Speaking at Restaurant magazine’s Digital Innovation Forum, Merlin told BigHospitality that the impact on smaller businesses has been substantial.
“It gives visibility, transparency and a level playing field locally in your own country and also when you travel,” he said.
“It gives opportunities to smaller places that would never have been discovered without it to be found by travellers. It’s a free marketing tool, it’s free feedback from your customers and it’s their point of view, whether it’s right or wrong, and you can use that for yourself to improve your service.”
Merlin also gave advice on how to encourage good reviews from customers to improve the chances of others choosing to use your business.
“One of the tools that we launched a couple of years ago is called Review Express. The benefit of it is that by generating more reviews in a regular place and a regular fashion, and the result of that is that it creates more positive reviews,” he said.
“There’s a lot of people who may have had a great experience and want to leave a review but forget, you can send them an extra email or an extra text just to remind them to come back and leave a review.”
TripAdvisors tips for receiving good reviews
- Use Review Express.
- Remind people to review you with an email or a text.
- Add pictures to your TripAdvisor listing.
- Include descriptions of your business in one or two languages.
- Make sure all of the information on the listing is up-to-date.