With nearly 8 million listings across 190 countries, it is no doubt that Tripadvisor is one of the most popular platforms for guest reviews.
NB: This is an article from ReviewPro
As so many guests are booking their hotel directly on Tripadvisor these days, your hotel needs to do everything in its power to rank higher and stand out from your competition. The guest journey is cyclical. Reviews posted by guests who have left just your hotel will inspire future guests researching their next destination, meaning online reviews are key in attracting more bookings. In fact, 93% of Tripadvisor users claim to find hotel reviews from other guests to be an accurate portrayal of the experience they go on to have.
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How Does Tripadvisor’s Hotel Algorithm Work?
In order to improve your Tripadvisor ranking, hotels must first get to grips with how the Tripadvisor ranking algorithm works. The quality, recency, and quantity of reviews are the three key factors that interact to determine a property’s Traveler Ranking:
- Quantity – more reviews are better than fewer reviews.
- Quality – good reviews are better than poor reviews.
- Recency – recent reviews are better than older reviews.
In order to rank higher on Tripadvisor, your hotel needs to constantly collect and display positive reviews on a regular basis. Overall, a higher ranking means higher visibility on the platform, meaning guests will see your hotel pop up first when searching online.
How Can I Improve My Tripadvisor Ranking?
Hotels can put strategies into place in order to climb the ranks on Tripadvisor. The rule of thumb to keep in mind is that your hotel needs to provide quality guest experiences, and be strong across all departments, and across all your locations.
Here are 10 ways you can improve your Tripadvisor Ranking:
1. Provide Remarkable Service
A remarkable guest experience is what drives guests to take the time to write a positive review on TripAdvisor. These days, remarkable service is also about personalizing the guest experience.
For example, by segmenting your guests, you can send one form of communication to your guests who booked through an OTA, another to your VIP guests, and another to returning guests.
2. Be Honest and Transparent
Always deliver on expectations. It is best to be honest than overpromise and leave guests disappointed. For example, if the breakfast buffet is closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, make it clear to your guests on your website or via automated proactive communication.
Hidden fees do not result in happy guests either, so ensure you are transparent during the booking process and do not present your guests with any extra charges upon arrival. Similarly, if there are any changes, inform your guests via pre-stay communication.
By being frank from the get-go, there will not be any hidden surprises or disappointment which could ultimately lead to a negative review.
3. Listen to Your Guests
Guest Intelligence from online reviews and guest satisfaction surveys can bring areas to a hotel’s attention where operational and service improvements can be made to make guests happy. It is extremely important to listen to your guests and action that insight within your brand in order to improve the experience and overall satisfaction.
4. Provide Instant Communication
Provide quick and easy access for your guests to request and receive information. A hotel chatbot is an extremely powerful tool to ensure that guest requests will never go unanswered. What’s more, is that you will be able to free up staff so they can focus on other tasks.
This is especially useful during the pre-stay phase, as integrating your chatbot with a booking engine means that guests can book directly through the chatbot.
With instant communication, guests will never have to wait for answers again, which will all in all improve their stay at your hotel.
5. Empower Your Staff
Make sure you involve all departments in creating a guest-centric culture at your hotel. You will see greater results when all members of your organization are focused on making the guest happy. Assure that your employees have a 100% positive attitude and the skills needed to work with the public. Ensure that they treat the guests with the best customer service.
Train and motivate your staff so that they feel able to resolve any issues before they escalate to online complaints. When possible, give them the authority to go the extra mile to resolve problems with insights without having to consult their line manager first.
6. Prevent Negative Reviews
While negative reviews cannot always be avoided, there are some preventable measures you can put in place.
One way to reduce negative reviews online is to send out an in-stay survey and resolve issues while guests are still on property. Many hoteliers encounter situations where guests are unsatisfied with a specific service or experience during their stay. By leveraging an in-stay survey, hotels can recognize the need for service recovery whilst guests are still on property. This in turn can prevent the guest in writing a negative review after their stay, as their issue was resolved.
7. Gather Feedback and Act
Online reviews are the best source of feedback. They provide an accurate portrayal of the guests’ experience: what went well, what was unexpected, and where improvement is needed.
With an online review integration platform, you can easily spot areas that need improvement, or a reoccurring issue that is causing negative feedback and make operational and service improvements based on guest feedback.
For example, if guests are always complaining about the sound of the air conditioning, then you know that your hotel needs to invest in upgrading the AC system. Likewise, if guests are constantly mentioning the level of cleanliness, then it is time to re-evaluate your approach to housekeeping.
By acknowledging and acting on guest feedback, you will improve not only your hotel operations, but also prevent more negative reviews.
8. Always Respond to Reviews
Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative. For positive reviews, a quick thank you and wishing them a safe journey home will do.
When responding to negative reviews, ensure a strategy to de-escalate the situation. Offer a sincere apology, say how you are following up and most importantly, be professional. Let guests know that their feedback is extremely valuable and that you value them as guests.
Responding to all your reviews is also a huge advantage in attracting more bookings, as it shows other guests that you value their feedback and take care of your guests. In fact, guests will still book a hotel with negative reviews, as long as they can clearly see that the hotel responded to the feedback. Responding to reviews is even quicker and easier with an online reputation management tool.
9. Build Guest Trust
At the end of the day, guests who trust your hotel and brand are the ones who are the most satisfied. Build a strong bond and trust with all your guests, and you will see will the results amounting in positive reviews on Tripadvisor.
Within your entire hotel operations, you need to put the guest experience at the core. From making sure cleanliness is top-level, to providing excellent customer service and offering a first-class service, you should give your guests a reason to write a positive review.
Providing an excellent customer service will also enhance the overall guest experience. Being the best at all fronts will result in satisfied guests, and happy guests symbolize positive reviews.
10. Encourage Guests to Leave a Review
Last and most importantly, ask guests to leave a review. After all, the more reviews you have, the more likely it is that your hotel will rank higher on Tripadvisor.
There are many ways of asking guests to leave a review. Here are a few:
- During check-out, ask guests politely to leave a review on Tripadvisor
- Add the Tripadvisor logo on a tent card which you can display at reception
- In a thank-you email, give an option of leaving a review
- Embed the Tripadvisor Collection Program at the end of your post-stay surveys volume to increase reviews
- Place a link on your hotel website redirecting them to Tripadvisor
- For business travelers include a link to review your hotel when emailing the invoice
Remember to train staff on the importance of encouraging guests to leave online reviews.