TripAdvisor is by far the biggest travel website in the World and is a major referral source for bookings for hotels and, increasingly, in-destination-activities. But did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to work with TripAdvisor? As a tour or activity business you can benefit from the TripAdvisor brand and from their vast monthly audience by using a tool called TripAdvisor Review Express.
Before we discuss how best to work with TripAdvisor, let's first discuss how NOT to work TripAdvisor.
The wrong way to work with TripAdvisor
Businesses are terrified of bad reviews. It's part of the reason why so many hotels and other businesses have fought against TripAdvisor in the past. There is also a lot of concern about competitors writing fake negative reviews about a business or hiring "black hat" companies to right fake positive reviews about their own. Both of these do happen but they are a tiny minority of reviews on the site and TripAdvisor is very aggressive about penalizing businesses they find using these techniques.
Some online services have recommended that their customers utilize a technique known as "Cherry Picking". This technique involves sending customers a post booking email that asks the customer to complete a survey or feedback request. When the customer selects a four or five star rating, the customer is taken to TripAdvisor to complete the review. If the customer selects a one, two, or three rating, they are directed to an internal form to post their feedback. Companies have even been encouraged to provide incentives for submitting reviews. At first these may seem like a perfectly reasonable ways to increase your positive reviews on TripAdvisor, but this type of behavior is considered fraudulent. If you want to cherry pick your reviews or provide incentives to customers while using your own review collection system, that's your prerogative. If you want to work with TripAdvisor however, you do so based on their terms.
The right way to work with TripAdvisor
The best way to work with TripAdvisor is to send a request for review to all your customers and to let them share their experience directly. This helps to increase the number of reviews that appear on TripAdvisor and will ultimately improve your ranking, it will also improve your chances of offsetting any potential negative reviews.
Businesses saw a 25% increase in Business Listings link activity and a 32% increase in CPC clicks, when compared to those that did not use Review Express. *
TripAdvisor offers businesses a tool called Review Express. The service is actually quite simple but makes use of the TripAdvisor brand very effectively. When a customer goes on a tour with you, you let TripAdvisor know by sending a request through TripAdvisor or by uploading a list of emails. Two days after the tour date, TripAdvisor Review Express sends an email directly to the customer asking them to review their experience. The request for review comes directly from TripAdvisor on your behalf using a template that you design on the TripAdvisor site. Data from TripAdvisor indicates that conversion rates on these emails are significantly higher than those of emails sent directly by your business.
TripAdvisor Review Express API
To help automate the process for you, Rezgo has integrated with TripAdvisor. When you follow the instructions on the TripAdvisor Automated Review Express guide and select Rezgo as your TripAdvisor Certified Connectivity Provider, Rezgo will automatically send review requests to TripAdvisor on your behalf. The process is simple and completely automated.
According to Phocuswright, 50% of travellers will not book without reading reviews about a business.
In addition to collecting more reviews, you get to display all the reviews that are collected on your Rezgo website, not just the most recent three. As part of the Review Express integration, all the reviews collected through the integration with TripAdvisor will be shown on a dedicated "Reviews" page built into your Rezgo account as well as on each of your tour detail pages. Because these reviews are collected in partnership with TripAdvisor, they are displayed with the following message:
Review collected in partnership with "Your Business Name"
Since only reviews collected using the TripAdvisor Review Express integration will show this message, you can rest assured that the review is from an actual guest. Take your reputation to the next level with Rezgo and TripAdvisor.
- Source: TripAdvisor Insights – Using Guest Reviews to Pave the Path to Greater Engagement