TripAdvisor can be an operator’s greatest joy – or deepest pain. Whether you’re a fan of the platform or you want to take to it with virtual scissors, the fact remains that it is an enormously influential tool in how would-be travellers make their decisions. DMR Statistics cites that, as of June 2016, TripAdvisor had received 350 million reviews from all around the world. In fact, according to Tnooz, 95% of travellers will read those reviews before making a travel booking and they will read, on average, only 6-7 reviews to do so. That’s why it pays to make sure your operation appears high on the lists. So, we’ve looked at three ways to get your page looking and feeling refreshed in 2017.
1. Update your pictures
If time teaches us anything, it’s that fashion changes. What looked fresh and cutting-edge in 2016 will start to look dated as early as this year. Your stunning pictures are the first thing a would-be customer will notice, so they need to be a contemporary expression of your operation.
We’re in the business of constantly creating enjoyable and memorable experiences for people in stunning surrounds, so getting some great recent shots of your tour or attraction should be easy.
It’s not just fashion that changes: the market evolves, too, and so should your business. A new challenge for Australian tourism businesses is to make Australia seem accessible to inbound families who have to travel a long way to get here, instead of a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Instead of the glossy couples that Australian tourism campaigns tend to feature, photos of intergenerational families (of all shapes and sizes) laughing, having fun and reconnecting.
It could also be as simple as remembering to showcase an awesome new feature. Has your new Jurassic Park-themed dinosaur attraction got a new velociraptor? Put it front-and-centre immediately! (At least until it destroys the whole damn park)
2. Create a schedule to monitor and reply to comments
You wouldn’t ignore a customer if you were dealing with them face-to-face. So, even though you may be separated from your previous customer by time and space, the rules of customer service still apply online. In fact, it’s such an important part of your business that you should really set time aside each day to reply promptly and courteously to reviewers. A negative review will stay visible if you don’t try to have it removed or updated, so be sure to stay on top of any negative online feedback.
Another tip: even though a review may be negative, don’t take it as a personal insult; strive to be professional and polite at all times. See it as an opportunity to understand your consumers and improve your business. That said, there’s nothing wrong with injecting a bit of personality into your response and having a bit of fun where appropriate.
3. Encourage reviews
One of the easiest ways to get your ranking higher is to accumulate a lot of great reviews. You can encourage reviews by:
- Sending follow-up emails after an experience thanking your customer and offering them the opportunity to give feedback.
- Encouraging them to do so at the end of the business day when wrapping things up.
- Directing them to your TripAdvisor page if a person has mentioned they have had an excellent experience.
- Making sure those reviews are positive is the easy part — just make sure your customers are having a memorable time.
And make sure all contact details and websites are up to date
And finally: failing to update your information is a rookie mistake. If you’ve spent all that time and energy creating great experiences so visitors will leave awesome reviews, you need to make it easy for them to find out more about you. So, we hope that these tips have you well on your way to a memorable, highly-ranked TripAdvisor page that continues to bring in customers!