How to reply to the critics

Today, TripAdvisor has launched an online travel review guide with useful review-writing tips based on a survey of over 100,000 travellers and hospitality business owners.

TripAdvisor polled its worldwide travel community (5,934 total respondents from Australia)— business travellers to hospitality pros—for their advice and top tips for making every review matter. The survey reveals that 82% of business respondents globally agree that online review sites like TripAdvisor have had a positive impact on the hospitality industry and service standards. Furthermore, for businesses, reviews play more of an active role in an average working day with 60% of businesses checking their reviews whenever a new review comes in, and 19% checking daily.

Reviews have become more and more powerful with travellers around the world relying on reviews to help them plan and book their holidays. More than half of travellers say they won’t make a booking decision without reading reviews from others. Increasing each day, TripAdvisor has amassed more than 200 million reviews and opinions.

Speaking on the guide and how the advice has the potential to enhance Australia’s tourism industry , Juliana Payne CEO of National Tourism Alliance, Australia said: ” We congratulate TripAdvisor on this initiative, and for seeking the opinions of tourism and hospitality businesses.

The National Tourism Alliance is an association that represents an industry with 280,000 businesses in Australia. We look forward to continuing to work with TripAdvisor, to assist the Australian industry get the very best out of their online engagement. We want Australian tourism and hospitality operators to be able to take full advantage of the business growth and development opportunities presented by the online and mobile world.”

Not only does the survey reveal tips on how to write a great review, but business owners and hoteliers have also provided expert advice to other businesses on how to best communicate and respond to customers reviews. Please see below business advice and highlights:

What makes a great management response?
• Be specific – 48% of business respondents say management should address specific issues raised in the review
• Be professional – 41% say it should be written in professional language and tone of voice
• Show your personality – 40% say responses should include a touch of personality, helping other travellers get to know a bit more about the business or proprietor
• Be original – 36% say it should be original, not a formulaic response!

What factors in a review are MOST useful to a business:
• Reviews that provide useful, detailed information about the property – 78%
• Reviews that are written shortly after the experience (within 3 months) – 76%
• Reviews that relate personal, unique experiences – 66%
• Use of specific examples – 65%

What factors in a review are LEAST useful to a business:
• Extreme opinions or phrasing, either positive or negative, without further justification or explanation – 70%
• Reviews that are written long after the experience (3 months to a year after) are not useful – 58%
• Use of personal feeling in reviews, without explanations – 49%

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