I’m chuffed! I’ve made Senior Contributor in TripAdvisor!
I know, I know, it’s no biggie.... all I had to do was write 27 reviews in order to claim this coveted badge. I’m sure many of you out there have written more.
But you see, I’m a raving TripAdvisor fan.
I religiously scour its pages for the best places to stay at before we travel, and when we return from our trip, I write a review on any exceptional - or on the rare occasion, poor - experiences that we might have had. All in the time it takes to write up the review and click “send”.
Case in point a 5-star hotel at Aix-en-Provence that we stayed at in the third week of May. While the rooms were pristine, the grounds were exquisite, and the standard of the restaurant was exceptional, the lady at reception was lackluster and indifferent.
She’s having an off day, I thought when we checked in, giving her the benefit of the doubt. However, when we looked to her for assistance the following day, her attitude had not changed.
What a shame, I thought to myself. This hotel was probably the most expensive place that we stayed at during our whole trip. And yet it was the place where we felt the least welcomed. When you consider that any hotel’s front-of-house is the first point of contact that the establishment has with their guests, the seemingly inconsequential position at hotel reception is in fact quite an influential one. In our case with this hotel, it was also our first point of contact with the town of Aix-en-Provence.
So I wrote about our experience with that particular hotel on TripAdvisor on my return. Lo and behold, within 24 hours of the review going “live”, I was contacted by the Sales & Marketing Manager of the hotel with an apology. Message delivered.
How’s that for effective communication!
While I would encourage anyone to write a restaurant or accommodation review on TripAdvisor, I would tender it with some caution. With freedom comes responsibility, and there is a certain etiquette that one must follow when writing a review.
Here’s how it goes:
1) Write about your own experience, and not someone else’s or on hearsay. This is a no-brainer.
2) Keep it fair, relevant and factual. Remember that you are posting a review so that you can assist other travelers with your information. Secondly, your review helps the travel and tourism industry improve their game. Rather than using sweeping statements like, “this place was awesome” or “the service was awful”, you may want to go into detail as to why the place was so special or not.
3) Keep it clean. TripAdvisor is not a platform to vent your spleen. If your experience has been a negative one, never use hate speech or expletives.
4) As you would do when invited to someone’s home for dinner, don’t use TripAdvisor as a platform to advertise your business or services. It's not good form and can lead to your review being deleted.
As for the hospitality industry, TripAdvisor keeps operators honest - it highlights the great ones and puts on notice the establishments that need to lift their game.
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