Friday, September 18, 2015

3 ways to incorporate TripAdvisor Reviews into your Booking Process

We all know TripAdvisor is the Google of Guest Reviews. It’s a dream for every hotelier to have great reviews for their property on TripAdvisor.

But what is the differentiator between highly rated hotels and their poor cousins?  What are the common factors among top performing hotels on TripAdvisor?

Well, research shows that top performing hotels are more engaged with their guests and receive nearly four times more page views on TripAdvisor than hotels that do not participate in the engagement programme. A TripAdvisor study in partnership with Atmosphere Research Group found how engaged hoteliers gain higher market visibility and drive more revenue based on data from 12,000 hotels in top 25 traffic markets on TripAdvisor, including interviews with executives from four global hotel chains.

In a world where everyone is a critic, user generated guest reviews have become commonplace. Today, hotel guests are more likely influenced by online reviews - 81% of travelers find user reviews important and a whopping 49% travellers change their booking decision after reading online reviews! These statistics establish the importance of managing guest feedback effectively to convert lookers into bookers.

TripAdvisor Review

Here are 3 essential tips that you can incorporate to increase your visibility on TripAdvisor and drive more bookings -

More engagement, better performance

As highlighted above, the research study found that highly engaged hotels perform better in terms of page visibility, popularity ranking and driving more business.  Two out of three travellers prefer properties that are termed highly engaged hotels on TripAdvisor.  So what actually does “highly engaged” hotel mean? How can your hotel be labelled as Highly Engaged Hotels on TripAdvisor? As per Atmosphere, if you actively participate on TripAdvisor’s Management Centre page and post at least 10 professional pictures of your property, you qualify to become a level one engaged property. But this is not the end. Your property page on TripAdvisor is your letter-box – you must have hotel contact information listed on your page so guests can contact your property directly. The more your property engages with your guests, the better your Popularity Ranking will be - highly engaged hotels see 30% to 40% more traveller interaction with revenue-driving products like Business Listings.

Don’t forget the “Virtuous Circle” of Guest Engagement

Your guests might be talking about their favourite dish or free Wi-Fi on your TripAdvisor page – do not take these conversations casually. Engage with them on these conversations, identify areas of improvement and leverage the positive comments - though this will need extra care from your guest review management team, but the returns can be pretty high. Once you improve hotel amenities based on your guest reviews, you can increase your property visibility on TripAdvisor. Javier Carazo, Senior Vice President, Operations and Quality, NH Hotel Group interviewed by Atmosphere Research Group pointed out that, “If you focus on getting reviews, you will see the positive results. You need to make it easy for your guests to post reviews.” Take corrective actions based on guest reviews as that would catapult your brand image on these review websites and showcase you care and concern for your guests and their feedback.

Encourage new Guests to write reviews

Getting reviews on TripAdvisor does not follow the “set and forget” rule. You might think that your guest had a fabulous stay at your property and will share his/her experience on TripAdvisor. In reality, this does not happen automatically - hotels should remind their guests to share their experience on TripAdvisor once they leave the hotel. TripAdvisor’s Review Collection Platform (RCP) sends an auto-generated reminder to guests post their stay asking them to write review for the hotel. You can also send an email directly to your guests to add a personal communication touch.

Hotels using TripAdvisor’s RCP system has seen an increase in reviews from 30% to 80% which led to 40% more page views. The challenge for hotels is not only getting multiple reviews but receiving high quality five star reviews. If used properly, TripAdvisor can be a huge channel for direct and assisted booking.

Lastly, most successful hoteliers welcome all guest reviews and use it for their advantage, either to increase their property visibility or improve their service. It is always advisable to ask every guest to write a review, embrace all opinions and your business will benefit at the end.


Image Credit: TripAdvisor
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