TripAdvisor study highlights importance of business owners responding to reviews

Picture by Mohamad Hassan

New research released today from Ipsos MORI in partnership with TripAdvisor has revealed that customers are more likely to book after seeing owners respond to online reviews, demonstrating why hotel and restaurant owners should make the most of such online tools to grow their business.

Personalization is Key

The research comes from an Ipsos MORI survey, which polled over 23,000 travelers and diners worldwide. The results showed that 63% of respondents said they would be more likely to book a hotel or restaurant if the owner responded to the majority of reviews. When a property owner leaves personalized responses to reviews, over three-quarters (77%) of TripAdvisor travelers said they are more likely to book as a result. Even among respondents who said that they tend to focus less on online reviews, over half were still likely to book if the owner has responded to reviews.

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Over two thirds (67%) of respondents agreed that they find it helpful when they can see the context to negative reviews and apologies to guests from management.

“These survey results clearly show the importance of managing online reviews,” said Fabrizio Orlando, senior manager, Industry Relations at TripAdvisor. “If an owner responds to a review, whether that review is positive or negative, it makes a real difference to a traveler’s perception of a property, and can have huge effects on increased room bookings and table reservations.” 

Giving Owners the Last Word

On TripAdvisor, only one review can be written per experience and owners write just one Management Response per review. Therefore, Management Responses leave a lasting impression and can have a significant influence on potential guests.

Given the impact they have, TripAdvisor offers the following advice for responding to reviews:

  • Introduce yourself and write your response as though you’re providing an introduction to your business; potential guests will also be reading.
  • When responding to a negative review, share the rest of the story and provide context on what was happening behind the scenes or what was unique about that specific situation.
  • Amplify the benefits of the positive reviews. This shows you’re committed to using feedback to make ongoing improvements and that good experiences are no accident.

Politeness Costs Nothing

Another pattern throughout the survey results showed that polite and respectful responses to reviews were most valued amongst travelers. The vast majority (89%) of users said a thoughtful response to a negative review improved their impression of a business and 90% of respondents said that seeing polite and respectful responses to reviews makes them believe the owner truly cares. As a result, these users said they felt more confident in their decisions and could plan better trips.

“These findings show why it continues to be so important for hotel and restaurant owners to claim their TripAdvisor listing,” continues Orlando, “It’s only once they’ve claimed their page that they’re able to respond to their reviews and attract more potential guests.”