TripAdvisor is important for your business. Hotels and Inns that rank high for their location say that they get a disproportionately larger share of business coming their way than their competitors. After all, customers trust Word of Mouth marketing more than anything else.
So how do you get that elusive higher rank ? Hotels are ranked by their guests on Location, Sleep Quality, Rooms, Service, Value and Cleanliness. Whats great for Families may not work for Couples or Business Travelers. Rankings are on a scale of 1 to 5. You can read both Excellent reviews and those marked as Terrible. Your property’s rank depends on TripAdvisor’s algorithm – an algorithm that probably uses a combination of number, quality and frequency of getting newer reviews.
First things first – You must deliver excellent service around a quality product, keep promises and if possible, exceed expectations. Unless you get this right, the next few steps will harm instead of helping.
If you have done the above, you have earned the right to ask your guest for their recommendation.
Add “Review us on TripAdvisor” on your invoices, visiting cards, and signage in the reception. You can also hand over a Thank You card and request for TripAdvisor reviews.
Then, ask your guests for their email address. Do this before they check-out. If possible, also get the guest to send you an email initially to get past the spam filter.
Tell the guest that you will send them an email shortly requesting for a review on TripAdvisor. Make it personal. Request the guest to spare a few minutes and respond to the email.
Follow up your talks with an email to the guest. Some people like to send this email immediately, while others wait for a few days for the guest to return to his/her office / home. Send on a Tuesday / Wednesday. Test and see what works best for your customers. Tweak the email. Test again.
Follow good practices of sending corporate or marketing emails – simple words, attractive graphics (that may not be displayed on most devices), a subject line that makes a person open the email.
Remember that you have to get a good number of genuine quality customer reviews regularly, so this is one marketing effort that you have to build into your daily schedule. You can build in a macro in your Hotel CRM that automatically sends an email when you change the guest status to “Checked Out” or perhaps “Checked Out & Happy” ;-)
If you can do the above, you should see a dramatic rise in the number of TripAdvisor reviews your property gets.