3 steps to handle Airbnb guest issues and complaints. Sound too good to be true? After hosting more than 3,000 stays in our ten Airbnbs - trust us we've dealt with plenty of nightmare guests and situations, and we're happy to share the steps we follow to help salvage guests' stays and keep 5-star reviews!
It is impossible to be in hopitality industry and never encounter an issue. To err is human, and there are a lot of humans involved in your Airbnb's success. The two most important factors in any crisis situation are how you handle the problem and how you treat the people involved.
Step 1: Listen to Your Guest as They Communicate the Issue
Do not interrupt your guest with a defensive answer or even an helpful solution. Unhappy people want the opportunity to be heard. Giving your guest time to explain their issues allows them to vent their emotions. Being a good listener shows that you are a good host and truly care about what is happening in your Airbnb.
Step 2: Acknowledge the Problem
Once your Airbnb guest has finished telling you what the issue is, acknowledge it. Apologize for the problem and empathize with how that problem made the guest feel. You can even share how disappointed/upset you feel as a host due to the issue and the guest not having the best possible experience that you strive to give to all of your bookings.
Step 3: Communicate with Your Guest About the Best Way to Solve the Problem
It is important to offer your guest the resolution that works best for them. You can suggest several options to solve the issue they have encountered. For example, if the porch lights are burned out, you can offer to send someone (housekeeper or handyperson) to replace the bulbs. Some guests will like this option, while others would prefer to be issued a small refund and replace the light bulbs themselves.
Often, a guest simply wants to communicate an issue, and once you empathize with them, they are no longer upset and don't require immediate attention. These guests will not want anything done about the lights, so you can change the bulbs after they check out. By giving your guests options, you allow them to select what will make them the happiest and salvage their stay.
Pro Tip: Keep ALL Messaging on the Airbnb Platform
If you take a guest phone call, be sure to summarize the conversation in a follow up message on the platform, afterwards. This serves the dual purpose of keeping the guest abreast of all steps in the solution and providing documentation if Airbnb customer support gets involved.