Perfect response: How review replies are driving bookings

A TripAdvisor-commissioned poll of 23,000 travellers globally has found personalised responses from accom owners lead to better customer reviews and more repeat bookings.

The Ipsos Mori study showed 84 percent of those polled believed personalised, polite and respectful engagement with aggrieved customers could lead to an otherwise negative review becoming more balanced and less damaging.

And more than half of potential new customers said they were more likely to select a hotel or restaurant if online reviews showed a strong engagement rate by management with other customers.

Even among respondents who said that they tend to focus less on online reviews, more than half were still likely to book if the owner had responded to reviews. 

Just over two thirds of respondents agreed that they find it helpful when they can see the context to negative reviews and apologies to guests from management.

“These survey results clearly show the importance of managing online reviews,” said Fabrizio Orlando, senior manager for industry relations.

“If an owner responds to a review, whether that review is positive or negative, it makes a real difference to a traveller’s perception of a property and can have huge effects on increased room bookings and table reservations.”

Some 89 percent of users said a thoughtful response to a negative review improved their impression of a business, while 90 percent said polite and respectful responses to reviews made them believe the owner truly cared, giving them greater confidence in their trip planning decisions. 

TripAdvisor’s tips when it comes to responding to reviews are:

  • Introduce yourself and write your response as though you’re providing an introduction to your business; potential guests will also be reading.
  • When responding to a negative review, share the rest of the story and provide context on what was happening behind the scenes or what was unique about that specific situation. 
  • Amplify the benefits of the positive reviews. This shows you’re committed to using feedback to make ongoing improvements and that good experiences are no accident. 

The study was conducted by the review giant to highlight its new free management response tools.

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