Monday, 15 July 2013

"Why do so few Hotels respond to reviews on TripAdvisor?"

One month ago Robin Bruce, our CEO, posed a question on Linkedin’s Hotels Group Network


"Why do so few hotels respond to reviews on TripAdvisor?"

So far 209 contributions have been received from industry professionals, many of them GMs.

What have we learned from this discussion? 


That good hotels and their GM’s take reviews very seriously, and, given time and resources, WOULD RESPOND to ALL reviews


That TripAdvisor does matter to you 

Like it or not, almost everyone checks TripAdvisor before booking – right across the price/location range, from 5* deluxe to Vanuatu. So ignoring TripAdvisor is not a realistic option. ‘Engagement’ has to be your byword


That good hotels want efficient ways to manage their online reputations

Some of you are already responding to every review posted, but that does nothing to deflect the negative reviews – you need a credible mechanism to do that, both in hotel and post-checkout


That you want to reclaim the conversation with guests from TripAdvisor and all the other external forums


You need to be able to invite all your guests to tell you about their stay. Good CRM goes part of the way, but to be really efficient (credible) the mechanism needs to be operated by a third party


That hotels need to manage their online reputations to achieve good RevPAR/GOPPAR


All the top-ranked hotels on TripAdvisor, wherever in the world they may be, succeed financially as well. In London or New York or Paris being in the top 100 makes life a whole lot easier; occupancy is not an issue, rates are hard, discounting is almost unheard of. Contracts are (re)negotiated from a position of strength


That you need help so you can get on and run your hotels...

Many (but not all) of you mentioned how hard you found it to respond consistently (or, indeed, at all).


Those that did respond to all reviews were still struggling with public negatives, and this was reflected in their rankings.


SO…


The ideal solution is a mechanism that:


1.     Gets reviews to your own site

2.     Enables you to respond to negatives in private

3.     Enables your to respond to negatives before they are posted to TripAdvisor (or anywhere else)

4.     Gets positive reviews posted to TripAdvisor

5.     Responds to all reviews on TripAdvisor on your behalf

6.     Works 365 days a year (even when you are on holiday, off shift etc.)

7.     Encourages direct booking

8.     Saves OTA commissions

9.     Puts your hotel in a positive position when negotiating contracts

10. Makes your offers to prospective guests work exceptionally well


Our clients already know the answer, and of course it’s Dialogue.

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