Technology continues to provide us with new cutting edge services and innovative ways to reimagine traditional marketing strategies. This article looks at opportunities to gain more control over your online reviews with the TripAdvisor Joint Review Collection service, and the latest ways to utilize guest surveys on-site at your resorts.

TRIPADVISOR JOINT REVIEW COLLECTION
Joint Review Collection enables a resort to encourage their guests to post a TripAdvisor review after their stay at the property through a licensed review widget.This is done in two main ways, the first is via a Post Vacation Stay Survey, where the TripAdvisor review widget is seamlessly integrated as one of the questions of a short survey.

Guests are used to taking surveys, and so when all of your guests from last week for example receive a survey invitation by email, typically around 30% will take the survey.

The embedded TripAdvisor widget makes it really easy for the guest – they don’t need an existing account and they don’t need to go to TripAdvisor.com. They simply write their review, select some 5 star (bubble) rated questions and then click submit – if the guest already has a TripAdvisor account it is automatically assigned to their existing account, if they don’t yet have an account, they will see the account registration form already populated with their information and they just click agree and they are done, they then complete the rest of the survey questions.

Still, not everyone that takes the survey wants to leave a review, so you will typically end up with 10-20% of all your guests from that week leaving a review.So for a resort with 500 guests checking out per week, that’s 50-100 more reviews per week.Increasing the Number of ReviewsTo increase the number of reviews further, the review widget can be embedded into a dedicated landing webpage. This page can then be promoted via in-room tent cards, cobranded with TripAdvisor that include a QR code for mobile devices and the full webpage link for people accessing via laptops.

You can then also promote this landing page via email newsletters, email signatures, on your main websites, or even in welcome packs upon check in, or with the final bill upon check out.

You can then use review collection software to collect and analyze reviews about your properties across all major review sites.

INTELLIGENT SURVEYS 
This is where the modern version of survey systems come into play. So many companies either do not survey their guests or do not do it effectively. Traditional surveys however are losing their effectiveness as businesses require more than yes / no answers, and customer satisfaction is no longer just a percentage, but instead is reflected in online reviews with much more description of the issues for all to see.

Only 1 in 4 people post a review, whilst 9 out of 10 vacationers read them. A typical business only hears from around 4% of its dissatisfied customers; 96% remain silent and 91% never come back.

So the objective is to actually give your customers more opportunities to share their thoughts and opinions with you so that you can gather feedback from more than just 4% of dissatisfied customers – otherwise you really don’t know where to improve on your products, services, resorts and customer service, and therefore cannot positively affect your online reputation – not to forget the fact that better performance ultimately leads to higher revenue.

Assuming you put in place the TripAdvisor Joint Review Collection service which includes a short Post Vacation Stay survey, you are generating the valuable reviews and receiving a little additional customer feedback but you really need more than that and sending an additional survey by email is not going to perform well.

Plus, you could really do with knowing if someone is having a bad time at your resort BEFORE they leave so you can perhaps do something about it during their stay – and avoiding the bad experienced being shared with the world on TripAdvisor once they leave your property.

To do this we recommend you use an intelligent on-site survey system that lets you understand the guest experience, during your guest’s experience.

Survey is probably the wrong word for this modern version, so let’s call it instant feedback for now.

Instant feedback can be implemented at a resort in one of many different ways depending on the preference of the resort and limitations on budget, available amenities and staff resources.

Here are just a few examples.
• Restaurant Feedback
• Spa Feedback• Concierge / Tour Desk Feedback
• Entertainment Feedback
• Sales Presentation Feedback
• Roaming General Feedback

Each of these instant feedback options are operated via iPad or other portable tablet device and offered to guests at the end of an experience.

For example, for Restaurant Feedback you can provide the guest with the iPad along with their check – or for All Inclusive properties, while they are having dessert.

The feedback form is highly interactive with touch and slide technology and comprises of a maximum of 3 fast to answer questions and one optional comment box and should take the guest no more than 30 seconds to 1 minute to complete. The form then asks for their email address (or room number) for validation and they are done.

Implemented correctly, most guests should end up filling out 1-3+ of these very fast feedback forms during the course of their vacation.

Every time a rating for an experience falls below a pre-determined threshold, such as 3 out of 5 or 6 out of 10 an email alert is sent to the customer service department or any designated on-site team responsible so that where possible you can reach out to that guest to rectify, or resolve that poor guest experience whilst they are still with you.

At the end of their vacation, all of their feedback is combined to provide a complete profile and can be aggregated over time with other guests to provide valuable insights and highlight positive and negative trends about your guest experiences.

Guests are much more likely to provide this information when approached by a member of staff at the resort (their waiter or spa technician) and by keeping the feedback extremely short and simple the response rate is high and having completed one form, they know what to expect next time and don’t shy away from completing others.

Having already received all this information, you can then pretty much remove most or even all additional questions from the TripAdvisor Joint Review Collection post vacation stay survey, leaving them just to add their review, which in turn increases the response rate there also.

TripAdvisor look at a number of things when assessing the ranking of a hotel against others in the area. Quantity and frequency of reviews is key,as is the star rating given by the reviewer. An average star rating of a jointly collected review is 4.3 which is higher in most cases then a review posted organically. In a study conducted by Cornell University it was discovered that by increasing your bubble rating by one point (on a 5 point scale) the hotel could increase its prices by 11.2% and maintain the same occupancy.

Online bookings already account for nearly 50% of all bookings made and this is still increasing with mobile bookings accounting for nearly 20% of this. With nearly 90 % of travellers saying that reviews influence their buying decision hotels and resorts are realizing that reviews really do equal revenue.