TripAdvisor is the world’s most visited travel website, with about 30 million users and rising.
It is now a vital booking tool for hotels, as well as being the go-to travel review website. More than a quarter of UK holidaymakers use TripAdvisor to research their holiday options before booking, according to the World Travel Market Industry report.
It is therefore not surprising that many hotel owners and managers view TripAdvisor with trepidation.
But approached with the right attitude, this powerful tool can be used to boost bookings, reputation and customer engagement.
Here are our tips on how to make TripAdvisor friend not foe.
Don’t fear it
Nearly two thirds (63%) of all the reviews posted on TripAdvisor are positive, according to research by Revinate and Colliers International.
The number of positive reviews increases based on the star level of the hotel. Five-star hotels receive positive reviews about 80% of the time, for four-star reviews this falls to 70%. This suggests that ultimately it is good service and positive guest experiences that will dictate whether you get good TripAdvisor rankings. Ensure you provide great service and you should have nothing to fear!
Avon Data’s PMS Hotel Executive assists with both back office and front of house operations, freeing up staff to focus upon giving guests the best possible stay.
One bad review will not ruin you
More than 200 contributions are made on TripAdvisor every minute globally. To manage this amount of activity, the company has created an algorithm that gives visitors the most accurate hotel ranking information rather than just the most recent results.
The Popularity Ranking algorithm provides travelers with an overall ranking for a hotel over a period of time. So, if you consistently gain positive reviews from your guests, you will be able to climb in the rankings and retain your spot even if one bad review from a particularly difficult customer gives you a knock.
Engage with reviewers
Respond to reviews you receive promptly and professionally and you can turn a negative into a positive. Thank guests for staying at your hotel and remain polite and professional throughout, even if the review is critical.
Take a proactive approach to feedback, to demonstrate you will learn from, and act upon it, where possible. This will show potential future guests you listen and take customer service seriously.
Ask for feedback
Proactively seek feedback from guests on their stay at check-out. That way, if they have been dissatisfied with anything they have the chance to air it in person, rather than online and you may prevent a negative review!
Consider sending automated emails to guests following their stay, encouraging them to leave feedback on TripAdvisor or similar review sites. This may be the reminder people need to leave a great review and means you escape the curse of only hearing from those who have grievances.
Our Hotel Executive guest engagement module is particularly helpful for this as it can be set up to send out automated tailored emails before and after a guest’s stay to maximise up-selling and marketing opportunities – but also ask for feedback. Hotels can even embed their TripAdvisor page within the guest engagement emails, to make it super quick and easy for people to leave reviews.
TripAdvisor can help you
If your hotel provides a great service, this will be reflected on TripAdvisor. This means that as long as you and your staff are doing a great job, you should view TripAdvisor as a great promotional tool where your many happy guests can rave about your hotel.
If you would like more advice on how we can help with this, then please get in touch.