In March 2015, the TripAdvisor TripBarometer study reported that investment in online reputation management by hotels is expected to increase by 60% in 2016 compared to the previous 12 months. Additionally, 73% of hoteliers rated Online Reputation Management as ‘very important’ to the future of business in 2015.
Many hoteliers already know that average review score is one of the determining factors in their properties’ rankings on sites like TripAdvisor. But, one of the questions we hear most often is, “Most of our reviews are 5-star reviews, but we’re not moving up on TripAdvisor. Why?”
If this is you, your problem may very well be the volume and frequency of reviews you receive. That is, you’re getting good reviews, but you’re not getting enough of them to beat your competition on TripAdvisor. Sometimes, quantity matters as much as quality.
TripAdvisor has a program that allows for integration with digital surveys, where hoteliers can submit typically private feedback for publication on their TripAdvisor listings. But, some hoteliers are wary of making their private feedback public. They worry that prospective guests will see their negative feedback and they worry that competitors will see their property’s weaknesses.
The thing is, times have changed. With the advent of review sites, your guests and competitors are already seeing your negative comments online. Fortunately, a proper response to a bad review can help you. According to the 2012 TripAdvisor TripBarometer, 84% of travelers agree that an appropriate management response to a bad review “improves my impression of the hotel.”
Additionally, it can actually help you to be transparent and make your feedback public. How? Combined with the fact that private feedback has a higher average review score (according to our customer data), the sheer increase in review volume can have a huge effect on your property’s ranking on the TripAdvisor Popularity Index. Our customers who submit surveys for review and publication on TripAdvisor see, on average, a 409% increase in review volume, resulting in an average 15% improvement in TripAdvisor Popularity Index ranking.
Additionally, Revinate is a TripAdvisor Platinum Guest Survey Partner, meaning Revinate clients benefit from a stream of the freshest, most accurate TripAdvisor review content delivered to a single dashboard where hotels can see all of their feedback data in once place.
This hostel improved TripAdvisor ranking by 200 places
Here’s an example of a property that made an investment in online reputation that paid off. Located in the trendy Shoreditch neighborhood, The Dictionary Hostel offers a unique East London experience. This 200 bed property is situated in a converted Victorian-era warehouse, complete with 23 en suite dormitories and 2 private bedrooms.
Independently owned and run, The Dictionary Hostel strives to set a new standard for hostels by taking a data-driven approach to operations and business decisions. One of the ways they did this was by signing up for Revinate Reputation and Surveys. They also decided to submit their surveys for review and publication on TripAdvisor to boost their review volume.
By listening to their guest feedback and making smart improvements based on the data analytics in their Revinate dashboard, The Dictionary Hostel also improved its average rating on TripAdvsior from 3.3 to 4.5. The hostel also increased its review volume by an average of 4x per month.
Because the hostel’s ratings and rankings improved so drastically, the effect on their TripAdvisor Popularity Index ranking was astounding:
The hostel moved from #264 to #68 in just one year.
We interviewed the hostel’s Operations Manager, Alex Cook to find out how they improved so quickly. Here are a few notes from the conversation:
On the hostel’s improved reputation
“This is great for staff morale. We’ve built a culture around beating competitors on the Popularity Index. Also, staff members who get mentioned in positive reviews get a prize.”
On data-driven investment and operations
“The data analysis we get with Revinate gives us hard evidence for improvements and investments. People consistently complained about noise, so we upgraded windows in the most problematic rooms. We also installed a better wi-fi system in response to guest reviews. Next, we plan to add more power sockets in the dormitories.”
On Revinate’s world-class onboarding and support
“With other companies, the time difference was really frustrating for vendor onboarding and support. With Revinate, setup was easy, and you can always get a quick answer to your questions.”
On the benefits of automated reporting
“Compared to what a large hotel or hostel chain can do, it’s difficult in a small business to manually compile the data to take this analytical approach. But with Revinate, we get reports instantly.”
For example, regarding the Revinate Scorecard: “I love the Revinate Scorecard. It makes it easy to show the staff how we’re doing week-by-week in the different categories.”
Alex also loves the Revinate GS2 Report: “The GS2 Report makes it easy to prepare for meetings with my boss, because it’s a succinct, graphical snapshot that summarizes our guest satisfaction success. She really loves that report.”
Get more bang for your feedback buck
According to TripAdvisor, 93% of travelers look at online reviews before they book a hotel. 53% of travelers say they won’t book a hotel that doesn’t have any online reviews. And, hotels that are ranked higher on TripAdvisor get more visibility and therefore more bookings.
Ultimately, it can only help you to be transparent with your guest feedback and make it public. When looking for a digital surveys provider, look for a product that allows you to submit your responses to a review site like TripAdvisor.