The importance of TripAdvisor to the ongoing success of your resort is well documented. Not only will having a good rating increase the appeal of your resort, but it will also drive more bookings.
Indeed, with 96 per cent of travelers admitting reviews are essential in their booking decisions, making sure your reviews are good and managing the feedback process is a crucial activity for any resort marketing team.
Of course, there are some basics that you need to cover, which you can identify with an audit of your listing following TripAdvisor’s guidelines.
First, you must make sure that you provide the best customer experience possible. Be welcoming, responsive and exceed their expectations from the first point of contact.
At this time, make sure it is easy to book your accommodations with clear and easy instructions on how to cancel if necessary.
Then, set their expectations by ensuring all your information is up to date and precise – on both your TripAdvisor page and your website.
This includes checking your contact details, email addresses, website links, opening times and using strong photos that accurately reflect your property today. Don’t forget to update them regularly. Include images of your reception area (guests find it reassuring), rooms and amenities.
Finally, make sure you have checked all the relevant tick boxes and categories applicable to your property. This will make it much easier for guests to filter and find you.
But there is more than you can do. While you can’t manipulate the algorithm, three factors impact your ranking – quantity, quality and recency.
Here are 13 tips to help you in these critical TripAdvisor areas:
1 The more reviews you have, the easier it is for TripAdvisor to rank your property accurately. So, link to your TripAdvisor page on your website and remind past guests who visit your site to review you.
2 Encourage all guests to leave a review – even if they might be negative. You can respond appropriately and take on board their comments.
3 If you have a TripAdvisor reward, display it prominently in your reception and on your website.
4 Include your credentials on posters, business cards or printouts and place them in reception and on any check-out documentation to encourage guests to review you on TripAdvisor.
5 Set up automated post-stay emails that ask guests to review you.
6 Work on a process that keeps reviews coming all year round, including low season. Recent reviews carry more weight than dated reviews which can lower your ranking.
7 Don’t try to trick the system by asking friends and families to write reviews. They need to be authentic and genuine.
8 Respond to all your reviews to show prospective guests that you value feedback and provide the best guest experience.
9 Act on any feedback as soon as possible and fix any recurring issues.
10 Provide photo opportunities around your resort or hotel and encourage your guests to post these on TripAdvisor.
11 Work with your staff, so they understand the importance of reviews to your success.
12 Don’t give your guests something to write a bad review about, such as extra charges. Instead, provide drinking water, wi-fi access, shuttle buses, travel confirmation printing free of charge.
13 Look into software technology that will help you monitor and manage your hotel rankings.
Although TripAdvisor is critical for your business, it is not the only place where your customers will leave reviews. Monitor Expedia, Booking.com, Google My Business, Facebook and local review pages.
Many resorts choose to ignore review sites because they don’t want to expose themselves to criticism or don’t have the resources to manage responses. But this could result in lost business.
TripAdvisor recommends that rather than be fearful, view critical feedback as an opportunity to thank the reviewer for their feedback. Use it as an opportunity to improve and attract more business. Thoughtful management responses can increase future bookings, so there’s nothing to lose.