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Boost Your Ratings: Strategies for Getting More TripAdvisor Reviews

Boost Your Ratings: Strategies for Getting More TripAdvisor Reviews
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
Get more Tripadvisor reviews with strategies like email, Review Express, reminder cards, stickers and more. Best practices and how to respond included.
Boost Your Ratings: Strategies for Getting More TripAdvisor Reviews

Why you should actively ask your guests for Tripadvisor reviews

Let’s get one thing straight to the point: Online reviews are crucial for your business. In fact, 9 out of 10 of travelers consider reviews before booking a hotel with 33% of guests refusing to book a hotel with no reviews. Hence, if you are a business owner and you’re not asking your guests for online reviews, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity and this especially rings true on Tripadvisor where its quantity of reviews and ratings has already reached one billion and majority of its business listings here are hotels, vacation rentals, restaurants, and attractions.

Obviously, Tripadvisor is one of the most popular travel review sites on the internet and has over 600 million monthly unique visitors across its network of sites. There is no denying that Tripadvisor has become the go-to resource for travelers looking for information and online reviews on hotels, restaurants and attractions.

Here are three more reasons why you, as a business owner, should actively ask your guests for Tripadvisor reviews:

1. It helps build loyalty.

When guests, especially happy customers, feel appreciated by their experience with your business, they're more likely to come back again and again. A simple "thank you" already goes a long way in building customer loyalty, but imagine how much more you could do if you do if you decide to respond to reviews with a heartfelt personal message.

2. It cultivates trust with future guests.

If potential customers and future guests see that other people have had positive experiences at your hotel or restaurant, they'll be more likely to give you a chance as well — especially if they read negative reviews about other similar businesses in the area. They’re more likely to choose you over your competitors.

3. It helps you keep track of customer service standards and expectations.

Guest feedback is a valuable tool for assessing areas that need improvement and identifying areas where customer service standards could be enhanced. Learn more about how to gain insights and improve your hotel services with guest feedback here.

7 ways to get your guests to leave a Tripadvisor review for you

Now that you know how guest reviews leave a lasting impression on your business, it's time to start asking for them. Of course, you can’t just passively sit around and wait for the opportunity to pop up organically — you have to make a conscious effort to ask quality reviews from your guests.

At the same time, it might not be a good idea to accost them. Otherwise, you’ll come across as pushy, intrusive, or insecure, and eventually lose a valuable guest who can provide great word-of-mouth marketing. That said, here are some effective ways to ask for feedback in a way that leaves your guests feeling respected and valued:

1. Use Tripadvisor Review Express

Getting people to leave you a review can be hard work. You can't force them to leave a review, which means there's no guarantee that they will. After all, people are busy, and it's easy to forget to leave reviews for their favorite restaurants, hotels, and attractions.

Tripadvisor Review Express dashboard

Tripadvisor Review Express solves all these problems for you by making it easy for your guests to leave an honest review about their experience at your property. It is a free tool that allows you to actively send review requests to your guests by creating an email reminder that shows up at the end of their stay asking them to leave a review on Tripadvisor. You can also customize the message and branding, and even add surveys if you want to.

To set up a Review Express email campaign, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Tripadvisor Review Express dashboard, and type in the property you’d like to set this campaign for.
  2. Click “Create Email” from the top menu of the Review Express homepage.
  3. Next, click “Edit” to configure any element from the default email template provided by Tripadvisor.
  4. At Tripadvisor Review Express, you can upload a photo of your property on top of your email. This will help guests to recognize which property will they be leaving a review for and remind them of their stay so make sure to upload a nice photo of your hotel or property. As for the body of the email, you can also freely add or edit this part to better reflect your business. Aside from design elements and the body of the email, you can also change the language and choose from Tripadvisor’s 30 languages available.
  5. Now, once you have made changes to the default template, Tripadvisor will automatically save it as a new message and you can make this as your new default email template.
  6. When your email is ready, simply hit “Continue to send” to move on to the next step of the process and automate your review request emails. To enable the automation feature, just tap the “Automate” box feature.

