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How To Tackle Negative TripAdvisor Reviews For Positive Outcomes?

November 13, 2017 | By | 2 Comments

TripAdvisor has (on an average) 390 million unique monthly visitors looking for reviews and opinions to research accommodation, tour operators, rental service providers and holiday-makers. These people also base their tour purchase decisions on the TripAdvisor reviews they read. It makes tour review collection on the platform, crucial for tour operators, especially for sales amplification.

But, to stand out from the 760,000 activities and attractions providers registered TripAdvisor, you need to show customers you are willing to go the extra mile even after a tour with them, by responding to reviews both positive and negative.

How to respond to TripAdvisor Reviews

There are a variety of reviews you can receive. Positive being the best and negative the worst. But, the way you respond to them makes a universe of a difference. Before we dive into the negative review responses, understand that positive and neutral reviews need responses too! Let’s see how and why:

The Positive

All tour operators, with or without travel websites, want positive reviews and ratings. It boosts brands on a global scale and helps acquire more sales. But, do you appreciate the customers who rave about your services online? It’s time you did. It can help you re-sell to them and ensure they bring you more bookings as your true business ambassadors.

Responding to Positive TripAdvisor Reviews

Saying, ‘thank you for the review!’ is a pretty easy thing to do. But, that’s already been done. And, saying only much could make your customers think you didn’t read the entire review. When your customers take the time to find your TripAdvisor listing and mention the highlights of the tour they booked through you, try to reciprocate with appreciation. Try –

  • Addressing the customer by their name.
  • Thanking them for choosing your tours and submitting their delightful reviews.
  • Repeating compliments from their reviews and acknowledging them.
  • Asking them to visit you again or contact you when they come back to your town.

Here’s an example you can see this in –

The  In-between

Many a time you may receive reviews that have a mix of positive and negative points. When this happens ask your tour guides or staff to give you details about the said tour. Based on this try to make sense of why the customer feels the way he does.

Responding to In-between TripAdvisor Reviews

After understanding why the customer has given such a mixed review, you can handle things by:

  • Responding promptly to the customer.
  • Addressing them by their name and subtly pointing out the pros they mentioned about your tour.
  • Apologising for the cons experienced and how they will be dealt with or why they couldn’t be dealt with.
  • Inviting the customer back to give your tours another try, now that action has been taken.
  • Being sincere in your responses to these kinds of reviews.

Here’s an ideal way of responding to mixed reviews on TripAdvisor:

The Negative

Negative reviews can be simply straightforward or pretty nasty. However, it’s important to keep your cool. Do not make a rash decision and reply in a rude manner. Remember others are reading these replies too. Bad responses from you could turn potential customers away from you.

Responding to Negative TripAdvisor Reviews

There is certainly a wrong and right way of responding to negative TripAdvisor reviews. To avoid creating a bad impression, the best way to handle these reviews is by:

  • Reading each review thoroughly to understand the problem.
  • Checking if this happened before with the same tour and staff. If yes, you have a problem that needs sorting. If not, investigating why the bad experience occurred is a must.
  • Responding in a positive tone and thanking the customer for taking the time to review your tours. Only then addressing the issue directly.
  • Requesting for direct communication for full understanding of the bad experience.
  • Ensuring corrective action has been/ is being taken.
  • Inviting them to come back to try out your services again.  
  • Using the Vacation Labs booking engine software, to label customers based on the negative reviews they’ve given you. This way you can offer only those who had a bad experience or unexciting experience a discount or special offer.

Here’s an example of a good response to a negative TripAdvisor review:

How to reduce your negative TripAdvisor reviews

Negative TripAdvisor reviews cannot be done away with completely because every customer thinks and behaves differently. But, you can certainly take care of universal aspects that every traveller expects from a tour operator. Here’s what those key aspects are:

  1. Good booking experiences

To make this possible, tour operators such as yourself should have travel websites with complete travel CMS and a systematic booking engine software. This should help customers find you online and book your tours with ease. Through and ideal tour website theme customers will be able to check your tour options and terms. A booking engine will increase the ease of booking and ensure confirmation and payment updates are automated. To know what the best booking engine software is capable of check out the one by Vacation Labs.

  1. Cordial communication with guides

As a tour guide/ operator, it’s part of the job to interact with guests. It makes them feel welcome and increases chances of them enjoying your tours even more. Motivate customers new to adventure tours or lighten the mood with a joke or two.

  1. Small tour groups

Customers want to feel comfortable and attended to. Ensure this by limiting tour group sizes, especially if strangers are included in that group. The fewer the people, the easier it is for them to communicate questions and for you to accommodate them comfortably. Or, you could offer the option of group and private tours. The Vacation Labs website builder and booking engine software can help you do this efficiently.

  1. Receiving what’s promised

If you say your tour will include 5 attractions make sure there are 5! In case it’s not possible, due to public holidays, renovations, etc,  inform the customer in advance. Offer them an alternative attraction or tour package if possible. But, never leave them uninformed. If you do, they may feel cheated.

  1. Learn and implement feedback

When given feedback or criticism, learn from it. Make an attempt to incorporate it into your tours as well. For example, if customers say, it would have been great if you had informed us about what to carry before arriving before the tour, it would have been great! You can add this to your travel website’s tour cards and/or pre-trip email reminders.

The quality of the experiences you offer is very important to customers. Your future customers will judge you based on these. So, apply these pointers to your business to boost customer experience. And, if you cannot avoid the occasional negative TripAdvisor review, you know how to handle responding to it like a pro!


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