Reputation management is an important aspect of any business, and reviews can either make or break a business. With the rise of online travel agencies (OTAs), it has become increasingly important for businesses to stay on top of their reviews. As a matter of fact, research has shown that guests are more likely to trust properties with plenty of reviews than those with few or no reviews at all.
One of the most popular OTAs is Booking.com, which allows thousands of customers to leave reviews and form opinions about businesses on a daily basis. However, there is an element to consider other than just the amount of reviews: the rating. It comes as no surprise that negative reviews can greatly damage a business's status.
Normally, these reviews are accurate, and some of them can be impossible to delete on Booking.com. Still, there are cases when a review can be labeled as inappropriate or inaccurate. Thus, it is essential to understand how to take them down from Booking.com.
Can you delete negative reviews on Booking.com?
Before delving further into the process of removing reviews on Booking.com, it is important to remember that only verified users can leave feedback via this site, unlike Google and TripAdvisor. Suffice it to say that these hotel reviews are reliable because each user must have stayed at a certain property before being able to post a review on it. However, since a review is essentially an individual opinion, some content might not adhere to the necessary standards or be deemed irrelevant according to this website's rules and regulations.
As per Booking.com, there are only certain conditions in which a review can be removed:
- If the guest does not show up for a reservation and cancels a booking
- If it appears that the review may have been written with the goal of blackmailing you (requires written evidence)
- If the review is meant for another property
- If there is insufficient details about the guest’s experience
- If you cancel the guest’s booking because of invalid credit card
Like other OTAs, Booking.com endeavors to keep its site a safe public space. Thus, it also removes reviews that contain the following:
- Profanity, sexual references, hate speech, discriminatory remarks, threats, and offensive content
- Illegal activity
- Spam or fake content
- Personal or private details that could put a person in danger, such as social security numbers, government ID numbers, etc.
- Irrelevant information
You also have the right to ask Booking.com to remove a review if you believe that it violates any of these guidelines. Keep in mind, however, that the score will be approved for publication.
To request the removal of a review, inform Booking.com via Inbox on your extranet with 'Guest Reviews' as the subject title. They'll be able to help guide you through the process.
What else can you do to mitigate the impact of negative reviews?
Since one has no control over the negative reviews posted by the users, you have to opt for a viable solution. Sometimes an owner might disagree with the content of a review as it might be a little misleading or detrimental to a property’s reputation. There are some proactive approaches that can help to reduce the impact of negative reviews.
Contact the guest.
Reach out to the customer who wrote the negative review and, if appropriate, politely ask them to remove or update it - only that user has the power to change or delete their review. When engaging with customers, politely explain any faults in reviews, and look at these best practices when responding to online reviews in order to diffuse any negative emotions and gain the customer's trust. By contacting the guest and following this guideline, this shows that you value their feedback and are willing to do whatever is needed to improve their experience. If that is successful, your guests can edit their review. But here’s the tricky part: the process isn’t as fast as in other OTAs like TripAdvisor.
Guests who want to edit their reviews may get in touch with Booking.com either by telephone or logging into their account. If dialing, they would need to have their reservation number and PIN code ready. On the other hand, if they’re logging in, the review will be present on the account and an email can then be sent. A customer service agent from Booking.com can also help them further with the process. Afterwards, they will receive an email from Booking.com that will give them the chance to replace the old review with a new one.
Winning customers can help counteract negative reviews and, regardless of success, a proper and prompt response to their critical comment creates a positive impression on potential customers.
Follow-up offline with the guest.
Providing sincere follow-up to customers to address their concerns can have a good outcome. You could send them an apology email, invite them to come back and inform them of any issues you have resolved upon their request. If they are satisfied, ask them to edit or delete their review.
Respond to every review, even fake ones.
Responding individually to reviews demonstrates your commitment to customer service and establishes trust between you and your potential customers, as it shows that you can react appropriately to negative feedback.
Obviously, responding to every negative and positive review from Booking.com might seem like a daunting task. But it can feel like a walk in the park when using an AI Review Reply Assistant. This simple yet easy-to-use reply generator is trained to write professional and empathetic responses with a personal touch.
Our AI assistant can help free up your time so you can focus on your guests and your business.
How does the AI Review Reply Assistant work?
Using the MARA AI Review Reply Assistant is fairly straightforward: You just have to copy and paste a review on Booking.com to the text box and hit “Generate Reply”. Our tool will automatically give you a reply that you can send to the guest.
Upon clicking “Generate Reply,” MARA will generate a summary of points from the review followed by a human-like personalized response to the customer feedback. Best of all, if you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can regenerate a new one or you can also freely customize the message as much as possible, so that it fits your brand’s style and tone. By using an AI Review Generator like MARA, you’ll be able to quickly craft personalized responses in just a few seconds–making it easier and more convenient to respond to all customer feedback. You’ll be surprised to see how much customer engagement arises from responding in a timely and appropriate manner to reviews.
To learn more about how to use MARA, check out this demo or sign up here to try it for free.