February 2021 Karen's Column

Karen’s Column

Dealing with reviews and negative comments with the Founder of the B and B Academy

I bet I’m not alone in feeling slightly nauseous whenever the “You have a new review” email arrives in my inbox.

My inner chimp, the one that’s been saying “Right, now they’re going to find you out” for many years, starts getting all excited.

Luckily, most of those reviews are positive, and the chimp can go back to chilling.

But very occasionally THAT review pings into my email.

I remember my first negative review – the guest, who I bent over backwards for all weekend but had to ask to leave 1.5 hours past check in time – gosh she wasn’t happy.

I do a lot to avoid poor reviews; work hard to attract my ideal B&B guest, try to exceed guest expectations, recognise when things go wrong and do my best to make it better…

But luck comes into it too. No matter how hard you work, there’s always going to be that ONE guest.

The one who gives you 2 out of 5 for location because he actually needed to be in a town 40 miles away.

Or the ones that give you 3 out of 5 because the “rubber duck wasn’t to our taste”.

Tripadvisor tells us that guests will be more likely to stay at a B&B with a bad review when the owner responds constructively.

So, after letting my chimp out to swear a bit, I like to see a bad review as a marketing opportunity.

You can read more on how I respond to a negative tripadvisor review on my blog

This article was first published in the February 2021 issue of Luxury BnB Magazine….


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  • The Pheasant Hotel
  • Craigmount B&B
  • The Whittling House
  • News: Industry News and Analysis
  • Karen’s Column: Handling reviews and negative comments
  • Q&A with Tina the Tiny Troubleshooter
  • LBNB 2021 Awards Shortlist
  • Chapter 1B of LBNB EBook: Getting Started in Holiday Rentals
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