How should you respond to a bad review on Trip Advisor?

When you see a bad review of your business online, don't panic!
If you respond, and in the right way, you can nullify any negative effects and even create positive equity out of a less-than-ideal situation.

At the recent New Zealand e-Tourism conference (at which ReserveGroup gave a presentation on business-to-business websites and email marketing), Jim Brody from Trip Advisor spoke about responding to bad reviews posted on - the influential and hugely popular Social Media website for travel experiences.

Below are some key points from Jim's very dynamic presentation:

  • Ensure you are registered as a business owner on TripAdvisor.
    This will allow you to manage your listing and actually respond to reviews.
    It is worth noting that 85% of reviews are positive - so don't be afraid to take a look!
  • Trust your audience. If you have 80 positive reviews and one negative, travellers will see you are a good business and you needn't be too worried about the effect of one bad review on your business.
  • If you think the review is a fraud, tell TripAdvisor – they have a fraud squad! Signs to look for include 'over the top' language, the reviewer knowing too much about your business (i.e. the names of all your staff), the reviewer overtly supporting a competing business, etc.
  • Respond!...especially to bad reviews. Apologise for what was not satisafactory (“Sorry you didn’t have a great time…”) and communicate how things have changed or what action you have taken to correct any issue.
  • Learn from bad reviews and instruct your staff so they also get the message.
and finally...
  • If there really is a problem – fix it!
 There are pointers we can all take from this, even if you are not in the tourism marketing business.


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