New and Improved Features from TripAdvisor Enhance Online Reputation

This week's Global Networking Expo (GNEX) included a presentation by TripAdvisor's Mark McCullough, Senior Territory Manager-Americas.  Mark's topic, Online Reputation Enhancement and how several TripAdvisor features can protect your online brand reputation and help your business to grow. 

Just for You

One of TripAdvisor's newest features is called "Just for You". This feature offers travelers the ability to zero in on the perfect hotel based upon their individual preferences. It's easy to use - when travelers search for hotels in their chosen destination, they are given a variety of filters and tags to select their travel preferences: price range, location, hotel class, brand, amenities and travel style. The more the user interacts with the Just for You feature, the more it adapts to the user's individual travel preferences. The site becomes the default ranking. Just for You keeps adapting and improving its recommendations the more the user uses the site. It only takes three easy steps to complete a search:
  1. Select travel preference tags on the Just for You Page
  2. Search for hotels and destinations on TripAdvisor
  3. Write a hotel review to share your travel experiences

Questions and Answers

The Questions and Answers feature for the hospitality industry allows resort managers and owners to interact with potential guests before they travel. Visitors input questions of concern into the system such as: Is there access to high-speed internet? Do you have supervised activities for children? Do you offer a gluten-free menu? The resort is notified with an email that the question has been made. You can then provide timely answers with that personal touch that encourages the guest to come your way.
TripAdvisor suggests several tips for answering the questions. Those include: respond quickly to reach travelers when they are planning their trip, be brief in your response,  emphasize the positive - take no answers and turn them into something positive by offering help or an alternative.

Management Responses to Reviews

Another feature that TripAdvisor offers to the hospitality industry is a guide to adding management responses to reviews. A 2013 TripAdvisor survey showed that responding to both positive and negative reviews demonstrates to former and prospective guests that you are interested in feedback and take your customer service seriously:
  • 77 percent of respondents said seeing a management response to reviews makes me believe that the establishment cares more about its guests.
  • 62 percent of respondents said seeing management responses would generally make me more likely to book that establishment over one that didn’t respond.
It may be even more important to respond to negative reviews as quickly as possible. Be careful in the wording of your response. In a recent PhoCusWright survey, 70 percent of respondents said that an aggressive or defensive Management Response to a bad review made it less likely they would book the establishment again. Be sure to thank the reviewer, address the specific issue and highlight the positive. 

Mobile App

TripAdvisor recently added new features to its free phone app. In addition to its many current applications, a newly designed city overview page has city descriptions of worldwide destinations, enables users to plan day trips by searching for popular cities nearby their intended destinations, and search for accommodations near a landmark. Research shows that mobile apps with phone tabs increase instant bookings by 44 percent. 
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