Thursday, 23 October 2014

Renovation Project - Is it worth using Trip Advisor for my B&B

Renovation Project - Is it worth using Trip Advisor for my B&B

The best way to have customers arrive at your B&B is by direct booking, this way you do not have to pay any commission to anybody, but it is also more difficult.

We have a website, that has generated interest, but you must get your website to appear on the front page of Google searches, this is more difficult, especially if you are in an area with established B&B's
there are a number of ways to do this and I will discuss a few of the ways that we used and which worked best.

Trip Advisor

Try to ensure that all your guests write a review on Trip Advisor, I explained that we were new and needed the reviews to ensure we were successful, I also learnt to request this in more than one language, this really does make a difference.

We will never be number one on Trip Advisor (or at least not for a couple of years) as there is a much bigger B&B that has been established for many years and has well over a hundred reviews, but we did make it to number 2 in our first season, which I am really pleased about.

Tips for Trip Advisor
  • Be the best you can be, provide an excellent service, so that you get a good review.
  • Ask your guests if they enjoyed there stay and if they did please would they write a review.
  • Learn to ask in other languages, this shows you have made an effort
  • Chat to your guests each morning, check if they need anything
  • Respond to any reviews straight away (if somebody has taken the time to leave you a review, thank them)
  • Make your response individual so that they can see you have taken the time.
  • If you have a bad review, don't panic, do they have a point? If so address it in your response, this way any other potential guest can see how you handle any complaints, this can be more positive than just good reviews.
  • It is relatively easy to add your listing to the Trip Advisor site
  • Enjoy what you are doing!
The bad points from Trip Advisor
  • Family or friends can not leave reviews, this means that you can miss out on reviews
  • Anybody can review you, they do not need to have stayed at your establishment
  • Not all B&B/hotel owners are as honest as you, some may have bogus reviews that improve their rating (we do not know of anybody that has done this but it is a complaint from one of the support groups I joined)
  • The business listing option (where guests can book directly is expensive)
  • There is the opportunity for people to leave bad reviews simply to give you a bad rating, these can be removed if proved to be malicious, but this does take some time
Summary

Most people use Trip Advisor to see what is written about your property, this is something you cannot escape, however most people will be realistic whilst reading. If you have a great property and provide a great service, taking time to speak to your guests and take an interest in their holiday and help with recommending local restaurants and places of interest you will get a good review.


But also don’t be upset if you have a great guest and they don't leave a review, how many times have you thought ' I love this hotel, I'll make sure I leave a great review' then you get home and life takes over again, just be happy that you made somebody's holiday so special.