There are lots of arguments for and against TripAdvisor’s hotel reviews. Some businesses have got great boost by them and some have received blows! Some trust them and some say many of them are just fake. At the end of the day, as a marketing expert of your travel business, you may ask yourself, “Who cares about TripAdvisor’s hotel reviews most?” Good question! Let’s see who.
Blogosphere Talks about TripAdvisor’s Hotel Reviews
The well-known blogger, Christopher Elliott, has published an article titled “Does TripAdvisor have a problem with fake reviews?” in Seattle Times digging up the consequences of some unknown people who review hotels and the reaction of those who take benefits or suffer. It’s an interesting read and I suggest you to have a look and see how Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel is praised by a series of flattering reviews in June 2012.
The people who work for TripAdvisor have not been to all the hotels at four corners of the world. So, how do they know if someone’s write-up is fair or fake? They say they have an algorithm, a system that recognizes if some opinion, reflected at TripAdvisor, are genuine or not. However, according to the mentioned article,
“No system is perfect,” TripAdvisor spokeswoman Amelie Hurst says. “We’re continually working to stay ahead of those attempting to game the system.”
Starwood’s senior director of consumer affairs, whose hotel has benefited from lots of reviews, explains that she’s talked to the hotel’s general manager. She says she’s realized one employee in particular had been “a little overzealous” in her efforts to recruit positive reviews. TripAdvisor, on the other hand, has removed some of the reviews!
Christopher continues that this guy called “hunnyb62″, who has submitted several words of appreciation, remains unknown. He concludes although transparency helps the entire travel industry, TripAdvisor stays quiet when it’s asked about the way it operates.
What’s this all about? Why does it matter? The answer is simple. Hotels get lots of business by receiving positive reviews and such words serve as powerful testimonials their satisfied customers have mentioned about their services.
Word of Mouth Goes a Long Way
The definition of “Word of Mouth” marketing, according to BusinessDictionary.com is:
Oral or written recommendation by a satisfied customer to the prospective customers of a good or service. Considered to be the most effective form of promotion, it is also called word of mouth advertising which is incorrect because, by definition, advertising is a paid and non-personal communication.
So, such reviews really matter to the business owners. In travel industry, where numerous service providers are competing to cause a lot more satisfied clients, word of mouth marketing strategy should be carefully planned. You have to learn how to harness, amplify and improve it.
If a satisfied customer’s comments on your services are real, honest and positive, it works better than any other advertising campaign you may want to conduct for your travel business. This method of marketing is only effective when it’s honest and verifiable.
I’ve explained how to get verifiable testimonials for your business. This should be a major strategy at your marketing process although many have simply ignored it. However, there are several other methods that could be implemented too.
Back to the Main Question
As word of mouth exists and you cannot stop it, the only way out is to improve it and take benefits from it. However, when it comes to TripAdvisor’s hotel reviews, we see many really care about it. If you read the blog post I’ve referred to at the beginning of this post, you see how important it is for all parties. Yet, the most important side of the interaction hasn’t been mentioned, but you should be able to discover it.
Don’t you think the customer, who uses the service, is the one that really understands the reality about a hotel’s service quality? You may argue the hotel owners take the main benefit. That’s right. Who loses when the service isn’t satisfactory? Both customer and hotel owner? Who loses more?
So, if anyone should care, who cares most about TripAdvisor’s Hotel Review?
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