Getting Great Guest Reviews

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    Karin Nussbaumer

    Dear Tara

    well written comment, we totally agree!

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    Tara Steigenberger

    Thank you, Karin!


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    Nick & Karen Kokic'

    I never ask for a review from our guests, I always look forward to reading the reviews though.

    Once we get a booking I respond right away by e:mail and thank them for booking with us.

    We always greet them at the door and do our paper work before going to the room I find it works best

    that way and go over a few things with them such as what is for breakfast and tell them when it will be served.

    I also chit chat with them about their holiday. Yes, I admit sometimes I talk too much sometimes!

    Many guests hug me when they leave, I am always honored by the gesture because it comes from their heart. 

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    "I never ask for a review from our guests, I always look forward to reading the reviews though" from Karen and Nick..I do not agree with this..except when one has a negative unhappy stay, remembering they may be there for many reasons, relationship make up, celebration of negative and positive things, holiday? and we ll try and give the things Tara, Karin and Nick and Karen give, which are good guest things?,  then a comment like, "thankyou for letting us know, we will address this shortly and the next time you come it will be sorted and will include a bottle of champagne" or something like that?, however if the guest raves about their stay, those who ask get the great review?, which you can read...(snigger)?...but guests traveling are normally going to many places hopefully as cool as yours?..thus your last comment will hopefully, be remembered and you could get the nice review?

    We work to hard, to make it perfect,and to ask guests for a cool review, I think is in order?

    I hope this makes sense?



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    Tara Steigenberger

    I forgot to include that at the end of every month I send a link to the guest to review their experience on TripAdvisor, and prompt them about how to write a review (i.e. "talk about what you liked or didn't and why".) when we get bad reviews (about 2%), we use them as opportunities to explain things about the B&B. We also use those reviews as opportunities to fine-tune our service or amenities.

    Sometimes the guest is just cranky and too hard to please. In that case, we let them know we regret that they didn't enjoy themselves and hope their next vacation is better. But we never grovel. Lol.


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    Alannah Sheriland

    I only have one tip to get great ratings..........treat guests like you would like to be treated.

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    Tara Steigenberger

    Hi Alannah:

    We get guests from all over the world. And we've learned that what is wonderful treatment for Canadians, is not wonderful treatment for Chinese. So we learn a teeny bit about the different cultures and keep that in mind at all times. :)


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    I get great reviews by giving every guest individual attention, especially when they arrive and by just doing a few basic things. 

    I take the time to walk them through the establishment they are renting and explaining every detail my experience with previous guests had taught me might be a problem or cause difficulty for them.

    I have an information booklet that lists the restaurants in town, classified according to price and also offer information regarding essentials like taxi services.

    I write a welcome card in their language of preference and hand it over with a small welcome gift upon their arrival.

    I communicate with the guests regularly from time of booking to arrival to ensure they feel comfortable regarding the booking.

    Furthermore, I do agree with Allanah, I treat them as I would like to be treated.  Friendliness is understood and appreciated across all cultures.

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    Kathleen Steeves

    We are very proud of our guest review score - 9.8/10.  I always ask our guests for a review & their bill includes a gentle reminder - many guests are not aware of how important reviews are for our business.

    When guests arrive, they are welcomed with a glass of wine, tea or coffee as well as a cheese & fruit tray. They are given a tour of our 1860 home & encouraged to use the common spaces if they wish. Our two course breakfast is completely home made including the bread, muffins & preserves and if guests arrive late & the restaurants are closed, we offer home made soup & bread & freshly baked pie.

    We provide all washroom amenities, including soaps that are hand crafted using herbs from our extensive gardens. If they wish a tour of the gardens (they usually do) we'll take them around & answer any questions. We often send guests on their way with a potted herb and, always, with muffins for the road.

    I believe it's these little touches as well as offering the very best quality whether it be food, mattresses & linens that drive great guest reviews. Many guests love to chat & spend time with their hosts but, some want quiet space.  It is important to have a "feel" for what they want.


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    The answer to this is become a member of Visit England,the countries official Tourism body which requires you to be inspected yearly and provides practical advice on how to run your business , keep up to date with the law and how to treat guests

    Common sense and experience are great but not enough as we can always learn something new

    So many accommodation providers "self assess" themselves usually giving themselves a 4 star rating without a clue of  all of the criteria need for any level of official  star rating !

    No doubt many  self assessed owners will reply to my comments saying "rubbish" since they have great reviews. Thats a fair comment but since the reviewers do not know the criteria for different star ratings they are making a subjective review only !

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    Judith Falk

    There's no such thing as a bad review, in my opinion.  Unhappy guests are an opportunity to look at what we're doing, what works, and what doesn't.  And it's a great chance to take the negative review and turn it around, accentuating the positive aspects of our property while taking note of the concerns or issues raised by guests.  We do actively solicit reviews, and I answer every one of them, often within 48 hours.  I believe that it is extremely important to future guests to see that we are responsive to both positive and negative feedback, and answering criticism in a non-defensive way is crucial.    

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    Tara Steigenberger

    Hi Judith:

    That's a great comment about no review is a bad review. My co-manager, Scott, feels the same way. I am working on sharing that attitude! My hang-up is that I sometimes take it personally. (sheepish grin)

    But we have a formula for answering reviews, good and negative. We do what you do and use it as an opportunity for education about the B&B. And we try our hardest to fix the issue if we can (i.e. bad mattress, something not operational in the room etc.)

    We also answer each review immediately.


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    Tara I want to stay with you, you sound amazing!


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