October 12, 2011
TripAdvisor, the popular online travel community website is a well-known advisory forum amongst travelers. Every month scores of travelers visit www.tripadvisor.com. Some to search for great places to visit and hotels to stay at; others to post their opinions and reviews on the places they have visited and the hotels they stayed at; and to seek assurance that the hotel they have chosen is worth the money.
Earlier, hoteliers did not have the convenience and facility of online communities such as TripAdvisor. They had to rely on tried and tested methods of customer feedback or probably no feedback at all. When you do not get feedback from your customers, it can prove to be a major disadvantage for you, as you will not know in which direction to steer your hotel and its services. The right kind of feedback (positive or negative), can help you analyze as to where your hotel stands. You can get an idea about which areas to improve in and what are the strengths and weaknesses of your hotel. Speaking in true marketing style, it is like a SWOT analysis of your hotel.
Today communities like TripAdvisor are extremely resourceful for hoteliers. Therefore, you need to make the most of the facilities it provides and play them to your advantage. The first step in getting a product or service reviewed is to realize that people do not actually want to review it. Instead, you need to give them a reason to write about you. You need to up the ante and provide the best service to your guests.
You as an hotelier can take maximum advantage of communities such as TripAdvisor. Once you have registered at the Owners Centre, you can control your property details and can maintain a regular update of the property description and amenities. This is your chance to tell your property story in your own words. Your description should be consistent with other marketing materials but in such a way that it fits into the informal, conversational tone of TripAdvisor. In other words, no marketing fuzzwords or meaningless cliches should be a part of your hotel description. Instead of including every feature that you own and making it look like a mess, it is better to select a few paramount features and write it as one big story, a non-fictional story to be precise.
A number of guests or travelers post reviews on communities like TripAdvisor and it is your job to take each review that is written in the right manner. Not all the guests who visit your hotel will have something positive to report. There may be some guests who post a negative review about your hotel as well. This kind of criticism is constructive criticism and will work well for you in the long run so that you know where to check yourself and thereby retain existing guests and at the same time lay a foundation to invite and appeal to prospective guests.
Today, the hotel industry is all about getting interactive with your guests via social media and online communities like TripAdvisor. So strike the iron while it's hot, and make the most of this opportunity.