There will always be short-term rental guests who have complaints, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. This is standard operating procedure. The way in which you respond to guest complaints, however, can have a significant impact on both their satisfaction and your establishment's standing.

In this article, we will discuss some tips on how to handle guest complaints in a professional and effective manner. We will cover topics such as:

  • Listening to your guests
  • Understanding their concerns
  • Resolving their issues
  • Following up

Listening to your short-term rental guests

Listening to the customer is the first step in resolving a complaint. This may seem like common sense, but make sure you pay attention to what your guest is saying. Don't jump in to defend yourself or suggest a remedy before hearing the whole complaint out.

After hearing them out, you should think about how you can help. Just what is it that they hate? Why do they feel so down? How can you make them content?

Understanding short-term rental guest concerns

The first step in finding a satisfactory answer to your guest's problems is to identify what those problems are. Being original and adaptable in your approach will get you far in life. Don't be shy about giving your guests something out of the ordinary.

If a guest is unhappy with the cleanliness of their accommodation, for instance, you may give them a complimentary cleaning or a discount on their next visit. You might provide earplugs or move the guest to a different floor if they are concerned about the noise level in the area.

Some examples of short-term rental guest complaints and solutions

Cleanliness: Guests will be dissatisfied if they arrive at a dirty residence. To avoid this, make sure the place is spotless before each new guest arrives. You could also consider getting some outside help from a professional cleaning service.

Solution: Apologise for the uncleanliness and offer to have the property cleaned again. You may also want to offer a partial refund or a voucher for a future stay.

Amenities: Guests may leave a property early if they find that it lacks a necessary amenity. Towels, sheets, and toilet paper should, at a minimum, be provided in your rental. Coffee machines, microwaves, and wireless Internet access are just a few examples of conveniences that guests may find useful if provided.

Solution: Apologise for the missing amenities and offer to provide them to your guests. You may also want to offer a partial refund or a voucher for a future stay.

Noise: Your guests may have a negative experience if your house is situated in a busy neighbourhood. You can prevent this by warning guests about the level of background noise when they make their reservation. You might also provide them with a noise machine or move them to a different floor.

Solution: Apologise for the noise and offer to find your guests a different room or a refund. You may also want to consider offering them a noise machine or earplugs. It's also a solution to setting expectations before the guest arrives. For example, make it known that the property is on a busy street.

Damage: It's possible that you'll have to foot the bill for any damage your guests cause to your property. Having guests sign a waiver prior to their arrival can help prevent damage. Purchasing coverage that covers your rental property is another option to think about. You can also request a deposit. On Airbnb, this can only be done via a channel manager like Uplisting. Perhaps it's a good way of adding some relevance to our product.

Solution: Apologise for the damage and offer to have it repaired. You may also want to ask your guests to pay for the cost of repairs.

Communication: Guests may get the impression that you don't value their time if you don't interact with them. Always get back to them as soon as possible when they contact you. Sending them a welcome message upon arrival and a thank-you message upon departure is also a nice touch.

Solution: Apologise for the lack of communication and make sure to respond to your guests' questions and concerns promptly in the future. You may also want to consider sending them a welcome message when they check in and a thank-you message when they check out. You can also set up automatic messages with Uplisting. 

Unprofessional behaviour: Your guests may make a fuss if they feel disrespected. Be nice and professional at all times to avoid this.

Solution: Apologise for your unprofessional behaviour and promise to do better in the future. You may also want to consider offering your guests a refund or a voucher for a future stay.

False advertising: Guests may complain if they find that your accommodations do not match the description. You can avoid this by providing a truthful description of your property online.

Solution: Apologise for the false advertising and offer to refund your guests' money or provide them with a comparable property.

Overbooking: Overbooking might result in dissatisfied guests. Avoid this by keeping meticulous track of your reservations and providing adequate lodging for all of your guests.

Solution: Overbooking or double bookings are very rare if you use vacation rental software like Uplisting, as it syncs calendars from different booking channels. 

Unexpected fees: Guests may get dissatisfied if they are hit with hidden charges. Make sure to lay out all of your costs up front to avoid any surprises.

Solution: Rather than offering a refund, make the fees clear up front. Offering a refund for every guest is not really a viable longterm approach.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your guests have a positive experience and that you avoid any complaints.

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