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.
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:
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.
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 –
Here’s an example you can see this in –
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.
After understanding why the customer has given such a mixed review, you can handle things by:
Here’s an ideal way of responding to mixed reviews on TripAdvisor:
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.
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:
Here’s an example of a good response to a negative TripAdvisor review:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!