Let’s be honest: no one likes guest complaints and negative reviews. However, they’re a fact of life, especially for the businesses operating within the hospitality industry.

A worrisome aspect is that only 4% of unsatisfied customers complain, according to a study published by 1st Financial Training Services. This means that 96% of them will simply leave and never return. While some of those people might leave a bad online review about a business that has fallen short of expectations, the vast majority will share their negative experiences only with their friends and relatives.

Even though a total lack of guest complaints and negative online reviews might seem to be a good thing for a vacation rental management business, quite the opposite is true. Let’s find out why and how complaints and negative reviews can actually help your company.  

They Can Help You Identify Your Company’s Weaknesses

The worst part about the aforementioned scenario isn’t necessarily that the unhappy guests who don’t complain won’t recommend the vacation rentals you manage to others; it’s the fact that you’ll never find out the reasons behind their bad experiences. A guest who complains about some of the amenities and/or services you provide can help you understand what you’re doing wrong and what areas of your business you should improve.

For instance, if a guest complains about your check-out procedures, you can use his or her feedback to see if there’s anything you can do to improve your check-out process. Similarly, different complaints and negative reviews might provide valuable insights into other areas of your business that need improvement. 

They Give Potential Guests a Sense of the Worst-Case Scenario

By reading the complaints and negative reviews left by previous guests, potential guests find out what exactly went wrong. This could help them determine how much the bad experiences described by previous guests would have mattered to them. Also, if you have already replied to comments, your responses will show not only your ability to handle difficult or unexpected situations but also how much you care about your guests and the properties you oversee. This is pretty important to today’s traveler.                                    

Remember that a bad review will impact your business forever only if you choose to ignore it. Depending on how you respond to complaints and bad reviews and the solutions you provide, you can demonstrate that your company is trustworthy and reliable, and even turn a negative guest experience into a positive one. What’s more, a guest who was pleased with how you managed a problem might update the negative review to a more positive one.  

They Challenge the Status Quo

Regardless of how many vacation rentals your company operates and what software solutions you use, all the tasks that you need to complete on a daily basis can make you lose sight of the bigger picture and turn your business into a routine operation. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that your company is failing, it’s a huge red flag indicating that your business has stopped evolving and adapting. You may have even stopped looking for new ways to gain more guests, overcome your competition, and grab more market share. This can lead to failure.

Luckily, guest complaints and negative reviews can be a reality check for your organization and a reminder that you’re in an industry where expectations evolve continuously. Since complaints and negative reviews challenge the way things are done within your company, they can help you keep up with guest expectations and give you the opportunity to identify new ways of growing, developing, and improving your business. 

They Can Help You Choose the Right Lodging Management Solution

If you’re in the market for a PMS solution, an important thing to consider is that, when guests report something, they expect a fast response. Therefore, make sure that the lodging management system you intend to choose for your company has the necessary features in place in order to allow you to respond quickly and effectively to all guest questions, requests, and complaints.

We know that responding in a suitable and timely manner is only half the battle. However, a system that’s integrated with direct messaging functionality, which allows guests to send you real-time messages, gives you the opportunity not only to intervene before problems get worse but also to solve different issues and compensate guests for the inconvenience caused before they leave the property. This could help you avoid negative online reviews later on. What’s more, how quickly you respond and how you handle complaints might convince the guests to return and even to recommend your vacation rentals to others.

If you’re looking for a reliable PMS solution that could help you improve your business while also building a better relationship with your guests, feel free to try out our software. Integrated with a complete suite of features, including advanced CRM functionality, JANIIS can help you proactively engage with all of your guests, allowing you to reduce complaints and negative reviews.