10 JUNE 2019 / INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
No silver bullet: how to encourage great TripAdvisor reviews
Ask any hospitality business owner what ranks as one of their highest fears, and they’re likely to point to a string of poor TripAdvisor reviews.
That’s a shame, because research by Yelp suggests that a one ⭐️ increase in average customer reviews could result in a 5-9% uplift in revenue.
TripAdvisor’s dominance of the review space in hospitality isn’t new. In 2015, research by ReviewPro revealed that the overwhelming majority of hoteliers believe TripAdvisor to be very or extremely important to their brand.
So, how do you get great TripAdvisor reviews?
The bad news (but don’t despair!)
There’s no secret formula to gaining great reviews on TripAdvisor (or any feedback platform, for that matter).
Great TripAdvisor reviews will only surface if you run a great hospitality business, but there are some strategies you can put in place to ensure people head to the world’s most important review site with favourable comments in mind about your property.
Ask guests to leave a review!
There’s a misnomer that you’re pulling strings that shouldn’t be pulled if you ask guests to leave a review.
In reality, this is one of the best things you can do. Asking guests to leave positive reviews is bad practice, of course, but if you politely ask them to head over to TripAdvisor to tell you what they thought of their experience, you’re doing nothing wrong.
Remind your staff that it’s a positive question to ask. It demonstrates that you take feedback seriously and aren’t afraid to hear exactly what they think of your establishment.
What’s more, this gives you the chance to sniff out any potential problems before they make their way online; some guests may feel compelled at check out to air any issues they have when the word ‘review’ is mentioned. Thus, you can work on fixing those issues and turn what might have been a poor review into a positive one.
Provide an unforgettable experience
It’s often the small things that count towards an unforgettable hotel stay or a meal out. Provide enough of those small things to guests, and your business will live long in their memory - for the right reasons.
Leave a personalised note when they check into their room with a complimentary bottle of wine or, for repeat guests, tap into their past stay behaviour and preferences to deliver a service that appears tailored for them.
The more time you invest in the guest experience, the more likely you are to receive great reviews on TripAdvisor - it’s that simple.
Don’t deviate from who you are
You entered the world of hospitality for a reason, and your business has it’s own ethos, personality and values.
Deviate from those elements of the business that have made it a success, and the experience you deliver to each guest will vary. In turn, the reviews you receive will vary in quality - and that’s not a particularly healthy thing for your brand image.
Most importantly, ensure the entire team understands why the business has its own values and how they relate to each and every role. The more cohesive you are as a business, the more likely you are to have a team that people want to praise online.
Respond to as many reviews as possible
If you’ve ever hunted through TripAdvisor for a hotel or restaurant, you’ll doubtless have been impressed by the businesses who play an active role on the site themselves.
By responding to reviews (good and bad), you’ll demonstrate to any passers-by that you value guest feedback. Thank those who say kind things and promise any unhappy guests that you’ll make things right and act on their criticisms.
Be generous wherever you can
If there’s one thing that’s likely to incite bad reviews, it’s meanness or bad value for money. Restaurants and hotels that appear unwilling to go one step further for customers will almost definitely feel the wrath of a bad review at some stage.
Free, fast WiFi, complimentary coffee and free upgrades when you’re able to offer them are just some of the ways you can be generous as a hospitality business.
Listen to guests and act on feedback
Providing you have a way to ethically collect guest data (starting with their email address - it remains one of the most cost-effective ways to communicate in the digital economy), you have the opportunity to listen and act on what they tell you about their experience.
Send surveys and post-stay messages to gain feedback before it hits TripAdvisor - and act on what people tell you.
When you make changes, shout loudly about it on your website and social media; prove that you invest your time in constantly improving your ability to create brilliant guest experiences.
TripAdvisor shouldn’t be feared; it’s a platform that could prove transformative for your hospitality business.
- ask for guests reviews;
- be true to your brand - always;
- respond to reviews; and
- get to - and act on - the bad feedback before it makes its way online.
Did you know that 87% of diners pick a restaurant based on its online reviews? Discover more fascinating facts and find out how to rank higher on TripAdvisor by using guest WiFi in our brilliant video guide.