
  • Trivago – allows for public responses.

2. Which reviews should I respond to?

  • Positive: score of 5 – respond to all of these customers to thank them.
  • Mid-range: score of 3-4 – respond to at least 25% of these.
  • Negative: score of 1 or 2 – respond to all of these reviews within 24 hours.

3. How do I respond to negative reviews?

Our advice for responding to bad reviews is very similar to how we suggest you deal with difficult customers, which you can read about in our guide. Specifically, when it comes to online reviews, it’s important to bear the following in mind:

  • Acknowledge and thank them for leaving the review.
  • Don’t get defensive.
  • If possible, explain what action will be taken to resolve the issue.
  • Take the response to a private message to resolve the problem.
  • If it is a problem with infrastructure issues, thank them for bringing it to your attention and say that you may consider changing in the future.

Here is a good example of how to respond to a negative review:

Thank you [customer’s name] for taking the time to let us know about your stay. I am sorry that the toilet flush in your room was loud. We will take action based on your review and we thank you for bringing it to our attention. Kind Regards [your name].

4. How do I respond to positive reviews?

  • Acknowledge and thank them for leaving the review.
  • Re-iterate the reviewer’s positive response and use it to upsell.
  • Make the response personal.
  • Share the review on social media.

Here is a good way to respond to a positive review:

Thanks [customer’s name] for taking the time to let us know about your stay. I am pleased that you liked our breakfast options. We take pride in our breakfast selection and encourage guests to tell us what they like so we can accommodate their needs. Hope to see you again soon. [Your name]

5. Top tips for your responses:

  • Create a few sets of templates to speed up the process.
  • When you respond to a review it will go to the top of the list; so respond to a 5-star review after a new negative one to ensure your best reviews are at the top.
  • Make sure you close all responses with a positive.
  • Keep all responses to a maximum of 100 words.

Allowing your property to be featured on review sites is a great way to showcase your properties best features and lets previous guests encourage others to stay with you rather than somewhere else.

Want to really raise your guest communications game? With eviivo’s Guest Manager, you can send automated guest emails asking for feedback from visitors – saving you time and making your guests happy. Find out more about how eviivo suite can make your life easier.

Book a demo today to find out how eviivo’s guest email tools can help you!