Online reviews are changing the way travellers shop for hotels and accommodation providers, monitoring reviews is important, but there are many benefits of responding to reviews and how you respond to them is what sets you apart from your competitors.
According to a traveller survey, 78% of TripAdvisor users agree that seeing a management response to a review, makes the potential or past guest believe the hotel cares more about its guests than a property that does not respond. Plus 68% of users agree that seeing a response generally makes them more likely to book that hotel versus a comparable hotel that didn’t respond to travellers.
In addition, there is a financial reward for having a great online reputation – reviews can influence a hotel’s ability to increase prices, drive occupancy and maximise revenue.
Top tips for responding to reviews on TripAdvisor
Thankfully, responding to reviews on TripAdvisor is entirely within your control and can be done through the TripAdvisor Management Centre, once you have registered and claimed your property.
Take note, your username will appear on your Management Response unless you have put your real name in your profile. If you don’t want your real name to appear, delete it from your profile before posting a response. (Note: you can only change your display name once and it will not change on responses previously posted.)
You should sign up for review notification emails, this way you can find out about new reviews for your property as soon as they are posted. Hotels should respond to both positive and negative reviews…. 79% of travellers said a good management response to a bad review reassures them, while 78% said a good management response to a good review makes them think highly of the hotel.
But with 340 million monthly visitors, be mindful of your response tone – 60% of travellers said an aggressive management response to a bad review makes the hotel look worse.
All responses have to be verified by TripAdvisor and can take up to 48 hours before appearing online, here at Recommended we advise you to write your response in a Word document first so you can spell check and edit until you are ready to cut and paste into the Management Response form.
Here are few tips to get you started when responding to reviews
1. Respond Promptly: Responding in a timely manner shows guests that you pay attention to feedback and you care about their experience. It leaves a lasting impression on the reviewer and others browsing your business page.
2. Thank Them: This applies to feedback that is negative and positive. Although 74 percent of travellers state that they write reviews because they want to share a good experience with other travellers, there may be negative feedback from time to time. Start by expressing your appreciation to guests who have taken the time to write about their experience at your property.
3. Address Complaints: This is your chance to explain what you have done to address problems so that the reviewer and potential guests are reassured that concerns are taken seriously, and that you are willing to resolve problems. If there was a miscommunication during the guest’s stay, it is your chance to address the issue and clarify what may have caused the problem. However, it’s important not to take a defensive tone…
4. Be Original: Guests take the time to write a review based on their personal experience, your response should be the same. Avoid using the same message in your responses
5. Be Polite and Professional: Responding to reviews is part of your reputation, remember your response is visible to everyone and you are representing your property so write with TripAdvisor’s 340 million visitors in mind. Your response should demonstrate all feedback – both positive and negative is important to you.
Of course, reviews are not just limited to TripAdvisors, reviews and responses can be viewed on a number of OTAs also.