As the world’s largest travel site, TripAdvisor plays a huge role in where people decide to dine out and book a room: every month, 415 million customers look through the site’s 535 million reviews of 7 million restaurants, hotels and attractions to determine the best one, and 200 new contributions are posted every hour (comScore, TripAdvisor).
While TripAdvisor is undeniably helpful for customers, it can be damaging for businesses who don’t have a strong review management strategy in place as negative reviews drag their ratings down and steer away potential visitors. However, bad reviews are not reason enough to avoid TripAdvisor. If your business doesn’t have any presence at all on this popular travel resource, it stands little chance against competitors who do. Don’t avoid negative reviews, accept them as an inevitable part of running a business and develop a plan to manage them. You’ll be amazed to find that this will not only reduce the impact of negative reviews — it will also lead to more positive reviews and ultimately more customers. Managing reviews isn’t hard when you have a solid formula in place. Check out our step-by-step approach below to get your TripAdvisor reviews under control.
Tips for turning TripAdvisor into your competitive advantage:
- Claim and optimize your business listings. Make sure your business information, specifically your NAP (name, address and phone) are accurate and up-to-date. Include links to your website, hours of operation, and photos to make your profile informative and eye-catching.
- Check out how BirdEye can help you do this automatically. After claiming your listing, you have the authority to manage and respond to your TripAdvisor reviews.
- Respond quickly and politely. This gives you a chance to solve problems before they escalate, and possibly even get the customer to take down their negative review. There are tools available that send automatic new review alerts straight to your phone so you don’t miss a word.
- Add a personal touch. Remind the customer that you’re a person who cares, not a bot that’s been programmed to shoo them away. This builds trust and helps the customer stay calm and rational.
- Thank the customer for their feedback. Negative or positive, customer feedback is the best way to understand how you’re doing and what could use improvements. Even if the reviewer is out of line, take the high road and express your gratitude for their opinion.
- Consider your audience. Remember that the reviewer is not the only one who sees your reply. Anyone who comes across your page can see it, too, and if they’re reading reviews, they’re a likely prospect. Prove to potential customers that you care about their happiness and know how to handle less-than-awesome situations like a pro.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you approach every negative review calmly and expertly rather than angrily and defensively.
It comes down to this: your customers are on TripAdvisor, so you should be too. Don’t worry about negative reviews–respond to them, learn from them and make improvements that lead to more positive reviews. When managed thoroughly and consistently, TripAdvisor reviews can become your most compelling and effective marketing content.