This is an interesting subject which is often discussed when Charlise and I are meeting with our accommodation and restaurant clients; in our hospitality community, as well as a topic we often discuss with the guests at our own accommodation establishments
What sparked my reason for this post, is that I have just read an interesting article on Skift – “TripAdvisor’s Hotel Review Collection Is Leaving Rivals in the Dust” where it states that TripAdvisor has doubled its number of user reviews and opinions to 200 million, and that it is expected that the company will reach the 300-million mark considerably faster than before due to the fact that TripAdvisor is placing a higher priority on integrating with hotels’ technology providers at a much faster clip than the vast majority of its peers.
Next to Google, I admire the automated marketing tools that TripAdvisor use – really brilliant and they have perfected how to “work the system” – with their various prompts if one has been idle for a while, encouraging reviews, forum updates, etc.
So the question always asked – “what influences people to stay or eat at an establishment?”
Does the fact that one has a National Star Grading, or another form of Quality Assurance, or belonging to an accredited industry body bear weight or serve as an influencing factor to encourage or influence a traveller to stay or eat at your establishment?
Or are reviews on TripAdvisor and other similar websites which provide this service to travellers, taking away the significance of the above mentioned “Quality Assurance” symbols / indicators?
My thoughts on the matter are that travellers are using a mix of both options mentioned above, including having a look at reviews that an establishment might have on its own website / social media platform like Google+ or Facebook.
There is no doubt that reviews – whether on a TripAdvisor or other major trusted Travel Sites, or an establishment’s reviews on its own online platforms, are becoming a key indicator of quality and experience that can be expected at a hospitality establishment.
The old saying – Word of Mouth Advertising (WOM) is one of the most credible forms of advertising – well to me reviews are the Online WOM!
Hopefully, customers are giving your business glowing reviews. I find that too many owners focus on the negative, but I always encourage management to take advantage of positive reviews, by featuring the reviews and the site that it is from on your website.
This will encourage customers to read other positive reviews on the online review site and possibly post their own story of satisfaction. It is a positive cycle that can reap great rewards for your small business.
Question. As a business owner – do you encourage reviews? In our businesses, apart from conducting satisfaction surveys, we encourage our clients to provide their reviews – either on TripAdvisor, Google+ or Facebook.
I would love to hear your comments or thoughts on this matter.
Do you perhaps need assistance or help on understanding reviews – then do get in contact with us!
“While word-of-mouth has different degrees of influence on consumers at each stage of the consumer journey (Initial Consideration, Active Evaluation, Moment of Purchase), it’s the only factor that ranks among the three biggest consumer influencers at every step” www.referralcandy.com
A happy customer is the greatest advertisement – Andy Sernovitz