TripAdvisor: The importance of Management Responses

With over 455 million visitors every month, there is no doubt that TripAdvisor nowadays dominates the travel industry at a global level. From researching and booking all the services for their next trip to posting reviews, these visitors do a variety of hits on services along with submitting almost 290 new reviews every minute! This feedback cycle starts from the reviewer, but it will be the registered owner, the last one to add on and speak on behalf of the property listed.

Why it Matters

Firstly, let’s make it clear, you don’t want to lose a beat out of an industry as competitive as hospitality. It takes seconds for a potential customer to click back and scroll down to find another property on a Booking Engine. It might be the case that you had experienced a bad run of negative reviews and you prefer to have your page’s listing magically disappear from Tripadvisor, thus you struggle to see the whole process as a support to your business.

It is a common fact that every now and then, operations fail to succeed and mistakes occur into firms of the industry. As a result, disappointed customers turn to TripAdvisor to submit how wrong things have gone and discourage potential visitors from reaching you out. You are sceptical around it, but here is the thing…Regardless of all those sabotaging, fake or crazy reviews, there are millions of pragmatic and logical users out there that visit TripAdvisor daily to make decisions on whether to give your business a go or not. On the other side of the debate, it’s you and the organization that stretches to find multiple options that will help SEO and drive its sales, bookings and revenue up.

Connect the Dots

It won’t be a straight line since reviews are like spikes, but responding to them is both critical and fundamental to avoid a lasting negative impact on your branding and financial performance. Take the time to listen to your customers’ feedback, acknowledge their perspective and respond, and you will strengthen your brand’s reputation, sales and revenue. Recent study by the Harvard Business Review confirmed that the two are positively related to higher review scores and overall ratings. Still unsure about it?

How to Respond

Jump on your customer’s shoes! Focus on crafting a response that will create a lasting impression to your potential next customer’s eyes. Since TripAdvisor allows only one review per experience to be submitted without further comments on the thread, registered business owners or operators can answer with only one Management Response to it. Therefore, your Management Response becomes your final word on a specific review, and along with TA’s basic guidelines on this, here are our top tips to optimize it:

1. Decide on a Style and Convey your Voice

Since there is no face to face interaction with your reviewer, you will have to pick your words and sentence structure wisely, especially when it comes to answering negative reviews. Back to your potential customers, what will be the tone you would use to attract them to your property? You may find useful to go through the language and brand values developed for your marketing material and adapt it accordingly to your Management Response. A friendly and confident style could be a good start to allow your brand to come to life. You failed to fulfil a client’s expectations and a bad review just landed, that’s perfectly fine! Take the opportunity to address it and neutralize its impact by showing your potential customers that you take customer satisfaction seriously and use it to improve your service quality.

2. Make it Personal

Since there is no face to face interaction with your reviewer, you will have to pick your words and sentence structure wisely, especially when it comes to answering negative reviews. Back to your potential customers, what will be the tone you would use to attract them to your property? You may find useful to go through the language and brand values developed for your marketing material and adapt it accordingly to your Management Response. A friendly and confident style could be a good start to allow your brand to come to life. You failed to fulfil a client’s expectations and a bad review just landed, that’s perfectly fine! Take the opportunity to address it and neutralize its impact by showing your potential customers that you take customer satisfaction seriously and use it to improve your service quality.

3. Deliver the “Ask”

You will probably have already invested in tools, widgets or other technical ways to remind your customers to leave a review that will help you build reputation and raise traffic. However, we believe that when it comes to collecting their reviews, the most valuable asset is the relationship your staff builts with your customers. If your team has delivered amazing customer service and the guest had a positive experience, why not spread the word? All you have to do is to ask – consistently and with tact. Sending a personalized “Thank you” email to your recent guests is both a great way to raise your fans and request their review through a clickable link.

On another note, you should always remind your staff that the check out process is fundamental to achieve a great review. Your team needs to check and make sure that everything worked out well for the customer and encourage them to leave a review when they depart. Getting it even further, customising the manager’s business card with a short phrase on the back to encourage a TripAdvisor review delivered with a handshake, definitely leaves them with the idea that you are approachable and care for their opinion.

The Future of Reviews

Fast-forward to today, any customer can say almost anything and influence in the very first place with a review. With TripAdvisor being the world’s largest community of reviewers, it is without a doubt a leader to be followed closely, especially when plans to get major publishers like National Geographic and social media influencers into the game have revealed earlier this year. To stay up to date and higher on the rank, make sure you follow up how its ranking works since there are continuing efforts to enhance the site’s experience and reflect more accurately a business’s performance. Whilst TA doesn’t share with the public the secret sauce of its complex algorithm into detail, it does share the basic that you need to know about its Popularity Ranking. Taking them into account, we recommend you make the most of it by creating a strategy so you consistently improve your ratings instead of leaving your brand’s reputation and the benefits it can bring to chance.

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