Apart from letting you automate your review request email campaigns to collect guests’ feedback, Review Express also has an in-depth analysis and tracking feature to help you check and manage your email statistics. As per Tripadvisor, properties who use this Review Express feature experience a 28% uptick in their reviews.

2. Request quality reviews by sending review request emails

When you send an email to your guests and ask them to review your property on Tripadvisor, you increase the chances of more positive reviews. According to a Northwestern study, 80% of customer reviews actually come from post-purchase emails. One of the reasons is because most people are generally altruistic, and they want to help fellow guest travelers to choose quality accommodations.

When asking for guest reviews, make sure you're genuine and sincere in your request. It's important that they know that you care about their opinion and that it matters to you. Instead of saying a cursory request along the lines of, “Your feedback will help us improve our services,” try something like: “We'd love to hear what you thought of your stay at our resort. Your review will help us continue to provide a great experience for everyone who visits us!”

You can choose to copy-paste the link URL and say something like, “Leave us a review on Tripadvisor” or go to your Review Express dashboard to set up your email campaign for online reviews.

If you are expecting a positive response from your guests, then you need to be prepared for the negative responses as well. However, if you see that someone has given you a negative response and you have done everything possible to make sure that they have a good experience at your hotel, remember that it is still worth responding to negative reviews in order to clarify any miscommunication or let the public know that you have been addressing this issue properly.

3. Extend to SMS or Whatsapp.

Sending an SMS message or notification is easy and quick and more guests will actually receive your request faster and more conveniently than if you just mentioned it in passing during an email exchange or phone call. They’re also less likely to be ignored, since most people have their mobile phones with them at all times. In fact, studies found that SMS have a high open rate reaching to as high as 99% which is why SMS is becoming a more prominent form of marketing for many business owners.

Here’s a sample SMS message that hoteliers can send out to guests to ask for reviews. (Source)

As with sending an email, sending SMS messages that are polite and friendly is always a good idea. Once you've sent the SMS request for Tripadvisor reviews, keep track of your incoming reviews and respond quickly. You can do this with an Online Reputation Management software or the old-fashioned keeping tabs on each guest's profile in your booking software. This also makes it easy to follow up with those who haven't yet replied to your request for a review.

4. Create reminder cards

If your property has an in-room hospitality tray, then put it to good use! You can also put up a sign next to the phone with a call to action such as "Would you like to give us a feedback on Tripadvisor?" or "Thanks for staying with us, please take a moment and leave us a review on Tripadvisor. Here’s a little something to show our gratitude for your review." You may post signs in your hotel lobby and other public areas encouraging guests to leave reviews on Tripadvisor. You can also add this sign on your website so that it appears on every page.

The more reminders you have, the more likely it is that people will see them, which in turn helps you to get more reviews from happy customers who are already eager to give you some feedback. Nonetheless, make sure to not overdo it or it will appear annoying, inauthentic, and spammy.

5. Utilize Tripadvisor stickers

Tripadvisor offers stickers for guests to leave feedback on their experience with you. These can be placed in your guest room, restaurant or anywhere else where guests pass by often.

From your Tripadvisor Business dashboard, hover over “Marketing Tools” and click “Order Stickers.”

You can order your stickers from the Tripadvisor Sticker Request page. In the search box, enter the listing's name. Under the company's name, you'll notice a selection of possible stickers for your listing. Choose some cool stickers to put on your property. The stickers' default language may be changed, too. Then, fill out the necessary mailing information. Once you’re sure about everything, you can click the “Submit” button. We suggest placing these stickers in areas where guests will see them often — like lobbies, reception desks, and elevators.

6. Integrate review widgets into your website

Here’s the thing: It’s possible that some people don't know how to leave a review on Tripadvisor, which means you might have to be the one to direct them there. If your site doesn't have an easy way for them to go straight to the Tripadvisor page on their phone or computer, then they may not bother trying at all! Integrate review widgets into your website so it's easy to find and use.

Add a Tripadvisor widget to your website from your Tripadvisor business dashboard.

To add a Tripadvisor widget to your site, simply copy and paste the generated code into your HTML. You can also send the widget code to your webmaster via email.

