By Sam Litfin | Marketing Manager
The hospitality landscape is rapidly changing as the digital environment transforms how you do business and how people can access data about your venue. Following on from our recent article “Word of mouse is king”, this article focuses on Australia’s #1 online review site, TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor announced, on the 5th May 2017, “that it has crossed the 500 million reviews and opinions milestone. The popular travel planning and booking site and app now receives 290 pieces of content every minute of every day. The phenomenal growth in user-generated content has been fuelled by travellers’ desire to “pay it forward” with real-time insights and advice for millions of other global users so they can make great decisions at every step of their travel planning process.”
The insights you can gain from this level of feedback from real people, can give your venue the edge you need to excel where your competitors fail, however, it only helps if you actually do something with the data!
Here’s what you need to know, and some tips to help you turn these insights into action:
Insight #1: The more reviews the better
Tip: With 79% of Australian’s reading 6-12 reviews online before they make a venue decision, be sure to capitalise on this behaviour by ensuring that your listing is full of recent reviews and customer submitted photos and videos. To achieve this, simply encourage your (preferably happy) clients to share their experience online – let customers know about your TripAdvisor listing, ask them to review if they have had a great experience.
Insight #2: TripAdvisor reviews and images influence decision behaviour.
Tip: Make sure that when people read your TripAdvisor reviews they can quickly and easily take the next step and become customers! TripAdvisor gives you multiple opportunities to optimise your listing, e.g. address and maps, photos and videos, plus the ability to add detailed contact information and links to your booking page or menu page on your website.
Insight #3: Highlight TripAdvisor content to drive bookings
Tip: 82% of users agree that TripAdvisor helps them when deciding on a venue to visit. Utilise the free TripAdvisor widgets which allow you to add TripAdvisor content to your own website and even social media. Some widgets display your latest reviews and awards, while others promote the best of your local area, link to your TripAdvisor page, or encourage customers to review your business.
Insight #4: Responding to reviews is more important than ever.
Tip: 85% of users agree that a thoughtful response to a bad review will improve their perception of a venue (Trend Alert – this is a 50% increase since 2013). Responding to every single review, regardless of whether it is good or bad, has a massive impact on the way potential clients view your venue. Generic 2 liners with no thought or individualisation will hurt you more than help you. Be sure to respond to every review based on the content and information that reviewer is sharing with you and follow up on any promises you may make. This level of customer service can turn angry customers into regulars who tell everyone what an amazing experience they had with your venue and that kind of good press is worth its weight in gold to every venue in the competitive hospitality industry.
Insight #5: Quick response times are critical
Tip: The quicker you respond, the greater impact your response will have with the reviewer. While everyone is time poor, monitoring reviews doesn’t have to be a time-consuming chore, simply set up their free and easy email service that will notify you the instant a new review has been posted!
You are going to receive bad reviews, it is par for the course in our industry, and while it is not necessarily a tactic style we would advise, here are some of the more entertaining TripAdvisor responses from venues across the globe.
We’ve put together a snapshot of Queensland Clubs (with 150 gaming machines or more) and their corresponding TripAdvisor rating. We’ll continue build this data over time to incorporate all Queensland Clubs and Hotels, and additional online review sites.
If you are interested in setting up a new listing or reviewing and optimising your existing online presence, please get in touch with our team to discuss how we can assist and support you – email Sam at email@example.com or phone her on (07) 3878 9355.