Common Guest Complaints and How to Prevent Them – Part 2/2

Continuing on from last week’s blog subject, we’d like to share the next three most common guest complaints we’ve seen after decades in the business, and some insights as to how to prevent and resolve them.


One of the most disappointing experiences for guests is receiving a notification just days before check-in that their booking was cancelled due to a conflict.  Maybe you promised the house to a family member or arranged for another booking on the same days and forgot to block off the calendar.  Unfortunately, double bookings are a common issue in the self-managed holiday rental game. They’re costly mistakes too, because they almost certainly result in a guest complaint and/or negative rating.  Plus, put yourself in the guest’s shoes – what if they are travelling from interstate, or overseas, and don’t have cancellation insurance?!  Be diligent about updating your calendar – and if you do end up with a double booking, find a fair solution for the guests, like an equivalent holiday rental, prompt refund of any monies paid, or discounted rates for another date.


Guests book based on what they see in your listing.  If your property has changed in any noticeable way, update your listing and communicate the differences to upcoming guests; that way, they won’t be disappointed to find the spa on the terrace is gone or that your large dining room table has been replaced with a small bistro table.  Should something slip through the cracks and you neglect to warn future guests, be open to offering a partial refund or a gift to make up for the disappointment.


 No one will have a five-star experience if you’re short on towels, sheets, and a starter kit of items such as toilet paper.  When basic comforts aren’t there and guests have arrived late at night when local supermarkets have already closed, they’re understandably going to be frustrated.  You can nip complaints like this in the bud by providing plenty of supplies.  The additional effort and expense will be well worth it when your property consistently receives rave reviews for having everything guests need to be comfortable.


If a guest does complain, the most important series of reactions you should have are: 1 -remain calm, 2 – put yourself in their shoes, 3 – do the right thing, and 4 – see what you can learn from the situation.  If your home wasn’t cleaned before they checked in, waive the cleaning fee and get the property serviced ASAP.  If there’s a major maintenance problem which prevents guests from enjoying the property, refund their money and help them find another place to stay.  If they couldn’t get in touch with someone about an issue, apologise and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Mistakes happen and it’s not the end of the world.  But you do need to maintain a positive reputation if you count on making money.  You’re in the hospitality business and that requires you to anticipate guests’ needs and go above and beyond when things go wrong.  It is a lot of work, but if you can make sure you can commit to the task 100%, the end result is worth it:

However, if you can’t dedicate the time required to give guests the perfect holiday experience, consider how can help.  We only engage with the most reputable suppliers and cleaning companies and have an infallible system which ensures bookings are always impeccably coordinated, and nothing ever falls through the cracks.  We’ll make sure your property is regularly checked and inform you of any maintenance issues so your investment is always in tip-top condition.  Contact us to find out more.

Written by nab79 • June 20, 2019
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