7. Increase Tripadvisor visibility through social media

Social media is another great way to get noticed on Tripadvisor. When you post photos and videos of happy guests enjoying their stay at the hotel on Facebook or Instagram, it will increase your visibility on the site. It also gives other people the opportunity to share their experiences with others who may be interested in staying at your hotel.

You can also post links on your social media pages to encourage people to review you on Tripadvisor. This will increase your visibility in search results and drive more traffic back to your listing. The more positive reviews you have, the higher up in search results your listing will appear. Remember, more than half of customers (57%) will only consider companies with an average rating of 4 stars or above (out of 5).

Best practices to get more Tripadvisor reviews

Make your request personal

Don't just send out an email blast to everyone; instead, try to reach out to people who have stayed at your property or visited you in person. The best place to start is with your mailing list or social media followers.

Sending out your requests for reviews on specific interactions with customers decreases the likelihood that your email will go to their spam folder or that it will get ignored. For example, if someone called the front desk and got good service, ask them if they would mind writing a review about their positive experience with staff members at your hotel.

Provide incentives to your staff

Your staff members interact with your customers on a regular basis and they can help spread the word that you want feedback. In other words, your employees are your biggest advocates, so it pays to incentivize them for positive reviews. This can be as simple as a small thank-you gift or an incentive bonus based on customer satisfaction scores. Use tools like Google Calendar or online timesheet to schedule out when bonuses are available and track who's received them so far.

Remind guests with follow-ups

One of the most effective ways to get more Tripadvisor reviews is by following up with guests after they stay with you. Send an email or SMS within a few days after their stay and ask if they would be willing to leave their feedback on Tripadvisor. If possible, you can offer discounts on future stays or free upgrades if they write a review, such as discounts on future stays or free upgrades.

You can say something like: "Thanks so much for staying with us! We hope you enjoyed your time here at our hotel and we'd love it if you could take a few minutes to leave us feedback on Tripadvisor. As a token of our gratitude for your feedback, we'd like to offer you (insert any offer here)."

How to respond to all your Tripadvisor reviews?

While it’s ideal to respond to all Tripadvisor reviews, it might not be possible for you to do so on your own, especially if there is already a lot on your plate. This leaves you with two options: either let all those unanswered negative reviews pile up (although it’s possible to delete a Tripadvisor review in certain instances) while you sit back and watch revenue dwindle away or take action and start responding to these comments proactively so they don’t cause a permanent damage on your brand reputation.

This is where MARA’s AI Review Response Generator can help. This AI Review Management Assistant utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) technology to automatically generate responses based on what a user has written. This means that every generated response will be unique, personalized, and relevant to each review, saving you a lot of time when responding.

Here’s a sample Tripadvisor review where we have used MARA to craft a hotel management response.

Actual Tripadvisor review.
Actual MARA response to a Tripadvisor review.

If you want to add more to the generated response like this here, you may do so. Here are some tips in responding to reviews, whether they are good or bad:

  1. Be grateful for the review and thank them for their feedback. Start with thanking the reviewer before addressing the rest of their feedback. This way, you can show appreciation your appreciation for their opinions and reiterate how you are using their comments to improve your services and better serve your customers. It's also good practice to ask them if there's anything else you could do for them.
  2. Be friendly and professional. The first thing that people notice is your tone of voice. If you write in an unfriendly way, you will immediately put off potential customers who might otherwise be interested in your business. You may not like it when someone leaves a negative review, but that doesn’t mean you should respond with anger or hostility.
  3. Address their concerns directly. If someone has left a negative review because something went wrong with their experience at your establishment, then address those issues directly. Address each one individually and try to provide solutions or offer an apology where appropriate – if there was nothing you could do about the situation, then let them know that too.

Whether you run a restaurant, guest house, boutique hotel or any other type of hospitality business, Tripadvisor is likely to become one of your most vocal critics. There's nothing wrong with that, but how you respond to these reviews - whether positive or negative - can have a significant impact on both your business and your marketing strategy. If you’re struggling with handling a huge quantity of reviews or keen on managing your online reputation, try MARA for free now and make online reputation management a breeze.

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