Manage your Online Reputation with TripAdvisor
Consumers are not just price shoppers, review info matters
I recently took a course in managing your online reputation offered by Tripadvisor and Cornell University. The following is an abbreviated version of what I took away from that course. The collection of all reviews, personal and professional (like Forbes travel blog) serve to create your online reputation. If you lack reviews that says something about you too. Not answering good and bad reviews makes you seem like you are not paying attention or don’t care. The online community now relies on consumer reviews more than ever and more than anything else. You must monitor and manage this collective opinion. If you are not in the higher search results you will not even be considered by prospective guests. If your ranking is low you will be lower down on the list. Whether or not, and how a manager responds to reviews strongly influences all future guests. Use the reviews to improve and better focus your services offered and to evaluate your performance and the management of the resort on a whole. Receive honest insights in to how your resort employees are performing and if you are delivering on what you advertise.
Take steps to assess your online reputation
Monitor what is being said about your business, change based on the feedback and encourage past guests to review you again. What are the gaps between your guest’s expectations and the services you deliver? These days your reputation is controlled by the guests. Focus on Tripadvisor, Facebook and Twitter. The properties that have the most success are the ones where people at all levels are involved. In the past a satisfied guest would tell 3 others and a dissatisfied one would tell 10. Now a guest can reach millions and bad reviews are sitting there forever… what this means for your business – you must raise the bar because every stay has the potential to change your reputation for better or worse. People have changed how they plan a trip. They now rely heavily on reviews. They get to see the wisdom of the crowd. With 34 countries now using Tripadvisor they get an incredible amount of depth. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are if you give great service and fulfill expectations travelers will put you in the top lists and get you awards.
Use methods for responding to online customer feedback
Social Media makes our customers our marketers. You can not only read the reviews, you must respond to them so that guests will see that you care. This applies to all social media. Someone should be monitoring and responding daily and hourly. People want attention, they want to heard, acknowledged, helped. You can give an in-depth reply and a personal reply when utilizing the employees who actually interacted with that guest. On Tripadvisor your responses are seen by the world not just your Facebook friends or twitter followers. Reviews carry more weight than ads and are read by people who want to book now. 53% of people will not book until they have read reviews. 73% use photos from other travelers to help them decide. 80% percent want the latest reviews with the freshest feedback.
Understand the correlation between online reputation and revenue
How reviews affect conversions. A guest may visit reviews five times before going to the site and booking, the percentage of guests visiting Tripadvisor before booking and the # of reviews they read has increased steadily over time. A 1% increase in their reputation score leads to a .54% increase in occupancy. Reviews have more of an impact on travel planning than other social media. There is no better resource for a planner than a review from a traveler who has just been there.
Employ helpful tactics for incorporating customer feedback into day-to-day operations
The people on TA are there because they are ready to take a vacation. Most sites for travel are using reviews to rank the properties listed. 86% want free in room Wi-Fi, 80% free breakfast, 79% want ecofriendly practices. You must offer what your potential guests are looking for. Install portable hotspots for WiFi in rooms with bad reception. Offer a free breakfast buffet for all guests and make it nice. In today’s world being as eco-friendly as possible is a must. Congratulate and reward your staff for great reviews. To showcase your hard work you can include a direct feed of Tripadvisor reviews on your sites.
Develop an action plan for managing your property’s online reputation based on best practices from Cornell University faculty and Tripadvisor
After price a review is the biggest influencer on a potential booker. 74% of travelers write reviews to share a good experience they had and only 5% say they focus on bad reviews when searching for a resort. An appropriate response affects 84% of travelers positively. You can download a template for building an action plan and Create an action plan during the free course offered below. If you or your management/marketing staff would like to take the course offered by Cornell and Tripadvisor sign up here. It is quick and easy and informative.