5 tips to manage your online reputation on Trip Advisor

practicalities - Vietnam: May 23, 2014

It would be a dream job if you were the manager of a hotel or restaurant where day-to-operations always ran smoothly. How lovely would it be to walk around your business seeing everyone with big smiles on their faces? However, reality is far from this illusion and running these businesses comes with a price: dealing with unsatisfied and disappointed customers who didn’t receive the treatment they expected.
In that vein, TripAdvisor has gained huge popularity in the hospitality sector, serving as the main platform where users interact, exchanging both positive and negative reviews. Whether a hotelier or restaurant manager, these 5 tips will help you manage your TripAdvisor’s profile efficiently. Let’s jump right into them:

1. Numbers don’t lie

TripAdvisor recently announced the results of a study that underscores how essential online traveller reviews are in the research and booking process. After surveying 12,225 respondents from around the world, 67% of them check this site a few times a month and more than 80% say the site’s reviews help them feel more confident in their travel decisions while making them have a better trip . Therefore, our first advice is plain and simple: give TripAdvisor the credit it deserves; the numbers don’t lie!

2. Be attentive

Respond to ALL reviews, not only the negative ones. Just as you do with negative feedback, you need to take great care in crafting each response to ensure that you don’t come across as artificial; instead sound thoughtful and show a listening ear to your customers. In the study aforementioned, 87% of users agree that an appropriate management response to a bad review, “improves my impression of the hotel”.

3. Handle negative reviews 

First of all, thanking the customer for taking the time to write a review is always a great starting point. While an apology is customary when responding to negative experiences, managers usually leave out a couple important points when crafting their response: provide a specific plan of how the hotel will fix the problem and invite the customer to visit again. While you don’t want to make false promises that can’t be kept, explain a course of action that you truly intend on executing. And of course, always leave the doors of your business open so they can come back and check the improvements for themselves.

4. Earn your badges

How travellers use reviews poses another intriguing question for hoteliers and restaurant managers. When asked how TripAdvisor users view the reviews, a few key points came to the forefront: traveller-submitted photos and TripAdvisor awards have a large impact on a user’s attitude towards a venue. Contrary to that, extreme comments in reviews are generally ignored. Therefore, earn your badges for your online reputation and your customers will do the rest of the work.

5. Timely and professional responses towards reviewers

When browsing profiles on TripAdvisor, users usually focus on recent reviews (both positive and negative) to get the freshest perspective. In the study mentioned earlier, 80% of respondents read at least 6-12 reviews before making their decision; however, they stated that they are most interested in recent reviews that will give them the latest news about the venue.

All in all, TripAdvisor keeps on proving itself as the top platform for response management in the hospitality sector. And they are on the rise as they continuously grow releasing new features such as the Hotel Price Comparison function (Meta search). Responding to customer’s reviews not only shows the public that you are engaged and care, but also helps build loyalty among your more loyal clients and even builds bridges with those who may not have had a positive experience at your venue. For something that doesn’t take a lot of dedication, the return on your efforts is immense.

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