Conversation with … future guests

Conversation with ? future guests

As many of you know, I make a habit of talking to my guests in the lobby, over a cup of coffee or a drink, and recently returned from a six-city tour to talk to travel planners in their offices about their clients. So all this talking to current guests got me thinking about how to talk directly to future guests …

Enter TripAdvisor. A few years ago, we learned to embrace TripAdvisor and even go so far as to put a live RSS feed to it on our home page. Every morning I sit with my coffee, review posts from the day before and respond to every single TripAdvisor post. If someone took the time to write about my hotel, it’s only polite that I acknowledge the effort and offer my appreciation.  

It also made me wonder if any of the guests who wrote the review ever really came back to see if I responded or just posted and left it for other potential guests to see. That’s when the switch flipped in my head, and I started to address my responses to potential future guests reading these reviews. It’s a subtle but important distinction.

Arguably, TripAdvisor is the leading website for travelers to research destinations and possible hotels. What better way to demonstrate your hotel’s commitment to service than by “conversing” with guests via TripAdvisor? It is a natural forum to tell future guests what kind of hotel you are and how much care. I’ve learned that there is a huge upside to seeing TripAdvisor as an opportunity, not a problem.