This post was prompted by a recent article (title above - no names...) that gave advice to hoteliers about how to manage their presence on TripAdvisor. It contained statements that we see repeated every day, statements that make sense until you know how people really behave in relation to reviews.
That's what we do for a living: review management. And nothing else. So here are our comments on the points (somewhat bizarrely there were at least five) made.
- 'Get your guests to write reviews'. So far, so good. But...
- 'Approach your biggest fans first': sounds sensible, until you realise two things. That you are not quite sure who your 'biggest fans' are and that this cherry-picking strategy will leave your less than happy guests to write to TripAdvisor on their own initiative
- 'Send an email inviting them to post directly to TripAdvisor': you may run the perfect hotel, but unless you have perfect guests as well you run the risk of actively inviting negative reviews, most of which you would not have received if you had not sent the invitation
- 'Add a TripAdvisor widget to your website': let's recap: invite reviews (including negatives) and then promote them with a widget on your site? We don't recommend it
- 'Put your TripAdvisor link in your email signature': you are keen to help your unhappy guests complain in public, aren't you?
Invite all your guests to post through Dialogue: every single one. That way you will cover all the bases, your happy guests will tell you (and your future guests) just how happy they are. Then...
Manage any negatives in private: Your less than perfectly happy guests will respond in private, and you will be able to address whatever issues they raise (again, in private), leaving them reassured, very unlikely to post anything negative on a public site and much more likely to stay again.
Get great reviews to TripAdvisor (or Google): we will then be able to invite them to post their reviews to TripAdvisor (or anywhere else that matters), secure in the knowledge that just about everything they write will be helpful.
Here is a selection of relevant articles (from amongst the 200-odd we've published in the last five years):
Results: Hosting reviews on your own website will increase direct bookings and dramatically reduce bounce to TripAdvisor and the other OTAs.
- Dialogue™ for Hospitality - whatever your objectives: occupancy increased, rates higher, competitiveness, staff morale and more.
- Cornell University and ReviewPro - essential viewing for every hospitality professional: Finally, conclusive proof of the link between a hotel's online reputation and RevPAR.
- Dialogue™ for hotels - it's as simple as 1-2-3: Shows the great results we have achieved for two very different hotel clients.
- George Clooney's wedding hotel - or 'Just how much damage can a single review do?': in an ideal world you don't want any negative reviews, and with Dialogue we'll get you very close to that ideal.
- Hotels and TripAdvisor - why numbers matter for your ranking - and RevPAR: An analysis of London's hotels by their TripAdvisor ranking - and the lessons learned.
- Reviews - an overview and update: The impact Google reviews are having.
- What to expect when you join - Hotels: Puts some hard numbers to the eternal question.